Profile: Tiffany Cokkinias

Name: Tiffany Cokkinias

Hometown: Crossville, TN

Major: Music Business

Year: Junior

Involvement: Honors Program, Belmont Ambassadors, Orientation Council, Spiritual Life Assistants

Favorite Disney Princess: Cinderella


Why did you decide to major in music business?

When I first came to Belmont I was a nursing major, but I wasn’t sure if it was right for me. I had some people say that they thought I was too creative to be a nurse. So I kind of ran with it and I thought, “well what kinds of things am I really interested in?” I’m really strategic and practical and I like business a lot, and before I came to Belmont I actually really wanted to pursue singing because I love to sing. Music business kind of gives me both sides of the spectrum.

I was actually a social entrepreneurship major after I switched from nursing to music business because I wanted to have a major that was more about helping people. I had a track within that major called Faith, Culture and Ethics where I learned about other people’s faiths and how that plays into their lives. The credits were going to make it really hard to graduate on time, so I switched back to music business. But the mindset that business is not just about money is something I can take with me. I can help people no matter where I am, and I find joy in a lot of the things that I do, so we’ll just see where it takes me.

Now that you’re nearing senior year, do you have any advice for underclassmen?

Don’t wish away the time you have in the present. It’s easy to feel like you have a lot going on and you’re really busy but the years go by faster and faster. Looking back at freshman year and moving in, I am totally different now than I was then. I remember thinking “I have so much to do” and looking forward to graduating and being done with homework, but I think soaking in the moments and leaving room for the margins is important. We fill our space and our time with so many things that we forget to be in the present. I think the magic happens in the margins. The people you get to talk to and the things you get to do that fill your soul with joy are the things that happen when you leave space and time for them. So soak it all in, don’t wish your time away, and live in the present.

What is Belmont Ambassadors and what are your roles as president?

We are the bridge between Belmont and its alumni, donors, and parents. We want to remind the alumni that they can still come back and that Belmont will welcome them with open arms. In terms of the donors and the parents, they can see what they’re investing in by sending their students and money here. We work events like Christmas at Belmont and Parent and Family Weekend, and we work the basketball suite at basketball games. Our job is to mingle and make people feel comfortable, and that’s what I like doing anyway, so being able to do that in a student org is the best ever. Being president just adds a little more communication and I oversee all the processes of the org and make sure nothing is slipping through the cracks.

                                                      photo: Sam Simpkins  

What can you tell me about being a Spiritual Life Assistant?

We meet and have training every Monday morning and we partner with reslife to help plan events. We also make plans to be present in the dorms so that the transition into freshman year is easier than it normally is. Everyone has their own struggles when they’re transitioning into college, so I like being able to be there and be a guiding light. It’s not something that’s like, “oh, have you heard about Jesus?” It’s more like, “I’m going to love you like Jesus loves people,” and I think that’s really important.

                                               Photo: Sam Simpkins

What do you do in Orientation Council?

We oversee all the orientation programming for new students, including summer orientation and welcome week. We get to work alongside 200 TT Leaders in order to serve the new students and parents. It’s probably my favorite kind of ministry on campus because it isn’t explicitly a Christian-based organization but we make sure that we are loving in a way that is strong and deep and real. It is similar to being an SLA in that we help with the transition into college and help the new students feel welcome. Move-in day is my favorite day of the year, even above Christmas. It’s the best. All these people are coming to Belmont and you get to share how much you love the university with them.

                                                    Photo: Ryan Holt

Are there any other student organizations you’ve been involved with?

Last semester I was in Love Your Melon. They’re a really great organization. They sell beanies, hats and shirts to help raise awareness for pediatric cancer. 50% of the profits go towards research and awareness events.

What do you like about the honors program?

I’m in the Lead track, so it’s all about group projects and collaboration. It helps us refine our professional writing style, and I get to be around other Belmont students who want to be emerging leaders.

What advice do you have for Belmont women who want to become leaders on campus?

I think one of the things that I’ve done is just to go for it. I think it’s easy as a woman to feel disadvantaged when we go for leadership positions, but I think it’s important to remember that we are very powerful and we have a lot to bring to the table. If there is something you have your mind set on, then you have a chance and you should pursue it. If you really care about it, it’s for you. I feel really called to do what I’m doing, and I think I owe it to myself to try to serve other people and to love other people. Everyone has a thing that they are passionate about, and you owe it to yourself to pursue it. Try reaching out to someone who has done it before. Even the simple act of applying is a brave thing to do. So get out there and do it

Why do you love Belmont?

So many reasons. That’s the toughest question ever. I know this question makes everyone say community, and I don’t want to be cliché, but it is a place where I feel accepted and loved for who I am, and where I can be my authentic self and people will still cheer me on. It’s a very special university and if you ask any Belmont student they would agree, but if you asked someone who has never been here they would have no idea what we’re talking about. So I think there’s this magic about it and it has propelled me into so much growth and I don’t think I could get that anywhere else. No matter who I’ve been around, I feel like I’ve been touched by all of them, because they too have been touched by the magic of Belmont. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without Belmont.


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