NSU alumnus selected for Pi Kappa Phi’s ‘Thirty Under 30’ honor

Mark Springer, an alumnus of the Beta Omicron chapter of Pi Kappa Phi at Northwestern State University, has been named among the national fraternity’s most promising young alumni. Now in its fifth year, ‘Thirty Under 30’ recognizes young alumni for their achievement after their undergraduate careers have come to an end.

The founder and CEO of Avatar Nutrition, Springer was nominated to be included in the 2018 ‘Thirty Under 30’ class by their peers, older alumni, and friends of the fraternity. From there, a committee of volunteers reviewed all of the nominees in areas such as impact, leadership and service, and awards and recognition. After the herculean effort of reviewing all nominations was completed, the list was narrowed to the 30 finalists.

A 2011 graduate of Northwestern State University, Springer’s company aims to change the way society looks at food by eliminating shame and struggle. Mark has now made it his mission to help people positively transform their bodies by adjusting their diet, and in the years since his graduation he has come a long way to achieving his goal.

Earlier this year Avatar Nutrition launched an app that aims to change the way society looks at food by eliminating shame and struggle. Through products, dieting information and services, along with coaching, Avatar aims to make a tangible positive impact on global health through scientific, flexible dieting.

Mark attributes Pi Kappa Phi as the foundation of his success.

“Pi Kappa Phi taught me the importance of a life lived to serve your fellow man, and my time spent in the Louisiana Scholars’ College taught me how to think critically, objectively, and how to solve problems with science. It really was a natural synergy of my time spent in Natchitoches that got the ball rolling on everything that was ultimately to become Avatar, but without the lessons learned in that cherished time I have serious doubts that any of this would have happened.”

As a student in the Louisiana Scholars’ College at NSU, which is the state’s designated honors college, Springer excelled academically and was recognized on the NSU Dean’s list from 2007 to 2011. While an undergrad, he was a member of Blue Key Honor Society, historian of Phi Alpha Theta Historical Honor Society, and was selected as a Scholars’ Mentor for three years. Springer was a member of both the NSU Football and track & field teams and helped found the Demon Dodgeball club sport.

Upon graduation, he defended and published his undergraduate thesis, ‘Victory in the Peloponnesian War: The Downfall of Sparta.’ He also found time to write as a columnist for the Washington Times and even gave a guest lecture on Wedgewood pottery at the Norton Gallery in Shreveport.

He says his proudest moment came as a stroke of fate in 2016.

“I matched someone with a terminal blood cancer as a potential donor and was able to give them hope through a bone marrow transplant. Since that day, I’ve been a big advocate of “Be the Match” and have gotten thousands of people to sign up and join the registry to give others a second chance at life. If you’re reading this, make sure you do the same – it’s a quick and easy process!”

Springer is a member of the Beta Omicron Alumni Chapter and aims to mentor younger Pi Kapps looking to find their own forms of success. He has video conferenced with the Beta Omicron student chapter, sharing a presentation about making your senior year count; health & fitness in college; and habits of successful young people.

“I’m also coordinating with some alumni brothers from Beta Omicron to start an entrepreneurship and business mentoring program that will help share relevant lessons I’ve picked up building a start-up from scratch in a rapidly evolving digital business environment.”

Pi Kappa Phi runs in his blood. Marks father, John, is also a 1973 initiate of the Beta Omicron chapter at NSU.

Mark is an active supporter of the Northwestern State University Alumni Association and the Pi Kappa Phi Foundation.

Alumni from more than 20 chapters of all sizes, locations and age are represented in the group of 30, painting a broad, yet distinguished, view of Pi Kappa Phi as a national organization. The recipients come from all types of backgrounds, and were nominated for all types of outstanding achievement: volunteerism, professional achievement, etc. While the qualifications of the honor can vary, all of the recipients have in common a commitment to fraternal values. These men are all outstanding examples of how to live out the values of Pi Kappa Phi long after leaving their college campus.

Fellow Beta Omicron Chapter alumni Nick Breaux, Shayne Creppel, Manny Augello, Lane Luckie and Wil Adams were previous recipients of the ‘Thirty Under 30’ honor.

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