Outstanding Senior Spotlight: Christopher McCauley

May 05, 2011

Christopher McCauley (Class of 2011)
Photo by Brittany Fornof

Some people leave the world just as they found it. They are born, they breathe, they pay their taxes, they start families and then they pass on as if they were never here. Christopher McCauley (Class of 2011) is not one of those people. With a contagious smile and a startling intelligence, this New York-born student is an individual who can’t go unnoticed.

Throughout his four years at Rollins, McCauley integrated himself into almost every aspect of campus life.

During his first semester at Rollins, McCauley co-founded the Rollins Model United Nations team (RMUN). Serving as co-president, McCauley led the first group of students to the Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN) Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. Pursuing Rollins’ mission statement of responsible leadership and global citizenship, the Rollins Model United Nations team worked with more than 2,000 students from all over the world in the conference and have continued to do so since the team’s creation in 2007.

“It was something I really wanted to be involved in during high school,” said McCauley. “It was great to come to college and see other students who shared that interest. It was great to start that initiative as a first-year because it introduced me to student involvement and what it means to be a leader.”

After the conclusion of his sophomore year, McCauley participated in the Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship Program, researching the use of slang in the French language in collaboration with Professor of Anthropology Robert Moore. Their ethnographic research was later presented at the Society for Cross-Cultural Research (SCCR) Conference in Charleston, South Carolina in February 2011.

“It was great working with Christopher on our French slang study,” said Moore. “His interest in French language and culture, as well as his impressive work ethic, ensured that the project would be a success. Some of our findings were not only interesting in a scholarly way, but also quite amusing, and I was proud to see the final product of our project presented at the conference.”

McCauley utilized Rollins’ study abroad opportunities during his junior year when he spent two semesters studying in Paris where he took a full course-load of classes taught in French.

“As a French major, this was the best educational and cultural experience I had in my life,” said McCauley. “I also spent a month studying in Tours, France, where I participated in a language immersion program at the Institut de Touraine, a large language school where hundreds of students from all over the world come to learn the French language. I also had the opportunity to conduct a large research and poetry analysis project on Charles Baudelaire, which has inspired me to pursue a career in academia.”

Passionate about the Rollins community, McCauley wanted to spread his love for the institution to potential, future and current students. He worked as a Rollins Diplomat (tour guide) at the Office of Admission, served as a Summer Orientation Leader under the Office of Explorations, and volunteered as a peer mentor for the French 101 Rollins Conference Course (RCC) with Professor of French Matilde Mésavage.

“This was a wonderful experience because of how much I was able to help first-year students integrate to life at Rollins,” said McCauley. “At the end of the semester, I was given the honor of the Lifelong Learning and Service Award, for my commitment to learning and service at and beyond the gates of Rollins College.”

“Christopher has been an exemplary student on all levels,” said Mésavage. “In my RCC class, he proved to be responsible, mature, understanding, highly motivated, available above and beyond what was required, and creative. He is a delightful person and all the students adored him. I believe he will one day make a fine teacher of French.”

As a member of the Residence Hall Association, McCauley attended the 2007 South Atlantic Affiliate for College and University Residence Halls (SAACURH). There, he was inspired to become a resident assistant.

“This proved to be a challenging yet rewarding experience,” said McCauley, who was given the Best Programmer of the Year award for the 2008-09 school year.

McCauley also worked with several organizations and events through the Office of Multicultural Affairs, such as Spectrum, Peace Week 2008, Diversity Dialogues and Rollins Student Safe Zone training. He also collaborated with the Office of Disability Services for disability awareness week in 2007 and 2008.

“I’m thankful that Rollins gave me the opportunity to learn more than just my field of study,” said McCauley. “There were so many opportunities inside and outside the classroom. School wasn’t just school. School was where I learned to be a person and a scholar.”

After graduation, McCauley will serve as an English teaching assistant through the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF), funded by the French Government’s Ministry of Education. He will teach English to grade-schoolers in the Académie d’Orléans-Tours, in the Loire Valley Region of Central France. Afterward, McCauley will pursue a career in French literature at a university in the U.S.

By Brittany Fornof (Class of 2011)

Office of Public Relations & Community Affairs
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