The College of Charleston family continues to grow with the addition of these new staff members! They bring with them a range of expertise and interests to campus, and – whether they have been at the College in different roles or are here for the very first time – they are almost as excited to be here as we are to have them!
Please extend a warm welcome to them all!
Kate Brown, Athletics
Kate Brown ’01
Director of Compliance, Department of Athletics
Background: Before moving to South Carolina, I lived in Tennessee, California, New Jersey and Maryland. I moved to South Carolina when I was in high school and went to high school in Pawleys Island. I attended CofC for undergrad and graduated with a degree in psychology. I earned a master’s in clinical counseling from The Citadel and worked there for the past 12 years. I worked with student-athletes as the director of Athletic Academic Services for six years and then spent three years as the assistant AD for compliance.
Interests: In my spare time, you can definitely find me out with my dog, Hugo. He loves the water and chasing the ball, so we try to get him outside all the time. At home, I love to bake – cookies, cakes, pastries, you name it. I’m also a huge reader and love to spend a rainy weekend with a good book.
Looking Forward: I am looking forward to being back at my alma mater again and getting reintroduced to the campus environment. I am excited to work with the students and be a useful resource for them as they navigate their academic and athletic careers here.
Catie Cleveland, University Communications
Photographer, Office of University Communications
Background: I have been a professional photographer since 2006. What started as an interest in high school and then more focused in college has become a very rewarding career. I have had the opportunity to work with so many people and places, often creating images that bring them joy! Prior to moving to the Charleston area in 2021, I spent eight years residing on a small island outside of Seattle called Bainbridge Island. It has quite a different backdrop than here in the Lowcountry, but I find each one equally beautiful in their own way. Bonus goes to Charleston for having the sunshine!
Interests: My favorite thing to do in my spare time is to walk. Preferably at the beach or near the water with my dog and the company of family or friends. It should be of no surprise as a photographer, but I also truly love taking pictures.
Looking Forward: Being on campus is a huge plus for me. And not just any campus, but an exceptionally charming one like the College of Charleston! I am also looking forward to working with many of the faculty, staff and students that make up the College. After working as a sole proprietorship for so many years, it is refreshing to be a part of something that is bigger than yourself.
James Contratto, Student Life
Executive Director for Student Involvement, Office of Student Life
Background: I’m originally from Florida. I received my bachelor’s in accounting and finance at Florida State University and master’s in college student affairs at Eastern Illinois University. I’ve worked in the field of student activities and student unions at Western Carolina University, UNC Charlotte and, most recently, the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I’ve volunteered and held leadership positions with our professional associations ACUI (Association of College Unions International) and NACA (National Association for Campus Activities).
Interests: I’m an avid runner. I love competing in the 5Ks and connecting with the running community. I’ve run five marathons and a 50K ultramarathon. My goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I also love to cook and grill. I’m always trying out new recipes, so send me your favorite chicken wing recipe! My wife and I love to travel and spend time outdoors, especially at the beach. We have an 8-year-old puppy named Cooper.
Looking Forward: I’m looking forward to working with our student life team to create memorable college experiences for our Cougar community.
Lindsey Copeland, Institutional Advancement
Senior Director of Analytics and Database Management, Office of Development, Division of Institutional Advancement
Background: I am from Greenville, South Carolina. I graduated from Lander University in 2011 with a bachelor’s in English. I also currently serve on Lander’s alumni board. After graduating college, I began my career in the for-profit sector working in telecommunications before moving to higher education. I’ve been working in higher ed fundraising for almost seven years at two different institutions in the Carolinas before starting my journey here at the College of Charleston.
Interests: I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. You’ll find us checking out local restaurants and breweries – or attending RiverDogs games or going to watch the Stingrays. I enjoy reading, coloring and having really competitive game nights!
Looking Forward: I am looking forward to working with some really awesome people, building up and supporting the mission of the College and exploring campus and the city. I am also very excited to begin my term on the Staff Advisory Committee for the College.
Katie Gabbert, School of Education
Katie Gabbert ’10
Student Services Coordinator, Office of Student Services and Credentialing, School of Education
Background: I am from North Carolina and came to Charleston when I attended CofC. I earned my bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. Before my return to CofC, I taught a variety of different ages and subjects in local elementary schools.
Interests: I enjoy spending time with my family. My husband and I enjoy taking our two boys out on the boat. We also really enjoy traveling to Disney World.
Looking Forward: I am looking forward to making a positive impact on future teachers, who will in turn share the impact with their classrooms!
Randall Geddings, Counseling Center
Randall Geddings ’19
Therapist, Counseling Center
Background: I am originally from Manning, South Carolina. I graduated from the College of Charleston in 2019 with a degree in psychology and later acquired a Master of Social Work in 2021. I previously worked in private practice and am excited to return to my alma mater and serve the College community.
Interests: I thoroughly enjoy creative writing, all things Star Wars, video games and getting my adrenaline fix through scary movies. I have also been collecting gemstones since I was a child. Whenever I would travel with family, I’d choose the $3 rock over the $15 mug at the gift shops. While at the College of Charleston, my interest in spirituality was sparked when I pursued a minor in religious studies, so I also regularly collect books on world religions, spiritual traditions and learning about how our spirituality influences our thoughts, beliefs and worldview.
Looking Forward: I look forward to serving the student body and helping the next generation of emerging adults navigate the complexities of this challenging, yet fulfilling, phase of life.
Cristy Landis, Honors College
Assistant Director of Student Success, Honors College
Background: I have worked [as a temporary employee] at the College for the past 22 years as an academic advisor, adjunct faculty member in theatre and the Honors College, and as the learning strategies program director.
Interests: I’m a member of the core ensemble of PURE Theatre now in our 20th season. I’m an actor, director and movement coach.
Looking Forward: I’m excited to be continuing to collaborate with my accomplished colleagues all across the institution.
Brandon Mills, Career Center
Career Coach, Career Center
Background: I am originally from Richmond, Virginia. I studied undergrad at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, with a major in liberal studies and minor in leadership studies. I then obtained my master’s degree in student affairs practice in higher education from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. This is my first role in the higher education field! After graduating with my master’s degree, I took a gap year and worked in the restaurant industry as a server, bartender and front-of-house manager, which I also did throughout my graduate school career.
Interests: In my free time, I love to be outdoors exploring what the world has to offer – anything from traveling to hiking and running to photography to simply just sitting outside in my ENO hammock. I also love spending time with friends, and am looking forward to living so close to the beach!
Looking Forward: I’m excited to be working with students. Ever since my sophomore year of college, after changing my major from elementary education, I knew I wanted to work with college students. As a first-generation college student for both of my degrees, I am especially looking forward to being a resource to specifically FGLI [first-generation, low-income] students, but also to all students at CofC! Looking forward to meeting faculty and staff as well!
Lindsey Ocock, Registrar’s Office
Lindsey Ocock ’22
Manager for Continuing Student Transfer Evaluation, Office of the Registrar
Background: I am from North Carolina. I used to work at the Medical University of South Carolina and I am a former College of Charleston student.
Interests: My hobbies include thrifting, reading and going to the beach.
Looking Forward: I am looking forward to helping transfer students at the College have the best experience possible.
Alyssa Trudniak, Athletics
Communications and Creative Content Assistant, Department of Athletics
Background: I am from a small town in Pennsylvania called Hellertown, which is about an hour and 15 minutes from Philadelphia. I am also a recent graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, which is about 4.5 hours from my hometown. It is the hometown of Jimmy Stewart (from It’s a Wonderful Life), and we are also known as the Christmas Tree Capital of the World. Before I came to Charleston, I worked as a seasonal employee for the Philadelphia Phillies, which was one exciting season to be a part of the organization.
Interests: My hobbies include photography, mainly floral, portrait and sports photography. I also am an avid Chicago Cubs fan – I have met several players with my best friend. In addition, I have come to appreciate baseball at all levels. In addition, I love traveling and seeing parts of the country that I never thought I would be able to. And also spending time with good company, like friends and family.
Looking Forward: I am excited to be here as a whole and experience Charleston, in addition to working alongside the athletes.
Shawyna Williams, Mail Services
Postal Logistics Specialist, Office of Mail Services
Background: I am from the Wando area and worked as a contractor for the USPS and for Berkeley County School District. I am married with kids and grandkids.
Interests: My family is important to me. I like fishing and going to church.
Looking Forward: I am looking forward to learning my new career and becoming a good teammate.