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September 2012 CHASS Student of the Month: Caitlyn Duran

Caitlyn Duran, CHASS Student of the Month

Caitlyn Duran is the College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Student of the Month.

Hometown: Cranberry Township, PA

Class:  Senior

Major:  Social Work

Sample Courses:

  • Community Social Services
  • Cognitive Process
  • Addiction Recovery


  • Service Director, Omega Phi Alpha (service sorority)
  • Intern, Transforming Hope Ministries (anti-human trafficking organization)
  • Intern, Starting Point Church High School Ministry Intern
  • Leader and assistant musical director, Clubs in the City (Raleigh, NC) – youth mentoring program
  • Facilitator, We Minus Me– encouraging college students to serve others
  • Tutor and mentor, GlenBrook Crossings (Raleigh, NC)
  • University Theatre
  • Child caregiver


  • Dean’s List

Postgraduate Plans:

To earn a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW).  Caitlyn hopes to become a counselor for sex trafficking victims and child victims of sexual abuse.  She aspires to open more rescue homes for sex trafficking victims.

What have been your favorite courses so far?

Bees & Beekeeping, as well as Introduction to Companion Animals.  They were fun classes, and not what you would expect from a science requirement.  They opened my eyes to information I never would have been exposed to otherwise.  I also very much enjoyed Introduction to Old Testament with Professor Novenson, which encouraged me to re-examine my faith.  It ended up reaffirming my faith, but it is important to look critically at things in your life.

What do you enjoy most about CHASS?

It is a very accepting environment; there is a general feeling of community, with students often sitting in Caldwell Lounge listening to the piano while studying or talking.

What has been your biggest challenge?

I transferred here after spending a year at Duquesne University in Pennsylvania, and then a year at Wake Technical Community College (Raleigh).  When I came to NC State, I found most people had already formed friendships, found their niches, and knew the ins and outs of campus.  I had to make an extra effort to get involved, but am glad that I did.

What advice would you give incoming students?

Use the Student Organization Resource Center to search for clubs.  Be open to meeting new people, not just those in your immediate space like a classmate or roommate.  Be interested in what’s around you.  I attended a Study Abroad Fair my first semester and met Professor Linda Williams in Social Work, who leads a summer program in Guatemala.   She sparked my interest in social ideas I had previously known little about.