Degree: BBA, International Business and Marketing
College: College of Business
With high expectations from her Liberian-born father and Detroit native mother, Caldwell Harris chose the highly ranked international business program at FIU with great anticipation.
Yet she started her freshman year with a heavy heart. Her younger brother, her lifelong partner in seeking excellence, died by suicide a month before she arrived in Miami. Depression and anxiety marked much of her first year. Yet through it all, she looked to her brother’s memory to achieve the big goals they once created together.
By her sophomore year, Caldwell made a turnaround at FIU. She leaned on her support system, including close friends, amazing colleagues and faculty mentors, and strived to continue the academic excellence she achieved in high school. That year, she was hired as marketing assistant at the Frost Art Museum. When she wasn’t in class, studying or working, she was focused on her true passion, fashion.
Yet a second tragedy awaited Harris. During summer 2019, her Dad's health began to decline, and he passed away that December. Although she struggled emotionally, Harris’ resilience helped her cope with the loss of her mentor and champion. By the spring ’20 semester, she earned an intern position at New York Fashion Week, and was also hired as assistant brand strategist at the luxury, black-owned footwear label, Keeyahri. In addition, she maintained a stellar academic record and ongoing work at the Frost Art Museum, where she was a nominee for Student Employee of the Year.
After graduating with a double major in international business and marketing, Harris will begin a digital marketing and branding internship with the global luxury footwear brand Stuart Weitzman (NYC).
While she’s passionate about design, Harris envisions her career on the legal or business side of the fashion industry and hopes to continue to inspire others to rise above their challenges.
By Ellen Forman
Associate Director, Communications
College of Business
Nominated by Tim Birrittella