Camrynn Gonzales: Helping future Chanticleers feel the teal
by Josh Kisner
Coastal Carolina University expands its recruiting efforts all around the country with the help of employees like Camrynn Gonzales ’16, senior admissions counselor, who makes an impact within the mid-Atlantic region. She helps prospective students feel the teal, earning her recognition as a Chauncey’s Champion.
Gonzales grew up as a military child, living in eight states and attending 20 different public schools. She is the first person in her family to attend college, earning her bachelor’s degree in communication from CCU and her master’s degree in higher education from Capella University.
“Everyone in my family immediately joined the armed forces or blue-collar workforce so it was a big shock to everyone that I wanted to go to college and not follow in my family footsteps,” said Gonzales.
Coastal Carolina had always been in the back of Gonzales’s mind. She decided CCU was made for her after going on a trip to Myrtle Beach with her best friend in high school when they took a campus tour on a rainy day.
“We pull up to campus and it was pouring down rain when we were told our tour was about to begin,” said Gonzales. “The moment we started walking around campus, the clouds went away and the sun was beaming on everything around campus.”
The CCU family welcomed Gonzales in 2012 when she began her academic journey and quickly became involved on campus. She returned to CCU in 2017 as an outreach coordinator, and was promoted to senior admissions counselor in August.
“I am not exaggerating when I say that CCU means the absolute world to me,” said Gonzales. “Coastal Carolina University has opened up so many doors and opportunities for me so early on, and I would not be in the position I am in at my age or as happy as I am without this school.”
As an undergraduate at CCU, Gonzales was a part of just about every aspect of student life. She worked at sporting events as a game-day assistant; immersed herself in five different clubs and organizations; and served as an Orientation leader and a resident assistant. Her love and appreciation for working hard to better the CCU community started much earlier than when she began her full-time role.
“I truly bleed teal for this school,” said Gonzales. “In 2017 when I was offered a position within the Office of Admissions and Merit Awards as an outreach coordinator, I knew this was my opportunity to still be involved in a school I love and show incoming students how great CCU truly is.”
As a senior admissions counselor, she oversees the recruitment of prospective students from northern South Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. Gonzales' responsibilities include answering phone calls and emails from prospective students and reviewing freshman applications. She also travels to her designated territories to attend college fairs at high schools and speaks to students who are interested in CCU. While she travels throughout her region, she sits down with students one-on-one and tells them about CCU in a more personal setting.
During a visit to Virginia, she earned her recognition as a Chauncey’s Champion. Amanda Craddock, associate provost for enrollment management, received a phone call from the mother of a prospective student saying Gonzales was doing an excellent job recruiting in Virginia, especially with her daughter. Gonzales had met the pair after the mother shared that her daughter was feeling stressed about the college application process and was not interested in applying to colleges.
“After her meeting with Gonzales, the prospective student came home energized and excited to start applying to colleges,” said Craddock. “Her mom credits Gonzales for this turn around. She said she is absolutely in the right profession and is a great representative for Coastal Carolina University.”
Gonzales says the most challenging part of her job is not always being able to offer students exactly what they are looking for in a college. CCU can be too far from home or not financially feasible for some students, but Gonzales always tells students to pursue a college that will be the most beneficial to their future and happiness. Although her job can be challenging at times, Gonzales values motivation, passion, and service to others. She is motivated to better her career and the lives of students every day. She is passionate about CCU and the opportunities it can bring, but she says her most important value is service.
“Growing up, I was taught the golden rule, treat others the way you want to be treated,” said Gonzales. “Once I became a student and then an employee at CCU, I learned the platinum rule. It means you should treat others the way they want to be treated.”
Gonzales sees first-hand that college is a huge commitment for students financially and mentally as soon as they step foot on campus. In her position, she tries to make the process of coming to CCU as easy and painless as possible. She wants students to feel comfortable and not afraid to ask for assistance in a time of need. All her hard work is seen by others in her office as she makes her co-workers’ jobs easier and impacts the lives of community members around campus.
“We benefit from having people like Gonzales at CCU because of her passion for the University,” said Derek Doss, associate director of recruitment. “She takes a lot of pride in the institution and shares that pride with anyone who will listen.”
When not in the office or traveling for work, Gonzales enjoys spending time outdoors during a weekend getaway to the mountains or the beach. She also enjoys baking and boxing and is in a happy relationship with her boyfriend, Kyle, who is also an alumnus of CCU. They have two dogs, Rue and Dakota. Gonzales loves living in the Myrtle Beach area and plans to continue being a part of the CCU family while changing the lives of students every day.
Chauncey’s Service Excellence Champions are University employees (faculty or staff) who perform service-oriented actions that go above and beyond their job duties and that meet at least one dimension of service quality. These employees are recognized for outstanding performance and embody the Feel the Teal initiative. To nominate someone for Chauncey’s Champion, visit coastal.edu/feeltheteal, fill out the form and submit it. Approved nominees will receive an exclusive Chauncey’s Champion gift as well as consideration for additional recognition. View all the Chauncey’s Champions at coastal.edu/feeltheteal/champions/champs.php.