It may be the beautiful campus that first attracts students to the College of Charleston, but it’s the beautiful people that keep them here.

The faculty and staff 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 Office of New Student Programs asks students if they’d like to recognize a faculty member, staff member or a student employee/peer who has had a particularly special impact on their time at the College, providing a brief description of how that individual has contributed to their CofC experience.

This year, students submitted comments recognizing 91 members of the campus community.

“From resident assistants, peer educators, tutors and advisors to public safety officers, maintenance workers, dining services staff and custodial staff: Each and every one of us plays a role in providing a welcoming and supportive environment for our students,” says Mindy Miley, assistant vice president of first year and bridge student services in the Office of New Student Programs. “Together, we can make the College of Charleston a special place for them – we can all impact student retention.”

And our students recognize that – as is underscored throughout the comments they submitted.

“I suffered a bad concussion four days after arriving at school for the first semester,” wrote one student, who thanks Abe Saunders, associate director of student learning in the Center for Student Learning, for his support during that first semester and beyond. “He met me weekly and has taken on the role of head of my support team to manage my accommodations and manage my classwork and other CofC related questions I may have. I would not still be here if I had not found him to help me.”

Another student recognized computer science professor George Pothering: “Throughout my college journey, Dr. Pothering has been a constant source of encouragement and inspiration for me. He always provides me with invaluable advice and resources that allow me to navigate the challenges of college life with confidence and clarity.”

The challenges students face as they adjust to college life can be daunting, of course, but all it takes is one person to make it all seem manageable.

Take, for example, how Cody Maxwell, a police officer in Public Safety, impacted this student who suffers from a seizure disorder: “He was one of the officers that came and helped me when I had one, as well as helped me feel comfortable in the public setting. He was kind and very helpful, and got me anything I needed when my seizure happened. I continue to see him on campus and he always is so nice and asks me about how I am doing. He makes me feel truly safe on this campus.”

And not only do our staff and faculty make our students feel safe, they make them feel like family.

One student in the Charleston Bridge program came to the College feeling a little lost and lonely, but was quickly put at ease, thanks to Carly Pruitt, associate director of new student programs: “Going to college is scary, but Carly has helped me in so many ways. Carly has been more than willing to help me feel more acclimated on campus, and I am so happy to be a part of the CofC community now.”

For another student, it was Cristina Dominguez, assistant professor of women’s and gender studies, who “made this college really feel like a community and a family.”

These are just a few of the 91 messages of gratitude and praise that students submitted about CofC employees all across campus – from Maggie Miltcheva of the Department of German and Russian Studies, who is “incredibly supportive and engaging,” to Delores Grant at Einstein Bros. Bagels, “a true gem” who “always has the most vibrant energy and love for everyone.”

“I’ve always been touched by the comments I receive from students, and it makes me proud of those going the extra mile,” says Miley. “It just goes to show that everything we do matters – and it doesn’t go unnoticed.”

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

  • Regan Addison, Student
  • Lancie Affonso, Faculty, Computer Science, Honors College
  • Olivia Ashley, Student (Comedy Club)
  • Alli Avery, Student
  • Hannah Backal, Student
  • Bristol Barnes, Student (Cistern Yard Media)
  • Olivia Bonnett, Student Resident Assistant, Residence Life
  • DeeCee Brown, Staff, Dining Services
  • Bucky Buchanan, Staff, Campus Recreation Services
  • Timothy Callahan, Faculty, Geology
  • Sara Coleman, Staff, Campus Recreation
  • Eduardo Coles, Student/Peer Academic Coach (First Year Impact Program, Center for Academic Performance and Persistence)
  • Alyssa Conners, Faculty, English
  • Casper Conrath, Student/Orientation Intern/Resident Assistant/Tutor/Peer Facilitator (New Student Programs/Residence Life/Center for Student Learning/Center for Excellence in Peer Education)
  • Kate Culpepper, Student (Cistern Yard Media)
  • Madison Daniels, Affiliate/Intern, Student Life/Reformed University Fellowship
  • Zeb Dingley, Faculty, History
  • Cristina Dominquez, Faculty, Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Michael Duvall, Faculty, English
  • Autumn Farris, Student
  • Morgan Ford, Faculty, Psychology
  • Jay Forsythe, Faculty, Chemistry
  • Valerie Frazier, Faculty, English
  • Carmen Gallegos-Perez, Faculty, Hispanic Studies
  • Jennifer Gerrish, Faculty, Classics, First Year Experience
  • Michael Giuliano, Faculty, Chemistry
  • Gerald Gordon, Faculty, Master of Public Administration
  • Caroline Graham, Student/Peer Facilitator (Center for Excellence in Peer Education)
  • Delores Grant, Staff, Dining Services
  • Caitlin Guarisco, Student
  • Richard Hartnett, Faculty Affiliate, Charleston Bridge
  • Genevieve Hay, Faculty, Teacher Education
  • Keller Hollingsworth, Student (Cistern Yard Media)
  • Lily Howard, Student
  • Grace Hubel, Faculty, Psychology
  • Kelly Jakes, Faculty, Communication
  • Brennan Keegan, Faculty, Religious Studies
  • Will Kendrick, Student (Fellowship of Christian Athletes)
  • Sarah Koellner, Faculty, German
  • Morgan Koerner, Faculty, German
  • Amy Kolak, Faculty, Psychology, First Year Experience
  • Courtney Lambert, Student
  • Jacob Lee, Volunteer Minister, Reformed University Fellowship
  • Alyssa Libby, Student/Resident Assistant (Residence Life)
  • Steve Litvin, Faculty, Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Beth Lloyd, Faculty, Teacher Education
  • Ellie Lovellette, Faculty, Computer Science
  • Joshua Manifesta, Student
  • Cody Maxwell, Staff, Public Safety
  • Heather McDonald, Faculty, Arts Management
  • Benjamin Melvin, Student – recognized by four students
  • Carrie Messal, Faculty, Management and Marketing
  • Maggie Miltcheva, Faculty, German and Russian Studies
  • Gabrielle Minasi, Student
  • Jamal Monroe, Student
  • Mia Moran, Student
  • Chloe Mueller, Student/Peer Academic Coach (First Year Impact Program, Center for Academic Performance and Persistence)
  • Claire Oliver, Student (Cistern Yard Media)
  • Briar Ownby-Connolly, Graduate Student/Teaching Assistant (Graduate School, Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program)
  • Eliza Penaloza, Student
  • George Pothering, Faculty, Computer Science
  • Nick Principe, Faculty, Environmental Studies
  • Carly Pruitt, Staff, New Student Programs, Charleston Bridge
  • Chelsea Reid-Short, Faculty, Psychology, First Year Experience
  • Marla Robertson, Staff, Master of Public Administration Program
  • David Robinson, Student (Comedy Club)
  • Megan Rowe, Staff, Campus Housing
  • Patrick Saracino, Faculty, Health and Human Performance
  • Cliff Sarlo, Student (Comedy Club)
  • Abigail Scarborough, Student/Peer Facilitator (Center for Excellence in Peer Education)
  • Erin Scherder, Faculty, Psychology
  • Alan Shao, Faculty, School of Business
  • Ashley Shaver, Staff, REACH Program
  • Wendy Sheppard, Faculty, Mathematics
  • Emily  Skinner, Faculty, Teacher Education
  • Raul Sojo-Montes, Faculty, Hispanic Studies
  • Dylan Staggard, Student
  • RoxAnn Stalvey, Faculty, Computer Science
  • Wendy Stephens, Staff, School of Business Student Success Center
  • Maddy Stout, Student
  • Caroline Swillen, Student
  • Ella Tagaliamonte, Student/Resident Assistant (Residence Life)
  • Emily Todd, Student/Orientation Intern (New Student Programs)
  • Billy VanDenburgh, Faculty, Accounting
  • Jessica Wilkes, Staff, Veterans and Military Student Services
  • Kebin Xu, Faculty, Computer Science
  • Noelle Yamaji, Faculty, Asian Studies