WSSU 2018 graduates: Where are they headed?

Another Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) Commencement is upon us, as students move to the next level in their lives.

Here’s a glimpse of where a few of the students from the Class of 2018 are headed. 

Aaron Brown is headed to Atlanta to pursue a master’s degree in public health from Emory University.

Aaron Brown

Hometown: Kinston

Major: Biology

Activities:
S.G. Atkins Scholars Society, Pi Sigma Epsilon, resident advisor, faculty-mentored research, summer internship at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

What motivates you to succeed?
"I always tell myself I have to lead by example. If I am successful, there is a higher chance that those who come after me will be successful also. You never know who’s watching and who’s life you might change by being a positive rold model.

Next step?
Pursuing a master’s degree in public health from Emory University in Atlanta.

VIDEO: Aaron Brown talks about his experiences at WSSU.

From left: Tiana Edwards and Aja Grant have been accepted into WSSU's Doctor of Physical Therapy program and will be part of the next cohort in January, 2019. 

Tiana Edwards

Hometown: Wilmington

Major: Exercise Physiology

Activities:
Women’s basketball team, S.G. Atkins Scholar’s Society, Chancellor’s Scholar, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) vice president, senior class president, Building Bridges Research Program

Honors:
Most 3-pointers made in WSSU history, two-time “Female Athlete of the Year” at Ram’s Choice Awards.

Who will be there in the audience as you graduate?
My parents, sister, both sets of grandparent, aunts, uncles, and godparents.

Next step
: Pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at WSSU, January 2019


Aja Grant

Hometown: Winston-Salem

Major: Exercise Physiology

Activities:
SAAC president, CIAA SAAC, Women’s Tennis Team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 2017-18 Miss 1892

How has WSSU prepared you for reaching your ultimate goal?
“WSSU provided more to me than just an academic education. It provided me with a holistic experience. I was pushed to become a strong, self-standing and centered individual. I have grown as a leader and overall human being through the support, education and love I have received over the past four years. My time at WSSU has transformed me to set high goals for myself and gave me the belief that I can accomplish anything I want.” 

Next step:
Pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at WSSU, January 2019

 

Traron Edwards is relocating to Boston and joining Wellington Management as a full-time launch research associate. 

Traron Edwards

Hometown: Capital Heights, Maryland (graduate of Charlotte's Vance High School) 

Major: Finance

Activities: Chancellor’s intern, president of the National Association of Black Accountants Student Chapter, SGA, Student Investment Fund president, Beta Alpha Psi

How did WSSU prepare you for reaching your ultimate goal: “Career Development Services, particularly Mrs. Sloan-Wilhelmi, recommended me for Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (S.E.O.), a national program that equips minority student with the technical skills needed to secure employment opportunities with Wall Street/Investment firms. Professor Donald Wood and Alexander Kondeas inspired me best. They challenged me frequently to produce high quality work in and out of the classroom.”

Next step
: Relocating to Boston and joining Wellington Management as a full-time launch research associate.

Read more about Traron Edwards 

 

Javonty Hunter, 2017-18 president of SGA, is headed to Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies through the HBCU fellowship

Javonty Hunter

Hometown: Charlotte

Major:
Business Administration

Activities
: 2017-18 Student Government Association (SGA) president

How did WSSU prepare you for reaching your ultimate goal:
“WSSU has taught me resilience, and also helped me identify who I am by challenging me to take a deeper look at my roots and culture. I realize that nothing that I do is for myself, and I have to remain focused and determined to be successful in order to give back to the community and people who have invested so much into me. Overall, WSSU has magnified my sense of selflessness, and reinvigorated my level of thinking which will prepare me for the next chapter of my life.”

Next step:
Headed to Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies through the HBCU fellowship.

 

Brianna Jones, newly commissioned Army officer, is headed to the California Institute of Integral Studies Graduate School to pursue a master’s in holistic health.

Brianna Jones

Hometown: Burlington

Major: Exercise Physiology

Activities: ROTC, student athletic trainer, Student Conduct Council representative

Honors: commissioned Army officer

How did WSSU prepare you for reaching your ultimate goal? “WSSU allowed me to discover who I am. As a historically black college and university, WSSU allows students to unlock their potential by acknowledging the power we have. I’ve obtained higher level of learning through WSSU, and for that I am forever grateful.”

Next step: Attend California Institute of Integral Studies Graduate School to pursue a master’s in holistic health.

 

Lisa Matthews completes a bachelor's in psychology degree after beginning her college journey over 30 years ago. 

Lisa Matthews

Hometown: Charlotte

Major: Psychology

Activities: Legacy leader, S.G. Atkins Scholars Society, Nontraditional Adult Student Organization (NASO), 2017-18 Miss NASO, Ram Girls Rock Woman of Excellence Award recipient, Building Outstanding Student Success (Student Support Services) member

Honors: Who's Who Among American Colleges and Universities, BB&T Leadership Training Certification

How did WSSU prepare you for reaching your ultimate goal? “WSSU provided me with the resources necessary for a nontraditional student to balance work-study, life, kids and school. My personal ‘Dream Team’: Dr. Georgette Crawford-Crooks, Suvondra Montgomery, Dr. Donna Durham-Pierre, Dr. Kathy Stitts and Ms. Shirley Wilson, the talented University College and Lifelong Learning faculty and staff members who inspired me the most. These five people made sure that I stayed balanced and didn’t second guess myself. This helped me complete every assignment with excellence.”

Next step: Taking a gap year to focus on her children, who she uprooted to accomplish a goal she began in 1985. During the gap year, she will consider taking on graduate school.

 

Clayton Smith joins Trinity Healthcare Services Inc. in West Virginia as a corporate opperations assistant while also pursuing a master's in business administration at Marshall University.

Clayton Smith

Hometown: Charlotte

Major: Healthcare Management

Activities: Men’s Cross Country, Epsilon Tau Sigma Honor Society of the National Society of Allied Health, Accounting High Achievers

How did WSSU help you reach your ultimate goal? “WSSU has prepared me for reaching my goal of graduating college, which is the first step for my ultimate goal. I want to be the head of a hospital in a major city.”

Next step: Joining Trinity Healthcare Services Inc. in West Virginia as a full-time corporate operations assistant and attending Marshall University to pursue a master’s in business administration.

 

2017-18 Mister WSSU heads to Milwaukee to train for a sales and marketing position with MillerCoors. 

Je’Rel Smith

Hometown: Lexington

Major: Communication and Media Studies

Activities: Renaissance Minority Mentorship Program, Freshman Class Council, Thurgood Marshall College Fund student ambassador, 2017-18 Mister Winston-Salem State University

How did WSSU prepare you for reaching your ultimate goal? “From the simple things of interacting and understanding others, understanding myself, perfecting time management to my extracurricular and co-curricular opportunities throughout my matriculation have been stepping stones to what will follow.”

Next step: Headed to Milwaukee to train for a sales and marketing position with MillerCoors.

 

Inayah Turner will attend Temple University to pursue a master’s of urban education.

Inayah Turner

Hometown: Montclair, New Jersey

Major: Elementary Education

Activities: Black Women for Change, Student North Carolina Association of Educators president, Writing Center consultant, legacy leader, summer research fellow, and Freedom School Servant Leader intern.

What advice would you give someone thinking about attending WSSU? “Some of the best mentors work at this university. I would also tell them that as long as they exhibit determination, the faculty will assist you with anything.”

Next step:  Attending Temple University to pursue a master’s of urban education.

Note: This is one of a series of articles highlighting WSSU's Class of 2018. 

More News

FAMU administrator named dean of The College at WSSU

Dr. Darryl Scriven, chair of the Department of Visual Arts, Humanities and Theatre and an associate professor of philosophy at Florida A&M University (FAMU), has been named the dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, Business and Education at Winston-Salem State University. 

Read Moreabout FAMU administrator named dean of The College at WSSU

WSSU’s website makes top 100 list

A digital marketing agency has named Winston-Salem State University’s website one of the best designed university websites in the world.

Read Moreabout WSSU’s website makes top 100 list

Associate vice chancellor for financial planning and budget named

Wilbourne Rusere has been named associate vice chancellor for financial planning and budget.

Read Moreabout Associate vice chancellor for financial planning and budget named