It may be the beauty of the College of Charleston campus that draws students in, but it’s the beauty of the College of Charleston people that really makes it special.

The faculty and staff whom our students encounter their first year at the College don’t just serve as teachers and mentors – they are the friendly faces who make our students know that this is where they belong. They are the friends and guides who carry our students through, setting the tone for their four years at the College and their relationship with the institution long into the future.

That’s why, at the end of every academic year, the First Year Experience program (FYE) asks first-year students if they’d like to recognize anyone who had a particularly special impact on their life at the College of Charleston.

“The first year of college can be the most difficult for students as they transition to a new environment, so it’s important for faculty, staff and current students to help our new students feel welcome and supported in their new home,” says Mindy Miley, assistant vice president of first year and bridge student services in the Office of New Student Programs. “I often get emails from students about staff and student employees who may not get recognized for the little things they do that make them feel a part of the College community.”

And so, in 2018, FYE created the Outstanding Service to First-Year Students recognition program to make sure those people do get recognized. Students can nominate faculty, staff and other students who made a difference in their lives, providing a brief description of how that individual contributed to their first year at the College.

“I recently got honorably discharged from the military,” wrote one student, who wanted to recognize Daniel Delgado, senior instructor of Hispanic studies. “He has helped me out a lot in adjusting to the change. Especially from the role of a soldier to a student. I am extremely appreciative for all the time and extra help he has given me, as well as the amount of care and enthusiasm that he carries into the classroom environment.”

Another student thanked Stephanie Brown, a site director in New Student Programs, who made the “transition to the College of Charleston campus comfortable, smooth and incredible. I believe everyone in my program/cohort can agree that we couldn’t have lucked out more with Stephanie being our site director. From the very beginning, I could tell she was someone who I could depend on and confide in. She was a role model, a shoulder to cry on and a friend as well as the best site director there is. She had a relationship with every student and was simply a ray of sunshine. She is kind and never fails to do everything she can to help us in any way we need. It was such a great feeling to have someone who you knew genuinely wanted you to succeed and who saw you for who you were and pushed you. I feel very privileged to have met her and get to know her and build a relationship with her that I will always value and I cannot thank her enough for believing in me and encouraging me and seeing me. She is a really special person, and the College of Charleston is more than lucky to have her. She made such a difference in my life and the lives of my cohort.”

These are just two of the many messages of gratitude and praise that students submitted about CofC employees all across campus – from Joseph Pegarella, who works in Market 159 and whose “unwavering kindness and helpfulness is amazing,” to Noelle Yamajian adjunct Asian studies faculty member who “always does her best to help her students learn and succeed.”

“I’ve always been touched by the comments I receive from students, and it makes me proud of those going the extra mile when working with our first-year students,” says Miley. “From resident assistants, peer educators, tutors and advisors to public safety officers, maintenance workers, dining services staff and custodial staff: We all play a role in making the College of Charleston a special place and helping our students feel they’re a part of this place, too.”

A huge thanks – and congratulations – to the below faculty, staff and students who were recognized this year for their outstanding service to first-year students.

  • Isabella Agostino, Staff, New Student Programs, iCharleston
  • Lily Andrews, Student, FYE Peer Facilitator
  • Julia Arroyo, Faculty, Sociology
  • Yaron Ayalon, Faculty, FYE Jewish Studies
  • Stephanie Brown, Staff, New Student Programs, iCharleston
  • Emma Brown, Student
  • Timothy Callahan, Faculty, Geology
  • Laura Cannon, Faculty, English
  • Heather Crosby, Faculty, History
  • Daniel Delgado Diaz, Faculty, Hispanic Studies
  • George Dickinson, Faculty, Sociology
  • Roger Dulceany, Faculty, Hispanic Studies
  • Bruce Fleming, Staff, New Student Programs, iCharleston
  • Hollis France, Faculty, Political Science
  • Silvia Hanna, Faculty, FYE Learning Community
  • Genevieve Hay, Faculty, FYE Learning Community
  • Regan Honeycutt, Tutor, Center for Student Learning
  • Tracey Hunter-Doniger, Faculty, Teaching Fellows
  • Kathleen Janech, Faculty, Biology
  • Joe Kelly, Faculty, English
  • Margaret Keneman, Faculty, French-Francophone-Italian Studies
  • Emma Kieve, Student, FYE Peer Facilitator
  • Amy Kolak, Faculty, Psychology
  • Amy Malek, Faculty, International Studies
  • Yulian Martinez-Escobar, Faculty, Hispanic Studies
  • Daniel Megli, Faculty, Music
  • Michelle Moore, Faculty, English
  • Cailey Murphy, Student, FYE Peer Facilitator
  • Patrick O’Reilly, Student, Residence Life Resident Assistant
  • Evan Parry, Faculty, FYE Theater and Dance
  • Joseph Pegarella, Staff, Market 159
  • Mills Pennebaker, Faculty, History
  • Luke Pillar, Student
  • Don Polite, Faculty, African American Studies
  • Carly Pruitt, Staff, New Student Programs – Charleston Bridge
  • Patrick Ramsey Center for Academic Performance & Persistence
  • Khalea Richard, Student, FYE Peer Facilitator
  • Blake Scott, Faculty, International Studies
  • Shera Scott, Staff, SPECTRA/MSPS Mentor
  • Violet Smith, Student, FYE Peer Facilitator
  • Maddie Snelwar, Student
  • Brendan Standish, Student/RHD, Residence Life, Rivers
  • Elana Tiger, Student, FYE Peer Facilitator
  • Brenda Washington, Staff, Public Safety
  • Marjory Wentworth, Faculty, FYE English
  • Kelley White, Faculty, FYE Teacher Education
  • Ben Wills, Student
  • Noelle Yamaji, Faculty, Asian Studies

A list of those recognized in the past year is available on the FYE website.