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Large group of students celebrating graduation, Winter 2018

Shaun Coleman

Shaun Coleman smiling in front of a city with a green tie.

Coleman Expands Horizons, Helps Charlotte Secure Block Party Sponsor

By Wyatt Crosher, Assistant Director of Communications for Student Affairs

Shaun Coleman juggled many hats in his time at UNC Charlotte.

In less than two years at the University, Coleman balanced earning his graduate degree, a graduate assistant position for the women’s volleyball team, an internship in operations at Krispy Kreme and working as coordinator for student programming in Health and Wellbeing.

Each of these roles required something different from Coleman, but he said they all left a positive impact on him, inspiring him to pursue a new career path in higher education.

“I always look at things as an opportunity and learning experience,” Coleman said. “Although those positions were completely different areas, I was able to grow and take different aspects from them to be a better professional.”

Before earning his master’s of business administration this May, Coleman came to the University in fall 2021 as a mass communications graduate from North Carolina Central. The decision to attend grad school at Charlotte was inspired by another NC Central student — DaVanta Parker — who made the same move and worked in Student Involvement.

From there, Coleman got involved with Charlotte’s Health and Wellbeing unit thanks to his connection with Associate Vice Chancellor Dr. Mari Ross, who also came to the University from NC Central. His role as coordinator for student programming involved working on signature Health and Wellbeing events like the annual block party, assisting with the Amplify campaign and overseeing student programming for the entire unit.

Coleman’s work on this year’s block party was crucial. Thanks to Coleman’s efforts in collaborating with Fifth Third Bank, the bank was able to offer a substantial donation toward the block party’s funds.

Shaun Coleman standing with Fifth Third Bank at the block party.

Coleman with Fifth Third Bank representatives at the Health and Wellbeing Block Party.

“We worked with some folks over in Advancement and created a sponsorship packet, which I led and oversaw,” Coleman said. “We then started connecting with local businesses and organizations trying to find sponsors. Jim Walczyk, director of University Recreation actually made that connection with Fifth Third. Dr. Ross, Walczyk and I went to a meeting with Fifth Third, and I did a presentation for them presenting our sponsorship packet, along with the benefits and the interactions we have with students. With that, they were able to commit to the $10,000 tier, which is a significant amount for our block party.”

Fifth Third Bank was also a vendor at the block party, which Coleman said provided a perfect segue to the work Amplify does focusing on students’ financial well being.

“It’s something that we still like to focus on with our students,” Coleman said. “We felt like it would be a great opportunity for students to connect with different organizations or businesses that they might not interact with outside of campus.”

Coleman’s efforts were significant in solidifying this collaboration, but this was not something he had much, or any, experience with prior to this year. Last year, Coleman worked strictly with student programming, but was called on this academic year to manage the block party following a departure.

While it was going to be a challenge, Coleman said he thought it was one worth taking.

"It was all completely new to me,” Coleman said. “One thing I like to say about myself is that I don't have a problem starting conversations. I feel like starting the conversation is just one thing, and if you can start it, you never know what can come from it."

Now a graduate, Coleman’s time at Charlotte has come to an end, but the impact his graduating work had on his long-term goals is enduring. Higher education is a career path he couldn’t have predicted prior to juggling multiple hats in Health and Wellbeing.

"I never thought higher ed would be something I would end up in,” Coleman said,” but once I got familiar with it, I didn’t want to leave.”