Jordan Eaddy ’22

Hometown: Hampton, SC

Minors: Biology & Medical Humanities

During my first two years at CofC, I bounced back and forth between public health and biology majors but couldn’t find that right fit. In my decade-long career as a paramedic, I gained empathy and compassion while developing leadership skills and a knowledge of anatomy. I wanted to incorporate this experience into a flexible interdisciplinary program. One night, I racked my brain for hours to determine what interested me most… anthropology, psychology, biology, sociology, ecology, anatomy, physiology, religion, ethics; they all piqued scientific, introspective learning, but I longed for a deeper dive. I struggled to find a major pathway that allowed me the flexibility to blend topics of keen interest in preparation for a competitive application to nursing school. 

My worries ceased when I found the Bachelor of General Studies program. With this integrative degree path, I could combine two minors: medical humanities and biology.  The beauty of this combination is that each supports the other in a unique way. Biology sets the foundation for the scientific aspect of medicine while medical humanities approaches biology from an “arts” learning lens which promotes deep understanding and always prompts the question “why?”. 


Declyn Drejza ’22

Hometown: Murrells Inlet, SC

Minors: Hospitality and Tourism Management & Leadership, Change, and Social Responsibility

After a year as a business major at the University of South Carolina, I moved to Charleston and I started my current job at Hotel Bennet where I discovered my passion for hospitality, and business ethics (specifically relating to sustainability).  With some experience under my belt, I decided to enroll in the general studies at the College of Charleston with minors in Hospitality and Tourism Management, and Leadership, Change, and Social Responsibility 

Through the Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment, I learned that my core strengths include adaptability, empathy, and communication. These are crucial for thriving in the hospitality and tourism industry. How many times has a guest’s schedule changed that required adaptability, or a situation arisen that called for effective communication and empathy to accommodate the needs of the guests? 

Another of my core strengths is ideation – suggesting that I am inclined to think of efficient and sustainable solutions. My Leadership, Change and Social Responsibility minor is an ideal match for hospitality because many businesses are shifting towards more socially conscious practices.  

While I don’t know where my future career path will lead, I chose General Studies because I don’t want to be defined by one subject. Rather, I have chosen a major with two minors that capitalize on my strengths. When future employers ask about the degree program, I will have the opportunity to demonstrate my true value by articulating the integrative qualities of my degree program, and by showcasing my strengths as a future employee and leader. 

Evan Cooper ’21

Hometown: Rock Hill, S.C.

Minors: International Studies & Business Administration

Evan’s student spotlight:

For as long as I can remember, I have been in honors and accelerated courses. So applying for the SPECTRA program for minority and first generation students at the College of Charleston was the first step on my academic journey. I was accepted at the Honors College, but was torn between interests such as data processing, sociology, business administration and international studies. I was undecided about a major, when I discovered the Bachelor of General Studies where I could combine two minors to create a unique degree in areas that suited my aptitudes and interests.

Combining business administration and international studies enhanced my critical thinking skills, promoted introspection, offered opportunities to apply different perspectives to projects that led to a passion for my minors. But something else also emerged: my deeper appreciation of enlightenment and the virtue of sharing knowledge.

I was reminded of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. Before reading the allegory, I knew that ignorance was a choice, but I never considered the alternative, that enlightenment was as well.

Noam Calev ’24

Hometown: Kfar Saba, Israel

Minors: Environmental Studies & Urban Stories

Noam’s student spotlight: 

I graduated from high school in Israel in 2012. During my years in the educational system, I was always a conformist. I never looked for a purpose, always followed the rules and did everything as expected. Like most high school graduates, I joined the Israeli Defense Force, and after completing two years of service, I packed my bags and traveled to the other side of the world.

When I decided to start my academic journey at the CofC, I was uncertain about which path to choose. For over two decades I have been taught to respect the natural environment and I also enjoy the artistic aspects of historic preservation. I thought urban studies would give me the tools to create a connection between this architecture and design, and my desire to create an eco-friendlier world.

I had an inspiring meeting with my academic advisor where I decided to major in General Studies by combining the environmental studies minor with the urban studies minor. I knew this interdisciplinary combination would give me the opportunity to promote my ideas and use the skills I acquired once I graduated from college.

I’ve met wonderful people during classes and, most importantly, I feel how my inner world is getting richer by the day, how I am expressing myself, and using all the strengths and experience I collected during the years to become a better student and a better person.

Steve Kobelas

Hometown: Rahway, N.J.

Minors: History & Business Administration

Steve’s Student Spotlight: 

I continually ask myself, why am I doing this? Why go to college now, an octogenarian, and take the courses that must be completed to get a piece of paper that says, “college graduate.” It’s certainly not going to be used to apply for a job or I don’t think to flaunt. Could it be that there is an inner drive that makes someone do things by instinct or is it an inbred need to finish what you started?

My parents came to America after WWI and were processed through Ellis Island along with Mom’s sister and Dad’s two sisters. My dad always told us to “finish what you started,” and regularly enforced this at the dinner table.

After high school, I joined the Air Force. Basic training wasn’t too bad; I learned to march, shoot a rifle, and peel potatoes. I got a real shock when they said, “we are sending you to school” after basic. Oh no, I thought, what can happen next?

Officer Candidate School. Six months more of school and my head is filled with leadership skills, speech training, map reading, military history, etc. Then Communications Maintenance Officer School. Pilot School. Aircraft Commander School. Having the best job in the whole wide world, time just flew by and I found myself as a civilian. I had a hard time adjusting to civilian life. What should I wear today?

I was fully retired now with nothing to do and no purposeful goal. I realized that I was missing out on all the wonderful things that education has to offer. The College of Charleston was advertising the General Studies online degree program. Why not give it a try? I have chosen History and Business Administration as my two minors. I have crossed America many times and at each destination there was always some place in that area that had a story to tell. I have been to six of the seven continents and within each, was a plethora of history to explore. I chose Business to explore the changes technology has made to the industry. One of the largest benefits of interdisciplinary study is that it exposes the student to new ideas.

So, this brings me back to my original question; why go to college now? I guess I want to “finish what I started” – and to make my dad proud.

Presley Mullinax ’22

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

Minors: Psychology & Communication

Presley’s Student Spotlight: 

At an early age, I began to develop strong storytelling and writing skills and was acknowledged by showcasing a story at the Young Authors Conference in Birmingham, Alabama. However, after growing up in poverty with many challenges, I was not mentally or emotionally prepared for college, so I paved a different path.

I moved to Denver, Colorado, explored my new city, and met like-minded individuals. I worked for a startup company, a staffing agency and as a waitress, but none of my jobs were fulfilling. I followed rock bands around the country, into Mexico and the Dominican Republic before I discovered that I possessed greater potential and an eagerness to invest in something bigger than myself – my education.

At first, I took a non-conventional approach to my studies. I considered multiple majors, transferred between numerous schools, and as time progressed, I became more aware of my talent in storytelling, creative writing and my ability to deeply connect with people.

After careful consideration, I finally settled on a major. The combination of people, places, experiences, and opportunities throughout my twenties, coupled with a strong-willed, determination to succeed, prompted me to choose Psychology and Communication as the two minors for the Bachelor of General Studies major.

Through education, I have reimagined my bigger picture and have learned to value my successes, both large and small. I have learned what it means to be inclusive and accepting of all people and have readjusted my goals and personal values. I have discovered throughout the last five years spent in three different states, on three college campuses, with three changes of my major that General Studies is not a means to an end, but it is an open door to endless possibilities.

Teyako Bolden ’22

Hometown: Summerville, S.C.

Minors: Communication & Writing, Rhetoric, and Publication

Teyako’s Student Spotlight: 

“Are you sure you’re not taking on too much?” I ask myself this question a hundred times a day. I work ten-hour days, I’m a fulltime student, I have three kids all of whom play sports, and by the time I arrive home from various practices it’s well after 9:30 pm.

It all began when my pre-teen daughter reminded me that we are not allowed to quit things; if we make a commitment, we see it through. So, I decided to finish what I started 18 years ago. I re-enrolled at Trident Technical College, determined to finish a degree, and in May of 2019, I graduated on the Dean’s List with an Associates in Arts. But I walked away with so much more. Getting a degree created a thirst for more.

Could I earn a bachelor’s degree and break into a career in publishing? Books and writing have always been a passion of mine and when I took a creative writing course at Trident Technical College, I loved everything about it.

So, I decided to complete a Bachelor of General Studies degree where I could combine Communication with Writing, Rhetoric and Publication. I love the idea of combining two minors because I gain a different perspective on how to solve problems through an interdisciplinary approach.