Graduating CAB leader discusses organization’s past, present, future

Photo by Gracey Evans
Colten Gill, current Executive Director of theCampus Activities Board.

Written By Dara Collins, Staff Writer

Sports, arts and entertainment management senior Colten Gill describes the Campus Activities Board (CAB) as an always changing, never static organization. As a student who has switched majors, gained promotions within a student organization and his internship, and made a spontaneous decision to join the military, Gill is always changing as well.

Expanding from serving his campus to serving his country, Gill is preparing for graduation and retirement from his position as CAB executive director.

“CAB has become like my little family on campus,” Gill said. “It’s become my community at Point Park.”

The Renfrew, Pa. native attended Seneca Valley School District until eleventh grade before transferring to Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School to pursue acting his senior year. Gill then entered Point Park as an acting student before switching majors to SAEM. He is also a part of the Honors Program.

Gill has been part of CAB since his freshman year. He was a general board member during his freshman year and his first semester of sophomore year. During the spring of his sophomore year, he became the public relations coordinator. Gill then became the vice president of marketing for his junior year before becoming the executive director as a senior.

Outside of the organization, Gill has been an intern for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership for the past two years. He started off as a marketing and special events intern before a promotion to associate intern.

“What I do there is a mixture of event planning and marketing,” Gill said. “I write social media for them. We do a lot of urban development as part of the PDP so we do things to activate downtown Pittsburgh. It’s very similar to CAB in that sense that CAB activates Point Park, PDP activates all of downtown Pittsburgh.”

Gill appreciates how the organization shaped his attitude. According to Gill, CAB pushed him out of his comfort zone, shaped his outgoing personality and prepared him for his future with its ever-changing atmosphere.

Director of Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership (SAIL) Brad Kovalcik describes Gill as one of the most driven and forward-thinking students he has had the opportunity to work with.

“I really like doing things that build communities and bring people together,” Gill said.

Some of Gill’s favorite CAB events include the first event he planned, Ping Pong Ball Drop, a recruiting event; Creative Experimental Musical Instrument Experience, an event in which students made music with their cell phones; the Halloween Dance at the Mattress Factory; and the annual Drag Show.

Following graduation and retirement from CAB, Gill plans to have a full-time career while working part time with the military. Gill joined the Army National Guard in October of 2016 and has been drilling and performing duties while inactive once a month since admission.

Gill currently works with other soldiers to prepare for basic training in a Recruit Sustainment Detachment. He will attend boot camp over the summer for eight weeks and will be job training as a military intelligence analyst for 17 weeks.

Upon the conclusion of basic training, Gill is currently considering returning to Pittsburgh to pursue a master’s degree in urban development or urban design.

The thought of entering the military had never occurred to Gill prior to the sight of a recruiting billboard.

“It just happened on me,” Gill said. “I waited a few months because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to sign like an 8-year contract with the military, but after weighing the pros and cons I just felt like I would get so much out of it and be able to give a lot back to the local community by doing it.”

As Gill’s time at Point Park fades, sophomore Kaitlyn Smith is eager to begin the upcoming school year as the incoming executive director.

Smith is a business management student with a concentration in marketing. She has been involved with CAB since her freshman year as a general board member of the Special Events Committee and transitioned to the role of Special Events Coordinator her sophomore year. Smith also participates on the women’s basketball team as a point guard.

After a strong interview, Smith possessed an overall good fit for the position, according to Gill.

“I was a little bit nervous just because our current executive director Colten Gill is awesome,” Smith said. “He’s done a fantastic job this year as the executive director so I knew it was going to be a big moment to try and follow in his footsteps, but at the same time branch out and be my own person.”

Kovalcik oversees CAB and the interviewing process of new executive positions. He describes the executive director position as someone who has a passion and vision for CAB, someone who serves as a role model and someone excited to continue tradition.

“Kait definitely stood out as someone who was really driven, really motivated and had a vision for where she wanted the organization to go next year,” Kovalcik said.

Although Gill left his mark on the organization and will be greatly missed, Kovalcik looks forward to the future plans Smith has in store for CAB.

“I really think we can take CAB in a new direction that Colten’s already started,” Smith said.