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University Updates on Coronavirus

WSSU Class of 2020: Where are they headed?

COVID-19 hasn’t kept Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) from celebrating the accomplishments of its graduates. The class of 2020 celebrated together while apart during "Virtual Voices: The Class of 2020" celebration on May 8. As our newest alumni "Depart to Serve," here’s a look at where a few students from the class of 2020 are headed.

Name: Tania Bellinger
Major: Biology, Chemistry minor
Hometown: Charlotte

Who has encouraged you the most throughout your college journey?
My family has been my biggest support system while in college. Whenever I’m facing an obstacle or trial, I always call my mom to receive encouragement and advice. My mentors, Dr. Guo and Dr. Bhat, have also supported and encouraged me throughout all of my academic endeavors. They constantly push me to reach all of my goals and provide invaluable guidance. The support system that I am coming out of WSSU with is unmatched.

What student activities/groups were you apart of at WSSU?
As a Chancellor's Scholar, I was an active member of the Simon G. Atkins Scholar Society all four years. I also joined many campus organizations such as National Council of Negro Women, Campus Activities Board, and Women in Science program. I was initiated into the Gamma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. during the spring 2018 semester and served as Gamma Lambda's Chapter president, 2019-20. As a NIGMS-RISE Scholar, I engaged in organic chemistry research for two years. Lastly, I was inducted into the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society during my junior year.

What’s next? In the fall, I will be attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (BBSP) to pursue a Ph.D. in Pharmacology.

Name: Jaylen Amir Brown
Major: Exercise Physiology
Hometown: Salisbury

If you could give advice to the freshman you, what would it be?
Make sure you take full advantage of the opportunities while you are a college student. College can present you with the opportunity to make your dreams come true - and when they do, make it happen! Keep your future in mind, but enjoy the moment. Most importantly, love life.

What student activities/organizations were you a part of at WSSU?
I was the secretary and president of Black Men for Change for four years and class treasurer for three semesters. I was also the Student Government Association Chief of Staff, Respect hbcUS Student Ambassador and Basileus and vice basileus for the Mu Epsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

What’s next? The next step for me is physical therapy school. I am currently checking requirements off my list and will be applying when the application cycle opens.

Read more about Jaylen’s journey: Student finds strength after car accident
Name: Destiny Campbell
Major: Psychology with a minor in Elementary Education
Hometown: Charlotte

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about attending WSSU?
I will tell anyone who’s interested in attending WSSU that it’ll be the best decision of their life. College can be hard and stressful, but WSSU helps you find your way. Follow your dreams and believe in the university because they have your back!

What student activities/organizations were you a part of at WSSU?
Cheerleading: The Powerhouse or Red & White, Campus Ambassador, Homecoming Committee, Campus Activity Board.

What’s next? I will be attending North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University this fall to pursue a master’s degree in the school counseling
Name: Martina S. Clay
Major: Justice Studies, Psychology minor
Hometown: Wilson

What motivates you to succeed?
Seeing people around me face a legal system they don't understand pushes me to help them understand it - in our terms. The law requires knowledge that sometimes a normal person wouldn't understand, but I can change that. I am also motivated by my community. Knowing that I've come this far, pushes me to go further. There is nothing I cannot do with God on my side. Regardless of my struggles, I am motivated to beat my circumstances.

What student activities/organizations were you a part of at WSSU?
Black Women for Change, We L.I.T, Student Senate, Team Boss, Powerhouse of Red and White

What’s next?
I will be attending law school this fall to purse my juris doctor degree to become a criminal defense attorney.
Name: Brian Calvin Davis Jr.
Major: History with a concentration in US History and African American History
Hometown: Philadelphia

How has WSSU helped to develop you as a person?
Attending WSSU developed me as a scholar in various ways, from forming close ties with professors to diversifying my perspectives and ideologies, all while affording me the opportunity to learn in a safe space for black students. The mentorship I received from Dr. Villagomez, Dr. Gaitors, and Dr. Siddiqui has enhanced my capabilities as a researcher by teaching me various ways to tackle research through the lens of African American history and Africana studies. My research on African Americans in the Vietnam War would not have developed to the degree it has if it were not for the support of these professors.

What student activities/organizations were you a part of at WSSU?
I joined Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc. in spring 2012 and Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society in fall 2019.

What’s next?
In the fall, I will begin the Master of Arts in History program at Florida State University on a full scholarship.

Name: Chyna S. Duncan
Major: Business Administration with a concentration in Management
Hometown: Charlotte

What motivates me to succeed?
The main thing that motivates me to succeed is knowing what I want out of life and using my skills as instruments to get there. I am also motivated by my boyfriend, who is now my guardian angel after passing away last year in a car accident. I want to be able to help young girls and be that person I needed while going through the obstacles young black girls commonly experience.

What has been WSSU’s greatest impact on me?
The RAMily environment at WSSU has given me a home away from home, allowing me to blossom into the strong woman I am today. It has allowed me to be surrounded by so many amazing people with hopes of reaching the common goal of obtaining a degree. I believe I’ve grown more in just these past four years than ever in my life and I have WSSU to thank for that.

What student activities/organizations were you a part of at WSSU? 
Gamma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Student Conduct Council

 

What’s Next? Transitioning back to Charlotte with plans to pursue real estate and mentor young women.


Name: Daisha Early
Major: Business Administration, Marketing minor
Hometown: Charlotte

What have you learned about leadership from your role at WSSU?
I have learned that a leader is only as great as their team or the people that they lead. WSSU has taught me the requirements of being an influential leader.

What student activities/groups were you apart of at WSSU?
Royal Court, Miss Red & White; Powerhouse of Red & White Cheer Program, Captain 2018-19;
All CIAA Cheerleader; S.A.A.C (student athletic advisory committee), Secretary Senate, Campus-Life Committee Chair. National Association of Black Accountants, Simon Green Atkins honors program, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Campus Life Marketing Committee

What’s Next? I will be pursuing a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte while getting my real estate license.


Name: LaDarian Eaton
Major: Psychology
Hometown: Henderson

How has WSSU prepared you for life after undergrad?
WSSU’s coursework is designed to challenge you inside and outside the classroom. The support from the faculty is unmatched. They truly have your best interest at heart and will push you to your greatest potential. As I prepare to leave WSSU, it is very clear that I entered to learn and now I am departing to effectively serve my community.

What student activities/organizations were you a part of at WSSU?
I was a head resident advisor, learning assistant, MAAD Lab Research assistant, and a part of Psi Chi Honors Society.

What’s next? In the fall, I will be attending North Carolina State University to pursue a master’s degree in school psychology.


Name: Tori R. Edwards
Major: Business Administration with a concentration in management and a minor in finance
Hometown: Wilmington

How has WSSU helped to develop you as a person?
WSSU has helped me become more comfortable in my skin. WSSU gave me the opportunity to be a leader. I definitely feel more confident than ever in my ability to lead and execute basically anything. I’ve become such a driven person and I know now that I can handle anything thrown at me.

What student activities/organizations were you a part of at WSSU?
I served as editor in chief of The News Argus, WSSU’s Student Newspaper. I’m a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. I was a member of the Simon Greene Atkins Scholars Society, Student Conduct Council, Residence Hall Association, Fusion Dance Team; and interned in WSSU’s Human Resources Office.

What’s next? I accepted a position at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in November. It’s one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. I’ll be a part of a Human Resources rotational program. Only 20 people around the world receive this job offer each year so I’m really excited to start in July.

Name: Kadesha "KD" Estrich
Major: History and Political Science
Hometown: Charlotte

What will you miss most about WSSU?
I will miss experiencing the day to day campus life at WSSU.

If you could give advice to the freshman you, what would it be?
Sometimes you must sacrifice social experiences in order to accomplish your goals as a scholar. Do not be afraid of that. Fun does not end after undergrad.

What student activities/organizations were you a part of at WSSU?
I served as a resident advisor and was  a part of the student conduct committee.

What’s next? I will be teaching middle school social studies in Charlotte while obtaining my master’s in history at UNC Charlotte.


Name: Jeremiah Fields
Major: Business Administration

Who has encouraged you the most throughout your college journey?
My mother has motivated me the most throughout my tenure at WSSU. She never attended a college/university, so she wanted me to be involved and take advantage of the many opportunities that crossed my path at WSSU. She loves saying “You have to go through, to get to.” With that being said, I made it to graduation!

What student activities/groups were you apart of at WSSU?
I was a part of SGA each year: freshman class vice president, sophomore class vice president. Junior year, I was elected executive treasurer of SGA and senior year I was voted Mr. Senior. I have also served as a resident advisor and a student manager with the athletics department. I was the event lead ambassador for Career Development Services. I also joined Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. I was a member of the Renaissance Minority Male Mentoring Program as well as Winston Men Alliance.

What’s Next? I plan to make an impact in the realm of education in an efforts to increase the number of African American male educators. In the near future, I'm applying for graduate school.


Name: William Gibson
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Charlotte

What motivates you to succeed?
My upbringing motivates me to succeed. I was born in Monrovia, Liberia. My father and I came to America when I was six years old. I was raised to never take any opportunities for granted and to always put my best foot forward in all I do. 

What have you learned about leadership from your role at WSSU?
Leadership is all about purpose and passion. It’s an activity not a person, a verb not a noun. It requires constant interaction with those you are trying to influence, engaging with people to adjust expectations, creating space to tackle the issues, and supporting people to take responsibility for change and delivery.

What student activities/groups were you apart of at WSSU?
Student Government Association President 2018-19 and 2019-20, Renaissance Man Ambassador, White House HBCU All-Star

What’s Next? I will be relocating to Austin to start my full-time role with Facebook as a North American market specialist.


Name: Ericka Hurt
Major: Psychology
Hometown: Charlotte

What has your experience been like at WSSU?
I changed my narrative and rewrote it to fit me and no one else. I am forever grateful for my experience at WSSU because without it, I do not know if I would be the person I am today. My time at WSSU has taught me about myself and has given me life-long friendships that I will cherish. It has helped me find my passion in life, but most importantly it helped me find Ericka. Old State U thank you for making me into the person I am today.

What student activities/organizations were you a part of at WSSU?
Psychology Club, treasurer; Active Minds, president; Pride Task Force, student member;
Higher Education Access and Transitions (H.E.A.T) Research Lab; Promoting Respect and Inclusion for all Social Minorities P.R.I.S.M.

What’s next? I will be attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall to pursue my master’s in social work.


Name: S'Vannah Jackson
Major: Nursing
Hometown: Stone Mountain, Georgia

How has WSSU prepared you to achieve your ultimate goal?
Winston-Salem State University has provided me with a learning environment that is second to none; however, it goes deeper than academics. The care and support I’ve received from everyone, ranging from my professors in the Division of Nursing, my academic advisors, my mentors in student activities to my sorority sisters, has been unimaginable. It was once my goal to become just a nurse, but WSSU does not produce average nurses. It produces the best nurses. The standard I was held to was no less than that.

What student activities/groups were you apart of at WSSU?
CLMC Executive Board Member, president, Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc, Starting Her Empire, Homecoming Committee, RAMFest Committee, Student Nurses Association

What’s Next? I will begin my career as a new graduate nurse resident in the critical care specialty in July. After my one-year residency, I will move to travel nursing for another year before pursuing my Doctor of Nursing Practice with a concentration in Nurse Anesthesia.

Name: Traé Jackson
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Fayetteville

How has WSSU helped to develop you as a person?
WSSU has pushed me to think outside of the box. Attending WSSU was one of the best decisions I have made. My professors have allowed me and pushed me to not only think about the now, but the future and how to critical analyze what is going on in today’s world. Without them, my growth as a student and man wouldn’t be where it is today.

Who has encouraged you the most throughout your college journey?
My family, teammates and coaches have pushed me to succeed both on and off the field while supporting and building me for life after football.

What student activities/organizations were you a part of at WSSU? Rams Football

What’s next? In the coming months, I hope to be selected as a Navy officer and go to navy officer school to not only serve but to continue my education


Name: Aliah Jedidiah Johnson
Major: Psychology
Hometown: Leland

What has your experience been like at WSSU?
Winston-Salem State University has given me knowledge beyond the classroom, confidence, and a strong support system. My experience at WSSU has enlightened me on the importance of the African worldview, the true history of my ancestors, and the importance of education.

What student activities/organizations were you a part of at WSSU?
Simon Green Atkins Provost Scholar; studied abroad in Brazil, summer 2019; president of Psi Chis; Honors Psychology major, UNCC SPIDUR intern, and WSSU teacher assistant.

What’s next? 
I will be attending Georgia State University to obtain my Ph.D. in Educational Psychology.


Name: Cameron Morris
Major: Sport Management
Hometown: Charlotte

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about attending WSSU?
The Sport Management program has helped me develop as a person by instilling life skills such as time management, accountability, responsibility, and work ethic in me throughout my four years at the institution.

What student activities/organizations were you a part of at WSSU?
I served as the president and head coach of the Men’s Club Basketball Program for the last three years. I was also a Thurgood Marshall College Fund Scholar.

What’s next? I will be pursuing a master’s degree in Sports Management at Columbia University.


Name: Breelin L. Motte
Major: Business Administration with a concentration in management
Hometown: Concord

What is your fondest memory from your time at WSSU?
Ramdition. While in school I also had the pleasure of being a two-time Thurgood Marshal College Fund Leadership Institute participant. This tremendous conference and opportunity helped me receive an internship with J.P Morgan Chase in the summer of 2019. After the internship, the company offered me full time employment to return upon my graduation.

What student activities/organizations were you a part of at WSSU?
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., chapter president; The News Argus, assistant editor-in-chief, and Homecoming committee.

What’s next? I have accepted a full-time role with J.P. Morgan Chase and Company as a Corporate Analyst and will be relocating to Columbus, Ohio in July.


Name: Miles Timmons
Major: Business Administration/Corporate Finance/Chinese Minor
Hometown: Greensboro

How has WSSU prepared you to achieve your ultimate goal?
WSSU has imparted unwavering confidence in the education and the degree I have received, along with a steady assurance in myself. An appreciation of different cultural identities, ideologies, and inspirations is very important when pursuing my goal of a career abroad in the field of international business. WSSU helped nurture that goal by providing numerous opportunities to step outside of my comfort zone. The constant guidance from the committed support system at WSSU magnified my global awareness and my ability to be comfortable being uncomfortable, which will be invaluable in my future career.

What student activities/organizations were you a part of at WSSU? 
Advancement Ambassador, Young Alumni Council, Study Abroad Program, Simon Greens Atkins Honor Society, Meis Scholar, Investments Club (Ram Asset Management), Men’s Football and Golf, National Association of Black Accountants

What’s next?
I am currently weighing options between International MBA programs and job opportunities within my field.

Read more about Miles Timmons’ journey: There’s more to life than football for Rams QB Miles Timmons


 

Name: Walter L Thomas III
Major: Motorsports Management
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana

Who has encouraged you the most throughout your college journey?
There have been a number of people who have inspired me to do great things during this period in my life: family, friends, administrators. However, no one has inspired me more than my father. I would like to dedicate this to him. Without his guidance, wisdom and most of all his leadership, I would not be where I am today.

What student activities/organizations were you a part of at WSSU?
Motorsports management, art dance troop (honorary member)

What’s next? I plan to help change the culture of racing. I will be working within the sport of NASCAR while also pursuing my own racing career both within NASCAR and in the NHRA. I plan to one day own my own race team as well as my own foundation to help with youth that are interested in getting involved in Motorsports.

Name: Taylor Alexandria Walker
Major: Mass Communications, Speech Minor
Hometown: Durham

If you could give advice to the freshman you, what would it be?
The advice I would give my freshman self would be to walk boldly and fearlessly in your purpose. Remain graceful when facing adversity and never give-up. Take full advantage and maximize all the love and opportunities that come your way and always work hard, strive to be your best, and never forget to serve others.

What student activities/groups were you apart of at WSSU?
WSSU Singing Rams/ Burke singers, the Inspirational Voices Gospel Choir, Winston-Salem City Council College Advisory Board as a WSSU representative, I also served as an orientation Legacy Leader, Campus Ambassador, SGA senator and attorney general. Most recently, I won the title of Miss Black and Old Gold International for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. as result of competing and winning the titles of Miss Black and Gold Beta Iota (WSSU), Miss Black and Gold NC, and Miss Black and Gold Southern Region. One of my proudest accomplishments and involvements is having had the opportunity to reign and serve as the 80th Miss Winston-Salem State University!

What’s Next?

I have accepted an executive management program position with Ahold Delhaize - Food Lion Inc in Durham. I am eager to join the WSSU Durham Alumni Chapter and continue to serve my beloved institution.

Name: Karsen D. Wright
Major: Justice Studies major concentrating in Global Justice and Law
Hometown: Hampton, Virginia

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about attending WSSU?
If you are looking for an exciting family environment full of motivating faculty and staff, I would encourage you to become a member of the RAMily!

What student activities/organizations were you a part of at WSSU?
Throughout my collegiate experience, I was involved in Student Government Association, Community Standards and Civility, African Student Union, Legacy Leader, Judicial Affairs Committee, and Lead Girls of NC.

What’s next? I was accepted to the University of Baltimore School of Law, Elon University School of Law, and Campbell University School of Law. In the upcoming academic year, I will be attending Elon University School of Law.

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