Cierra Hinton likes getting things done.
In her Carolina career, the communication studies major has taken the lead in a breathless amount of campus activities that range from arts to activism. Her calendar is a lesson in project management.
“I usually have a full plate. Being active keeps me in order,” she says. “I would major in leadership if I could.”
Since transferring to Carolina as a sophomore, she’s starred in and produced plays for Pauper Players and brought an entire year’s worth of speakers – including a member of the Little Rock Nine, a group vital in the desegregation movement – to campus as chair of the forum committee for the Carolina Union Activities Board.
As programming coordinator for Carolina United, she juggled the logistics of a five-day trip for 70 students, an experience she calls, “intense and rewarding.” As vice president of The Heelraisers Council she helped raise awareness about the impact of private giving at Carolina and promoted annual giving efforts to students.
Last year she extended family legacy by gaining membership in Order of the Bell Tower, becoming one of the University’s official student ambassadors, a group in which her mother was a charter member in 1981.
As a senior, she’s in her biggest role yet: president of the Carolina Union. Hinton has worked with the Union since she arrived at UNC, but having the top spot means she oversees the 12 committees that form CUAB and will help monitor fiscal and administrative policies for the Union as the chair of the Union Board of Directors.
Balancing a band of activities with class work has taken a bit of practice, but Hinton says she’s figured it out.
“At UNC, I learned how to ask for help. It’s all about making it work together. I still find time to sit in the Pit!”
Her campus endeavors have given her a leg up in training for life after college, a wide variety of real-world experiences she says couldn’t have gotten anywhere else. Preparing to take the GRE this fall, Hinton sees a life in higher education on the horizon.
“I didn’t come to Carolina thinking I wanted to go into student affairs. But I love working with the University. The people here have different stories, experiences and things to teach you,” she says.