Alicia Caudill officially began her service as the new executive vice president for student affairs at the College of Charleston on July 16, 2015. Caudill came to the College from the University of West Georgia where she served as associate vice president for student life and dean of students.
Caudill, a native of Ohio, received her bachelor’s degree in public relations from Otterbein University, a master’s degree in student personnel services from the University of South Carolina, and a doctoral degree in college student affairs administration from the University of Georgia.
The College Today recently sat down with Caudill to learn more about who she is as well as her plans and goals at the College.
Q: First off, how do you pronounce your first and last names?
A: I have had it pronounced in all kinds of ways, and I do not take offense. It’s hard to say! So, here’s what I explain: Alicia rhymes with Tricia; Caudill (as I am from Ohio originally) is pronounced as Ku Dill. Emphasis on the Ku – the “u” is the short u sound.
Q: What excites you about your new position at the College?
A: The opportunity to work at a world-class institution with amazing students, staff and faculty.
Q: What are your top priorities?
A: In my initial months: Listening, learning, meeting as many students as possible, attending as many events as I can and working with the team in student affairs to determine the vision and direction for the division as we move forward.
Q: What are the biggest challenges facing college students today?
A: I think challenges vary for each student. So, for individual students their greatest challenge is what is facing them. As such, I try to be careful to acknowledge that first. However, in general, I think challenges facing students include: becoming connected to the College, financial concerns, health concerns, balancing academic life, social life, and personal life, finding mentors and creating healthy friendships and relationships.
Q: What do you want the student experience at the College to be?
A: My undergraduate experience at Otterbein University truly changed my life. It helped me figure out who I was and who I wanted to become. I have incredible memories of my time with friends, my academic experiences and my leadership opportunities. When I walk on campus, I still feel that love and connection. I do not wish for CofC students to have my same experience, but what I want to create is the opportunity for our students to FEEL about the College the way I felt as an undergraduate at Otterbein. I want to work with students to continue to build on the traditions, programs and experiences we have here to make sure the College is responsive to the students and the positive experience they wish to have.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: Spending time with friends and family, travel, trying different restaurants and tourist activities, reading (especially at the beach), seeing movies, yoga and CrossFit.
Q: What is your favorite guilty pleasure TV show?
A: I’m a Netflix binge watcher – currently I’m catching up on “Scandal.”
Q: What advice do you have for students at the College?
A: Set healthy and specific goals for yourself academically, personally and socially and work to achieve them. Ask questions and ask for help whenever you feel like you need it; if you don’t know where to start, come to any department in student affairs and we can assist you. Try new things that challenge you to meet new people and have new experiences. And, be the first person to say hello to students, faculty and staff as you meet them on campus.
Q: What activities were you involved as an undergraduate?
A: At Otterbein University, I was a resident assistant (RA), a tour guide, an editor for the arts section of our newspaper, an orientation leader and head staff member of Orientation, a member of many different organizations and a leader in my local sorority – Epsilon Kappa Tau (Otterbein has the oldest local Fraternity and Sorority Life system in the country). I also completed two internships and studied abroad in Dijon, France.
My undergraduate experience really shaped me, and I continue to give back to my college. I have served on the Alumni Council for eight years and was recently named as that Council’s representative to the Otterbein University Board of Trustees.
Q: How do you plan on getting to know CofC students and how can they interact with you?
A: I will be creating some listening student groups that I will meet with each month to learn more about the student experience and student needs.
There is also a Welcome Week event, “Alicia in Wonderland”, that will be held on Sept. 3, 2015, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Stern Center Gardens.
I have also created a presence on social media where students can interact with me: You can find me at College of Charleston EVP Student Affairs on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @cofcevpsa.
Students also are welcome to schedule time to come and meet with me by calling my office at 843.953.5522. Also, I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.