The College of Charleston is excited to introduce this considerable group of new staff members! They come from all over (quite a few of them from Florida!) to share their diverse skills and expertise with the CofC community and contribute to the success of the College. And, while they are delighted to be the newest Cougars on campus, the College is even more delighted to welcome them aboard!
Find out a little about these new staff members below – and be sure to welcome them when you see them out and about!
Kate Anderson, Institutional Research
Data Architect, Office of Institutional Research
Background: I’m born and raised in Maryland and just recently moved to South Carolina. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Salisbury University before finding my calling in data analysis working at Arbitron (the radio ratings company). I started working at Towson University in the Office of Institutional Research in 2014 and got my master’s in applied information technology from TU in 2018.
Interests: I love spending time at the beach with my husband and two daughters, and when I’m not at the beach I love searching thrift stores and consignment trying to find hidden treasures! I can also usually be found with my nose in a Stephen King book.
Looking Forward: I’m most looking forward to getting to know the people and the campus, and being able to contribute to and support their efforts. There is such a rich history at CofC that I can’t wait to learn more!
Melissa Barrett, Student Life
Associate Director of Student Life for Student Organizations and Programming, Office of Student Life
Background: Prior to the College of Charleston, I worked at the University of Georgia, where I assisted and managed law student organizations with administrative processes and planned events for the law school community like the Involvement Fair and Well-Being Week. I have also worked in other functional areas within higher education, such as residence life, auxiliary services, student activities and academic affairs. I have a B.S. in integrative studies from Kennesaw State University and an M.Ed. in college student affairs administration from the University of Georgia.
Interests: I enjoy traveling to new places, trying new restaurants and scrolling through Pinterest for a new craft project or life hack.
Looking Forward: I have a passion for student development and helping students progress through college, so I am looking forward to connecting with students and watching them develop autonomy over their college experience at the College of Charleston.
Jennifer Blackwell, Facilities Management
Jennifer Grant Blackwell
Project Support Coordinator, Facilities Management
Background: For the past 10 years, I have owned and operated an organization business, Get It Straight. Working with multiple clients over the years has lead me to be able to listen to the needs of people in projects, design plans and execute all. Time, projects and organization are what I do best! :)
Interests: Time spent with my “people” is what is important to me. You are never guaranteed tomorrow, so I like to make each day count! I enjoy the beach (of course), reading “with my ears” loads of books from the CCPL, my four dogs, light exercise and all organizing of stuff! Really!
Looking Forward: I am truly looking forward to challenges within the department to get the most out of what can be offered. Pulling all of the maintenance projects, the building projects, the renovating projects and all other facility projects together is going to be amazing! Listening, creating and organizing will be so exciting!
Catherine Bonnet, Center for Student Learning
Administrative Coordinator, Center for Student Learning
Background: I am originally from Central Florida. I moved to Charleston after graduating from Erskine College in 1990. I worked at MUSC, where I met my husband, Ian (’92 CofC grad). We married here in Charleston and then spent many years working and traveling around the country until we started our family. I have spent the last 20 years as a SAHM [stay at home mother], raising our three daughters. My oldest will graduate USC in December, my middle is a junior here and my youngest is a junior at Oceanside Collegiate Academy in Mt. Pleasant. Now that she is driving, that meant it was time for me to go back to work!
Interests: I love hanging out with friends and family, and I love to cook and bake! I enjoy being outdoors. I love to read personal development books, as well as a good mystery. I always love any time that I get to spend with my girls and our chocolate English lab, Rutledge!
Looking Forward: Everything! Meeting new people, networking across the campus and being able to contribute to the continued success of the CSL!
Molly Bresnahan, Institutional Advancement
Director of Development, Division of Institutional Advancement
Background: I am originally from Massachusetts, and we have lived in the Dallas, Texas, area since 2014. I will now be coming back to the East Coast to join the advancement team at the College. During my professional career I have been a senior member of nonprofit institutional advancement leadership teams in the areas of social service, private preparatory schools, private higher education and public higher education. I began my advancement career in higher education at my alma mater, Merrimack College. I have enjoyed building successful scholarship, capital, program and endowment support during my time in higher education. I am joining the College of Charleston after serving, most recently, as a major gift officer at the North Texas Food Bank. Prior to the North Texas Food Bank, I served in higher education at Merrimack College, UMass Lowell and the University of Dallas.
Interests: I love spending time with family and friends. I also enjoy traveling, being at the beach and reading. I enjoy giving back to our communities by volunteering and serving on nonprofit boards.
Looking Forward: I am looking forward to working with such a talented and experienced team at the College. It will be a wonderful opportunity to make a positive impact for our students, faculty, alumni and the greater College of Charleston community.
Destiny Chandler, Center for Academic Performance and Persistence
Associate Director of Student Success Programs, Center for Academic Performance and Persistence
Background: I’m from a small town in upstate South Carolina (Gray Court). Before joining CofC, I had the pleasure of working for my alma mater, Presbyterian College, with at-risk students to help them reach their academic goals. I was also involved with initiatives for improved mental health awareness and support for students.
Interests: I enjoy spending time with my two cats, Henry and Charlie!
Looking Forward: I am ecstatic to meet you! I am looking forward to building relationships across campus with both faculty and staff. Most importantly, I am looking forward to getting to know our students!
Sydney Conrad, Honors College
Interim Assistant Director of Student Engagement, Honors College
Background: I have split my life living between Virginia and New York. I moved to Charleston in 2014 to be closer to family that had moved south. Prior to coming to the College I worked at a local nonprofit, My Sister’s House, as the director of education and training.
Interests: I love being active and spending time outside. My husband and I love to go to the beach with our young daughters (Beatrice and Cleo). I also enjoy running, yoga and playing soccer.
Looking Forward: I am most looking forward to supporting students in their efforts to identify their passions, get connected to local organizations and creating lifelong advocates of a stronger community!
Ayesha Ellen, Political Science
Administrative Coordinator, Department of Political Science
Background: I am from Virginia and moved to Charleston from Charlottesville in January. I was previously a human resources assistant at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.
Interests: I enjoy spending time with my husband and cat and exploring downtown Charleston.
Looking Forward: I am looking forward to being on a college campus and attending basketball games.
Joseph Erickson, Alumni Affairs
Alumni Engagement Coordinator, Alumni Affairs
Background: Hello, everyone! A little bit about me: I grew up in Central Florida in a town called Winter Haven, which is located roughly an hour away from both Orlando and Tampa. I attended the University of Florida (Go Gators! … sorry … ), and graduated in 2019 with a B.S. in journalism. After graduation, I got my start working in the local news industry at a station in Gainesville, Florida, before moving to Charleston to work as a producer at WCIV just over two years ago.
Interests: My greatest passion is soccer. I’ve grown to love The Beautiful Game since I started watching it regularly about a decade ago, and am an avid supporter of Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League. On the weekends, you can catch me at Battery games working part time as a fan experience team member! One pastime I’ve picked up since moving to the Lowcountry is fishing. Additionally, my girlfriend and I enjoy going on bike rides in the areas surrounding our apartment in Mr. Pleasant.
Looking Forward: I’m very eager to use the skills I’ve acquired working in local media toward a new profession, and I can’t wait to get to know the wonderful students and alumni belonging to the College of Charleston. Go Cougars!
Jordan Halfon ’20, Alumni Affairs
Jordan Halfon ’20
Assistant Director of Student and Young Alumni Giving, Alumni Affairs
Background: I am originally from Colorado. I moved to Charleston in 2016 to attend College of Charleston. Between my graduation and now, I’ve been working in digital marketing agencies, where I specialized in SEO and SEM.
Interests: I’m a big foodie, so I love trying new restaurants! I also love going to the beach and spending time with my blue heeler, Bo.
Looking Forward: I’m looking forward to being back on campus and working with the community again.
Aaron Hancock, Academic Advising and Planning Center
Academic Advisor, Academic Advising and Planning Center
Background: I was born and raised in Vicksburg, Mississippi, in a large family. Both of my parents are teachers, so it’s natural that I end up in the field of education. My educational background is music, theater and mental health counseling. For the past six years, I have been working with students of all ages with learning difficulties or other emotional issues who thrive in a non-traditional learning environment. It is my second year back living in Charleston, and I am thrilled to be working for CofC!
Interests: I am a singer and actor and, when possible, like to perform around the Charleston area or travel to the occasional out-of-town gig. When going through spontaneous periods of creativity, I will try to make art and crafts. I occasionally do some private tutoring. Nature and being outdoors are high on the list. I love a good flea market or art show. I attend Holy Ascension Orthodox Church in Mt. Pleasant and try to be active and involved there.
Looking Forward: I loved being an undergraduate and graduate student, so I think just being back in the atmosphere of higher academia is going to be a refreshing change of pace. Having worked mostly with young children for a long time, I am excited to work with young adults and help them to navigate this pivotal and challenging time in their life. I look forward to helping students get excited about their time at CofC!
Chayyim Holtkamp, Engineering
Office Manager, School of Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering
Background: I am originally from Boone, North Carolina, home of Appalachian State University, which is where I went to undergrad. I then moved to Charleston, South Carolina, and attended the College and The Citadel to get my M.A. in history. I worked at The Citadel for four years before coming to the College of Charleston.
Interests: I love cats, so I love spending time with my three cats. I also do embroidery, sewing and a lot of sleeping!
Looking Forward: I am looking most forward to working with students and helping them be successful. :)
Deborah Jordan, Student Health Services
Administrative Specialist, Student Health Services
Background: I was born and raised in Hollywood, Florida, and moved to Charleston in 1979. My previous position was a program assistant at the South Carolina Guardian ad Litem office. It was my job to represent and provide a voice in court for abused and neglected children.
Interests: I love to spend my spare time traveling anywhere involving camping and hiking, especially when it involves waterfalls. Last year I visited all 47 state parks in South Carolina, earning the title of Ultimate Outsider, and this year I started a new goal of visiting the national parks. So far I have been to 25 of the 425 parks. My new goal in 2024 it is to walk the Camino de Santiago.
Looking Forward: I am looking forward to working with the staff at Student Health Services and, of course, the time off in the summer to pursue my travel dreams!
Nick Nafpliotis, Athletics
Director of Athletics Bands, Department of Athletics
Background: I am originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and graduated from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree in music education. I have lived and taught in the Charleston area for 20 years. After 18 years directing the award-winning Laing Middle School Band program, I took a job as the lead teacher for the Charleston County School District Visual and Performing Arts Department. I’ve also been on the visual and music staff for some of the Southeast’s top marching programs, including the Wando High School Band in Mt. Pleasant, the Lafayette High School Band in Kentucky and the Walton High School Band in Georgia. After moving to South Carolina in 2004, I began a low brass lesson studio that consistently placed students in top chairs at both the All-Region and All-State levels. I currently reside in Mt. Pleasant with my wife Kate, son Nate, and dog Half Pint.
Interests: In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, writing, reading and yelling at the TV during college football season. I am also an avid Star Wars fan and boast an embarrassingly high degree of expanded universe knowledge.
Looking Forward: I am excited to work with such a great group of student musicians to continue making TD Arena one of college basketball’s most exciting and intimidating atmospheres.
Carly Routman, Athletics
Assistant Athletic Trainer – Softball, Department of Athletics
Background: I am from South Florida and lived there my whole life! I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in 2021, and my master’s degree from Georgia Southern University in 2023. I just finished an NFL summer internship with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and am going on my third year as a certified athletic trainer.
Interests: I love dogs and spending time with friends and family!
Looking Forward: Looking forward to the friendly atmosphere and exploring the amazing city of Charleston and getting to know CofC!