Years ago, Richard Campo's life took a turn into the world of financial aid. A direction he never thought it would go in, but one he hasn't looked back from since.
In 2005, Richard was working for the U.S. Department of Education's TRIO programs, educational-access programs for first-generation, college-bound students. He worked with two different schools in Minneapolis/St. Paul providing students with advice on entering college.
"This job was how I got interested in financial aid," Richard said. "I was helping students and they didn't have in-depth knowledge of financial aid. I actually met Larry [Bloom] and Mike [Arieta] from OSF while working at this job."
In 2008, Richard began working in ASR as a One Stop Student Services counselor. He helps students, parents, and staff navigate the registration, billing, and financial aid processes.
"I really enjoy helping students," he said. "I feel like I am making a difference and that I have a chance every day to provide information that would really help a student."
Richard is also a member of two One Stop committees: the Tuition Refund Appeal (TRA) committee and the Financial Literacy committee.
As a member of the TRA committee, he reviews forms submitted by students who wish to have tuition charges forgiven or refunded based on extraordinary circumstances, such as medical reasons or military activation. As a part of the Financial Literacy committee, he presents to classes and groups on campus about how to make good financial choices.
Richard and his wife, Martha, live in St. Paul. They have been married for two years. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Richard moved to Minnesota when he went to college at St. Olaf for his undergraduate degree in history and social studies education. He is currently finishing up his master's degree from the U in higher education policy administration.
When Richard isn't giving financial advice, he enjoys being outdoors. He loves camping and hiking, especially in the Boundary Waters. He loves water activities as well, including kayaking and canoeing. Reading is also a large part of Richard's life. He likes historical books, memoirs, biographies, and travel books.
Richard also enjoys spending a lot of time with family. His wife is one of 13 children so they go to quite a few family events.
Richard is also quite the do-it-yourselfer. He loves to garden and he even brews his own beer, usually 20 gallon batches at a time. Cooking is another favorite past time. He even built his own wood-fired pizza oven in his backyard.
"I got the inspiration from my co-worker Tom Taff in One Stop," he said. "It didn't take that long to build. It's not too big. It's on a steel cart in my garage and it's made out of the earth."
Richard also loves dressing up in interesting Halloween costumes. One year he dressed up as a toothbrush. He and his wife once went as Batman and Robin. Richard was Robin and his wife, who is much shorter than him, went as Batman.
Another year, he went as Pac-man and his friends were the ghosts. "We chased each other around," he said. "The costume was so big, I got stuck in a stairway at a bar."
1. If he could be any character for a day, he would be Casper the Friendly Ghost. "I like making friends."
2. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell was the last book he read.
3. His favorite food is lasagna.
4. Richard's most interesting job was when he spent one summer driving a bread truck to catering companies, grocery stores, and local restaurants.
5. Groundhog Day is his favorite movie.
6. Richard would love to go back in time and live in Athens, Greece during the height of civilization. "I would love to hang out with Socrates."
7. He grew up wanting to be a park ranger.
8. His first concert was the Rolling Stones when he was very young. He remembers being very confused.
9. His biggest fear is leaving the gas on the stove or leaving his keys in the door.
10. If he had super powers, he would be Stretch Armstrong.