Q&A with Nathan Parker
Senior Nathan Parker and the Virginia men’s and women’s diving teams head to NCAA Zone competition Friday through Sunday in Annapolis, Md. Parker, a native of Alexandria, Va., recently caught up with VirginiaSports.com to talk about the upcoming meet, his accomplishments in the architecture school and his future plans.
Question: What was it like competing at the ACC Championships last month?
Parker: I went to ACCs my first year and so it was good to come back after three years and experience it again. It was definitely a very challenging meet with a lot of competition but it was fun. We have a lot of friends on other teams so it was good to see all of them.
Question: And looking ahead to the NCAA Zone Meet this weekend, you will have four divers in that competition. What are your goals for that meet?
Parker: I think that is the most UVa has ever brought to Zones. We are all diving very well and we are really excited to go and compete. I want to hit my dives the way I know I can. I want to be consistent, fluid and relaxed every time I step up on the boards. And to have fun, definitely.
Question: What made you want to come to UVa?
Parker: UVa was just an incredible in-state school, my top choice, probably even if I was out of state. I really liked the environment and the people. My sister (former diver Haley Parker) also went here so I kind of followed in her footsteps. I made the right choice.
Question: What will you remember most from your four years at UVa?
Parker: My time at the pool is definitely one of the things I will remember the most. Also I transferred into architecture and have spent a lot of time in the studio. I think the friendships and bonds I have made with my teammates and friends are what I will remember the most.
Question: Talk a little bit about the competition you won earlier this year.
Parker: I worked with a professor, a graduate student and three other undergrads and we entered a competition for housing in Haiti. Our design won an international competition, which is awesome. It’s a pre-fabricated panelized housing design so it can be easily assembled on-site and then transported. It will be a nice housing unit for a Haitian family.
Question: What is the timeline for that to happen?
Parker: We are still working on it and will carry on through the summer. We are drawing up the construction plans. They are going to break ground in May. There are actually five designs that are going to be built in St. Mark and ours is one of them. It is an incredible break to be a part of that and have my name on something.
Question: Why the interest in architecture?
Parker: A lot of things. I love solving problems and forming spaces. I love creating designs and everything that comes with it, like starting an idea and actually constructing something with materials, then seeing it through.
Question: What are your future plans?
Parker: I applied for graduate school at UVa and haven’t heard back yet. If I don’t go to grad school right away I’ll go back home and work in northern Virginia for a few years.
Question: What is your dream job?
Parker: That’s a very good question. I have a little bit of a road ahead of me. I need to get my master’s degree then work under a licensed professional for a couple of years. Then I guess overall I would like to experience a lot of different types of architecture. Maybe something in commercial and maybe residential. My dad does government work and I think heading in that direction would be really neat too.
Question: What do you like to do for fun?
Parker: Definitely spending time with friends and catching up. Whether we go hang out on the Corner or do something outside – especially with the weather getting nice again. Briggy (Imbriglia) and I went and played Frisbee golf the other day. I just love to spend time with the people I enjoy being around.
Question: Diving coach Rich MacDonald is trying to turn the program around and make it successful again. What advice would you give future divers who come to Virginia?
Parker: It will be with Rich, I have no doubt. I would say come in ready to have an incredible four years. Dive within your self and be ready to improve and enjoy all the aspects that UVa diving and UVa swimming has to offer. It’s a lot more than just being up on the board.