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Grab your tissues CofC because, whether we like it or not, our fearless leaders are graduating. Our Campus Celeb this week is senior Chris Piedmont, a Communications major and dedicated member of our college community. For those of you who may not know Chris, he was the Student Body Vice President 2013-2014, ending his term just this month. Communications major and political enthusiast, I have no doubts that Chris will be proclaiming his Cougar pride all the way up to New York City where he heads shortly after graduation. As Chris heads out the door and towards a very bright future, his leadership has been commended by reception of the Alexander Chambliss Connelly Award, Theodore S. Stern Cup, Leo I. Higdon Presidential Leadership Award, and the Hall of Leaders award. Chris has proved to be a committed, enthusiastic, and valuable asset to the student body and will truly be missed as he transitions into the “real world.” Catch some thoughts from Chris on his time here, and his future, below!

Name: Chris PiedmontYear: Class of 2014 (Senior)Major: Communication

Activities on and off-campus: Student Government Association (Student Body Vice President 2013-2014); Public Relations Student Society of America (Immediate Past President); Social Media Intern at the Office of Admissions

What was your role as VP of the student body, and what will you miss most about it?As Vice President, my primary role was to serve as the President of the Senate and as a member of the Executive Council and Executive Board. As President of the Senate, I presided over all SGA Senate sessions and ensured that students’ and senators’ voices were heard. While every Senate session is important, I presided over SGA’s biggest Senate session in recent memory and possibly in our organization’s history when a vote of no confidence was brought forward on our Board of Trustees. Present at the session were over 200 students, faculty, staff, community members and media outlets. It was incredibly nerve-wracking to be the one person in charge of keeping order, but I’m proud of how I conducted myself and how our campus community engaged in a thoughtful, civil dialogue about the many issues we’ve faced recently.

What I’ll miss most though are the people I got to serve with during one of the biggest years in the College of Charleston’s history. We were faced with so many different issues and I’m incredibly proud of how the elected representatives I served with in SGA worked to ensure that our student’s voices were heard, no matter the push back we received. The College of Charleston is truly better for the work they all did and the many long hours brought us all close together. The members of this year’s administration are not just my friends, but family. 

What is your most memorable moment from this year?I can’t pin down one moment in particular because I’d have to say the entire second semester was memorable. It seemed that every time I looked at my phone there was a new issue we were faced with or a new development in an existing issue. It was truly an honor and a humbling experience to be in a position to serve on behalf of the students of the College of Charleston during such a crazy year. While stressful, I wouldn’t have traded it for the world and I hope our students are proud of the work we did this year with SGA on their behalf. 

Do you have any post-graduation plans, yet?I do! I’m excited to be joining Peppercomm, a strategic communication and public relations agency, in their New York City office as an Associate.

Do you think you’ll stay in the PR industry long? Or are there other fields you hope to explore?Absolutely! I foresee spending most of my career in the public relations field. It’s so broad and growing in all the areas I want to work in, like government affairs.

However, I wouldn’t rule out a future run for public office one day. I’ve definitely been bitten by the political bug, and want to continue staying involved in the future. 

What are one or two pieces of advice you wish you got early in your college career? I’m fortunate in that I’ve received incredible advice from numerous mentors during my college career. The two pieces of advice that stick out, though, are follow your passion and always continue networking. Follow your passion because you want to wake up every morning excited about going to work and if you aren’t passionate about it, then you won’t be doing your best work. As to networking, I’ve learned over the years that your network can never be too big. One of the greatest joys is being able to make connections and then being able to help a connection out. Now that I’m in the last days of my college career, I’ve used my network to help those around me find internships and other potential career options. I can’t wait to see what new connections await me in NYC and in my future career. 

Overall rating of your time at CofC (1-10)?! 15! My time at CofC has been amazing and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m just sad that it has gone by so quickly. People weren’t kidding when they said college is the fastest years of your life. Underclassmen, don’t take your time here for granted and live it up!

Thanks, Chris! We wish you infinite success, and it’s been an honor having you serve.

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