5 QUESTIONS WITH KAT CANNELLA: Serving the community through CSU

September 30, 2013 

ROBIN TRIMARCHI/rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.comKat Cannella, currently program manager for the CSU Continuing Education Program, will soon be moving to the the Cunningham Center for Leadership Development.

ROBIN TRIMARCHI — rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com Buy Photo

You're transitioning from Columbus State University's Continuing Education division to its Leadership Institute. What will your new job entail?

I'll be leaving my Continuing Education family to serve our community in a new way. Instead of managing the broad variety of professional and personal development courses Continuing Education offers to the community, I'll actually be on my feet conducting facilitation and training with Leadership Institute clients.

We're using an experiential learning approach, which means clients will learn by DOING instead of passively listening to a talking head. I'll have the opportunity to take groups down the Hooch in a raft, go zipping through the tree canopy, blast off on a mission to Mars and more -- all in the pursuit of developing more effective leaders!

The Leadership Institute regularly hosts conferences. Which "dream" speaker(s) would you like to bring to Columbus?

I would love to hear Jon Stewart speak live. Not as a comic, but as a scorching cultural commentator who uses humor as a tool to cut through the nonsense and really expose the heart of an issue -- the Jon Stewart versus Bill O'Reilly debate in the 2012 election cycle kind of stuff.

Another speaker I'd love to hear more from is Simon Sinek. If you haven't seen his TED talk about how great leaders inspire action, connecting with that deep-seated "why" in people, you need to make time to watch it immediately.

What role has social media played in your responsibilities at CSU?

As an early Gen-Y member who has watched with a front row ticket the world transitioning into the Internet age, it is something I'm very comfortable with.

I currently contribute to and help manage the social platforms at Continuing Education, and I am pretty much always connected in some way. It's not "playing on Facebook all day." It's keeping my finger on the pulse of what's going on in our community. It also is a quick and easy way to spread information and communicate with friends-of-friends when problem-solving or information-gathering.

What's your advice for young professionals who are new to the workforce?

Get involved. NOW. Contribute to something greater than yourself, whether it's a task committee at work, a nonprofit that's close to your heart, or a community garden.

The more people you meet, the more resources you'll know are available out there in the community. And of course, I highly recommend becoming a member of the Columbus Georgia Young Professionals as a great way to meet people and get engaged!

Outside of your job, what's the best-kept secret in the Chattahoochee Valley?

Bitter Brick in The Landings. That place is AH-mazing. Coffee, wine, chocolate … most of my favorite vices, done spectacularly, all in once place!

Vital stats

Name: Katharine (Kat) Cannella

Age: 30

Job: Program Manager, Continuing Education, CSU; as of Oct. 7, Assistant Director for Leadership and Experiential Learning, Leadership Institute, CSU

Hometown: Columbus (well, technically Midland)

Current home: Columbus

Family: Mother Mija Jin Cannella; father Phillip F. Cannella, Jr.; siblings David, Denise, Charlene; significant other Robert Anness, IV (Bobby)

Education: Bachelor of Arts, Communication, Columbus State University, 2004; Graduate study (all but thesis), Communication, University of Hawaii - Manoa, 2004-2007; Master of Business Administration, Columbus State University, 2012

Favorite book: Harry Potter series, or The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy"

Favorite movie: "The Fifth Element"

Favorite restaurant: Country Life

Favorite quote: "Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right."

Best concert attended: Squarepusher, Atlanta, 2004

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