Oct. 5, 2007
When a back injury sidetracked Charles Hampton's running at Rice, he didn't let it get him down. Instead he found new ways to connect with the University.
He used the time off to improve his preparation for his career. "I hope to work in the front office of a professional sports team," he says. "The combination of sport and business is very intriguing to me." So in addition to pursuing a Sport Management degree, Charles found a number of other ways to pursue his interests.
He became Vice President of the Rice University Sports Business Alliance, a group that help build and promote the Sport Management Program throughout the community. He's helped bring a number of notable speakers to campus including a panel discussion last fall involving Drayton McLane and Leslie Alexander, the owners of the Astros and Rockets.
This past summer, in addition to cheering for the Owls, Charles worked as an event management intern at the College World Series in Omaha. He was involved in many of the behind the scenes activity program and support activities for the event.
Charles has brought his learning and experiences in sport management to Brown College where he is a Sports Representative. He has developed a sports blog, promotion posters, and media releases for Brown. "I am applying what I do outside of Rice to my college," says Charles. "People at Brown love it, because it allows them to connect with their classmates and support each other at Brown sporting events."
Charles came to Rice as a sophomore, having spent his freshman year at the University of Texas where he ran cross-country and track. He connected with Rice right away.
"I met more people in my first week of Rice than I did in my entire year at UT. There, I didn't have a group outside of my team. My teammates are great here at Rice, but my support system is in my college. The masters are like a second family."
Charles hasn't been able to compete since the CUSA Outdoor Track & Field Conference Championships a year ago in El Paso, where he ran the 10K, 5K, and the steeplechase for Rice.
He is eagerly looking forward to running again for Rice during this cross-country season. But Charles is quick to tell you that Rice is a lot more than running.
"The university has supported me all across the board. My professors, I'm very close to them, and they've helped me a lot. They've pushed me to aim higher, not settle for the ordinary. They've showed me how to apply competitiveness I have to my life outside of running."
In turn, Charles has given a lot to his team and his college. And he has shown clearly why he is one of Tomorrow's Leaders.