Anna Maria College is proud to welcome Michaela Cartier as its new Program Coordinator for Student Activities. Through her love of event planning and her connection with students, she is creating an inclusive atmosphere on campus where students are encouraged to share their interests and passions through student activities.
1. Share your background and what drew you to Anna Maria College…
I love the small campus environment, which is one of the things that drew me to Anna Maria initially. Once I visited campus, I saw a lot of myself in these student leaders, having been in the same position so recently, so I was excited to continue to build these relationships. I am a recent graduate from Salve Regina University, with a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Business Administration. I spent all 4 years involved in Student Activities in some capacity, having been on the executive board of our student event planning group, and a student worker in the Office of Student Engagement.
2. Can you provide an overview of your role and the importance of student involvement on campus?
In my role as Program Coordinator, I manage the entire event planning process, from brainstorming, to marketing, to execution. Part of this process is coming up with a diverse array of events, both in type of activity, and the student populations we’re trying to capture. I also support student clubs and organizations in their event planning throughout the year, guiding them through the steps to plan a successful event. I think student involvement on campus is so important because it is the best opportunity outside of academics and athletics to meet new people with similar interests and develop personal connections with students you may not have met otherwise. Also, it is a chance to develop critical leadership skills that will be applicable beyond graduation.
3. Highlight some of the most popular or successful activities or events from the past year
Although I only got to see the last few weeks of events on campus, it was the busiest time of the year for event planning due to the size and popularity of these events. One of the biggest being Spring Carnival, where students can enjoy the full carnival experience with games, rides, and food. I’ve also heard amazing things about the Vibez Fashion Show that the Black Student Union put on earlier in the semester, which even won an award at the annual Academic & Leadership Awards. These were both student-led events, so I do have to give them credit for their success.
4. Are there any upcoming activities that students should look forward to? Can you provide any previews?
We’re in the swing of planning for the fall and have lots of exciting events in the works. We’re pursuing more entertainment and performances, due to the popularity of a live music event that the Program & Activities Council put on in the spring. We’re also making sure the first couple weeks of the semester are packed with things for students to do including trivia, bingo, and plenty of free food!
5. What advice do you have for students who are interested in getting involved in student activities but may not know where to start?
My biggest piece of advice for students wanting to get involved in student activities is to attend as much as possible! Step one is just showing up and expressing interest in something and asking around- someone will know what direction to point you in. A useful resource for students just wanting to learn more about what’s out there will be Campus Fest, the annual clubs & organizations fair, where representatives from student groups and college departments will be available to connect with those interested in getting more involved. Save the date for Sunday, August 27th!
6. In your opinion, what makes a successful student activity or event?
I think a successful event is one that students can take something away from. Whether that be a make and take item, an entertaining experience, or bonding with their community, students should feel like they went to the activity for a reason. This is why we try to host so many different types of events, to cater to every student population and encourage others to do the same.