CHASS Alumni - Tony Caravano

Uploaded by alchedia on 17.08.2010

Tony Caravano, a graduate of the class of 2004, and I graduated from CHASS with a degree
in criminology. I’m currently employed by the United States
Senate. I work for U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, here in North Carolina, as her deputy state
director. So, my first job out of school was to work
as a communication specialist with Senator Basnight’s office, you know, which is interesting,
that wasn’t my major. I didn’t take many communications courses. But the writing across
the curriculum theme that was picked up in CHASS is probably one the pieces that helped
me most. The fact that working on oral communication, you know, was woven within many of the courses
that I took, and also the research skills that I received in the classroom.
Actually, when I started at NC State, I knew that I wanted to be in CHASS. Even my advisors
early on were folks that were in CHASS. I loved them.
I decided that I would major in political science. I loved politics when I was younger.
And I thought that was be a really strong fit.
So, I ended up taking a few sociology classes that were actually super engaging. I really
liked the faculty that was on the sociology/criminology side, and thinking that I wanted to go to
law school, which ended up not being the case. I pursued a degree in criminology, which was
really exciting, the entire time through. I think if you would have asked me as a senior
in high school if I would have been interested in being student body president at NC State,
I probably would have told you yes. I’ve been very spoiled by NC State. I was
given the opportunity to have two terms as student body president, which is pretty rare.
So we worked on things like, you know, transit to football games. How on earth are freshmen
supposed to get to a football game other than walk or hitch a ride?
There were a lot of freshmen who felt disconnected from athletic events. So we started something
called Red Terror Transit. We found funding for it and we paid for students to be shuttled.
It was a much safer way for them to be brought to football games, and it’s a legacy that
a lot of us are proud of that worked on that piece.
We worked with University Dining to change some of the dining options on campus. We worked
on a new gym renovation that took place at my time. It was a really challenging piece,
actually. I wasn’t sure if I should vote for a fee increase at the time, or not. But
in the end I did, and supported the activity, which now leaves a legacy for other students;
they all have more gym space to use on campus. I’d like to say that I made some connections,
with the political science courses that I took, of course. It helps on the administration
side. So, you know, you’re talking about successes and failures in creating policy.
And while sometimes a policy might have been, you know, just minute, it was still creating
a policy that was going to live on a campus for at least a year, until someone came behind
and changed it. So, in my case, you know, lucky enough for two years.
I think a lot of that came from what I got from the classroom. A lot of it came from
just administrators and professors on campus, and some of those advisors as well, taking
the time to work with each of us individually, which I think is a special treat that you
get in CHASS that you may not be able to get in other places.
I think that what I would share with students looking at CHASS is, even if you’re considering
a major outside of CHASS, I would likely recommend at least a double major including a CHASS
major. I think there are a lot of skills that have
allowed me to grow on the job. The folks who have managed me have appreciated the fact
that they may not necessarily have to, you know, have a finger on me at all times. Because
at some point I will figure it out. And I think that comes from a CHASS degree.
I think the ability to communicate today is probably one of the most underrated and overlooked
skill sets that you need when you leave school. And I think that’s something that you get
from CHASS—the ability to communicate, both written and orally.
So, those factors are so key, and the classes are so fun, you would miss out on a lot of
the opportunities if you at least don’t consider a minor, a major, or, you know, like
I said, maybe a double major. I think CHASS at NC State is a college that
folks, you know, 10-15 years ago, may have overlooked. But I don’t believe that’s
the case anymore. I think there are so many skills coming out of the students that are
graduating from CHASS, that CHASS is a place to start off your search of for NC State,
when you’re looking at NC State. So I think it’s a great place for a lot of students
to consider moving forward.