Orientation leaders, known as Red Caps, are among the first people new University of Hartford students meet when they arrive on campus. From the cheering, to the welcoming signs, to the dance performances, the Red Caps know how to make freshmen feel right at home. Alex Cabal ’05 was one of these Red Caps and turned his passion for student engagement into a career.
Cabal was a member of the Student Government Association; the Sigma Nu fraternity; and Spectrum, the University’s organization for bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, questioning students and their allies. But it was his time with the Red Caps that had the biggest impact. After observing Cabal’s work as an orientation leader, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Suzanne Anderson McNeil suggested he should consider working in student affairs.
Cabal is doing just that. As the assistant director of Student Activities and Leadership at Babson College, he oversees all of the school’s clubs and organizations and acts as their main advisor.
“I really enjoy the interaction I have with students and I want them to have the same great collegiate experience I did,” says Cabal. “Every day brings something new, which is exciting. I love seeing how freshmen grow by the time they are seniors and are getting ready to go into the world.”
Cabal also credits his coursework in the School of Communication for his career success, particular his public relations classes with Associate Professor Susan Grantham.
“Student activities is all about planning and understanding your audience, which I learned about in school,” explains Cabal. “I also learned about the importance of networking in public relations, which helps me when I talk to parents and local businesses who may serve as sponsors.”
Cabal says his time at the University and as a Red Cap went beyond just a learning experience. It also introduced him a core group of friends who are all still in touch today.
“We became a family,” he says. “And when we are together, we always talk about our time as Red Caps!”