Caitlin knew she wanted to have as many experiences as possible. So, she jumped right into campus life at CMU and started attending events during her freshman year.
"The worst that could happen is that you show up and meet someone new," she said. "I met so many people by going to events."
Her biggest takeaway: continual learning.
"I'm glad I chose CMU because of all the chances to develop myself as a student, leader and overall person," Caitlin said.
The communication major has used her different roles on campus to learn and understand how to speak with different audiences. While she started as a participant in most groups, she now holds leadership roles in several, which have given her the opportunity to practice communication strategies she's learned in class outside the classroom.
"I've grown the most from being involved in so many RSOs," she said. "I've learned event planning, how to work with a variety of people, and how to recognize and spread awareness about differences."
Caitlin is the volunteer chair for NAACP; logistics coordinator for Middle Eastern Heritage Week; and president of A Mile in Our Shoes, a multicultural organization that promotes education on campus.
She first became involved with A Mile in Our Shoes during her freshman year. She and fellow group members decided to start a new program put on by A Mile in Our Shoes called the Tunnel of Oppression. As participants walk through the tunnel, they experience the oppressive situations people of different backgrounds go through.
"I remember thinking no one was going to come to the event," Caitlin said. "And then I looked into the hallway, and there was a big line. I knew then that we had created something. It was amazing."
The Tunnel of Oppression has grown every year since its creation, and Caitlin has been able to watch a program she created expand and influence members of the CMU community.
Caitlin attributes many of her involvements and opportunities to her CMU experience. She was able to attend conferences through the university and make connections across the country.
"I don't think I would have grown into the person I've become if I had gone somewhere else," she said. "Thanks to my time at Central I have a stronger sense of self, friendships that will last a lifetime and memories I will hold forever."