It takes a lot of advance preparation and day-of-show effort on the part of many people to make a big event happen. Seeing all of that come together successfully is what Katie Prendergast thrives on.
The ETSU senior from Kingsport is serving as concerts chairperson for the Student Government Association for the second year in a row, playing an important role in organizing the major concerts held on campus. One of those is the Welcome Week Concert to be held this Saturday (Aug. 30) featuring Mayday Parade and guests We the Kings and The Resolute.
Prendergast began working with ETSU’s major concerts as a volunteer when she was a freshman. Now, under the leadership of Carter Warden, assistant director of student activities, she heads a committee that is responsible for volunteer recruitment and coordination, ticket sales, and promotion. While Warden manages the artist contracts, the stage and sound, and other aspects, Prendergast’s job is “anything that has to do with the students” – getting the word out about the concert, getting T-shirts designed and printed, selling tickets and plugging volunteers into the schedule.
“People tell me, ‘I bet you’re so excited because you get to meet the band,’ but I’m actually more excited to see how it all comes together after so much hard work and to see the students come out and support it,” she said. “It’s especially great since we’ve opened the concerts up to the public, because we get to see how much the community wants to be around. I consider ETSU a community campus, so to see the public really come out and support the university is an exciting thing.”
Prendergast describes much of what she does with planning concerts to be an exact process that she follows step-by-step, and that will be of great benefit after she graduates in May 2015. A management major with a minor in marketing, she currently works for Home Depot and hopes to find employment at the company’s corporate level in operations management or productions management. “I really like the processes of everything,” she says.
In addition to her work with SGA, Prendergast is active on campus as a member of Kappa Delta Sorority and as a Preview/Orientation Leader. She is also heavily involved in intramural sports, enjoying flag football, basketball, softball, volleyball and more. And she encourages other students to take advantage of the opportunities ETSU offers to learn outside the classroom, especially in the area of leadership.
“It’s important to learn different skills that will help later in life, and leadership is promoted a lot,” she said. “We give students a lot of opportunities to get a leadership role that will help them in their careers. Any career you go into, leadership’s going to play a role in it.”
Prendergast says she chose ETSU because she “grew up” here – not only did her mother and sister both come to the university, but she participated in youth basketball camps and other activities on the campus.
“When people ask why I didn’t go farther away from home, I tell them that college is what you make it, and this university … I fall more and more in love with it every day,” she said. “Just being involved and seeing all the changes that are happening make me enjoy the campus. Something is always changing. And it’s a beautiful campus. It’s gorgeous, especially in the winter, when it snows. It’s my home.”