Cameron Pennant – a College of Social Sciences and Public Policy graduate – was recently awarded the Reubin O’D. Askew Young Alumni Award and recognized as a Notable Nole by the Florida State University Alumni Association.
The Askew Award is the highest honor bestowed upon young alumni and recognizes their contributions to the state, nation, and university.
The Notable Noles program recognizes alumni under 35 who have made exceptional achievements and significant contributions to their profession, community/society, or the university.
“I am honored to be recognized by this institution that has provided me with such vast chances to succeed,” Pennant said. “Florida State University awarded me the platform to achieve my academic and career goals in a way that no other institution could have. This accolade affirms all the years of struggle and strategy that made this moment possible. My hope is that this notoriety and story serve as a beacon for others to continue their good works and consistent service to others.”
Pennant will be honored on April 13 at the Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Awards.
After graduating with a B.S. in Management in 2015, Pennant decided to return to FSU and earned an MPA in 2017.
Since graduating, Pennant has dedicated his time to public service. He’s held several key positions in the Florida Legislature. Currently, he serves as the Charlotte County Legislative Manager, representing the interests of the Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners in the Florida Legislature and the Office of the Governor, the U.S. Congress, the White House, and federal regulatory agencies.
“When I was accepted by FSU, I already knew my purpose and aimed to graduate with both a degree and a career,” he said. “Now, I serve, advise, and mentor FSU students and others on how to make my success their own. I have assisted hundreds of students with their career planning and simply hope that: ‘each one, teach one’.”
That service has extended to his alma mater as well, where he has mentored students through the University’s Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement, or CARE, which supports students with identities traditionally underrepresented in higher education.
In 2020, he worked with C.A.R.E to create Pennant Scholars, a scholarship that aims to remove professional barriers for first-generation students.
In addition to his work with C.A.R.E, Director Pennant has remained committed to supporting students, faculty and staff in our College, having done guest lectures at FSU. Most recently he spoke to students in Dr. Audrey Heffron-Casserleigh’s Introduction to Terrorism class where he shared his insights into current geopolitical issues.
“I originally only came to Florida State University because the Florida Capitol was a quarter mile away,” Pennant said. My goal was to have a career in public service. Back then, proximity to my dream was most important, but preparation was needed. FSU readied me to achieve my purpose, and I did. So, for me to amazingly have a chance to return this investment is what I now know was the *real* proximity to my dream. If I can help my Seminole family, I will.”
Director Pennant is also an adjunct professor of political science at Miami-Dade College, along with sitting on the board for both the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists and the FSU Alumni Association National Board of Directors.
When asked what advice he would give to students, Pennant said, “Develop couth, and a strategy to have a degree and a career before you walk across the stage at graduation.”