Student Programming Board’s annual events team leader Garret Painter was awarded the National Student Leader of the Year Award at the recent Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities (APCA) southeastern conference in Atlanta, GA.
Over spring break, dedicated members of the Student Programming Board (SPB), including Painter and staff advisor Allie Fox, attended the five-day APCA conference in order to preview and book acts such as comedians and musicians for performances on the Maryville College campus next year.
Prior to the conference, Fox secretly nominated Painter for the Southeast Region’s Student Leader of the Year Award. With his dedication to producing outstanding events and his other involvements on campus, Fox felt that Painter was an excellent candidate for the award.
Fox’s faith in Painter was justified when she received notification that Painter had been named the Southeast Region Student Leader of the Year.
“I found out in February that Garrett won the regional award. I kept it secret, and only a few people knew,” Fox said. “When he won the award last Friday in front of everyone at the dinner showcase he was completely surprised. It was worth seeing his expression to wait.”
Painter was thrilled to learn that he had won the award and was given the opportunity to give an impromptu acceptance speech.
“I was really surprised because I wasn’t expecting it at all,” Painter said. “It was a huge honor because it’s a national award.”
After accepting the regional award, Painter went on to be chosen from among all of the country’s regional winners as the National Student Leader of the Year, the top award for students at APCA.
“Everyone got super excited and freaked out because none of us expected that to happen,” Painter said. “It was the first time that Maryville College SPB had won an award at the conference since I’ve been here.”
A three-year veteran of SPB, this is Painter’s third semester as annual events team leader. As such, he spearheads the planning for some of the biggest events on campus, such as Spring Fling, Homecoming, Blister in the Sun and the Freshman Luau.
His dedication to the organization as well as the MC campus as a whole is evident in his leadership and decision-making. Painter is also an active contributor to The Highland Echo as a columnist and is currently completing a communications internship at Pyxl, a digital marketing firm in Knoxville.
The award is significant not only because it recognizes Painter’s service to the MC community, but also because Painter’s plans for the future involve skill at event planning.
“I want to eventually work in the field of PR, maybe with a larger company,” Painter said. “A huge part of doing work in PR is event planning and that’s what I’m learning to do by participating in SPB.
Painter and fellow SPB students Cayce Crisp, Katie Fair, John Cole Kirksey and Allisen Greathouse also organized and presented an educational session for APCA conference attendees.
They spoke to a packed house about MC SPB’s creative strategies for producing quality events on the limited budget inherent in programming for a small college.