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Class of Spring 2024 Success Stories: Where Are They Headed? - Part One of Four

Winston-Salem State University is committed to helping our students Unleash Their Genius and succeed in all areas of their lives.  On May 10, 2024, WSSU will honor our spring graduating class.  Here's a glimpse of where a few students from the Class of Spring 2024 are headed. 


Olivia Stephens

Olivia Stephens

Major: Mass Communications

Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC

Activities: I was involved with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, the Campus Life Marketing Committee, Rams TV, the volleyball team and the tennis team.

How has WSSU prepared you for your ultimate goals?
WSSU has prepared me by having programs like the student-athlete micro internship at Adobe post-graduation. WSSU has made excellent efforts to ensure that student-athletes are prepared for life after college. My main goal is to have my own talk show, and Adobe and WSSU have positioned me to work towards crafting my skills to be successful.

Next step: I will be working at Adobe as an associate product manager.

Syntel Woodard

Major: Art

Hometown: High Point, NC

What activities were you involved in at WSSU?

I recently participated in the "Responsible AI Day" student panel as a speaker. Other activities I participated in revolved around helping fellow students complete creative projects, many  of which involved photography around campus.

How has WSSU helped you develop as a person?
WSSU helped to develop me mentally. This was my first experience being on a college campus, so at first it was a struggle to balance responsibility and dealings that go with it. It taught me to be malleable and not crack under pressure.

Next step: The next step in my life is to find work in the game design field. I am a little bit away from that now though, so for the meantime, I plan to do freelance work and build my portfolio.

Syntel Woodard
Syntel Woodard

Maya Brown

Maya Brown

Major: Medical Laboratory Science

Hometown: Chesapeake, VA

Activities: I was a member of the Fusion Dance Team 2020-2022 and the treasurer of Lambda Tau 2022-2024.

What will you miss most about WSSU?
One thing I will miss about WSSU is the culture. There is nothing like being on an HBCU campus surrounded by people who treat you like family and who also look like you.

Next step: I will be starting my full-time career choice as a generalist medical laboratory scientist at Sentara Leigh Hospital in Norfolk, VA.

Kenya Hicklin

Major: Justice Studies major with a minor in Biology

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Activities: During my four years at WSSU, I have participated in the Project Uplift Mentorship Program and the WSSU Council of Presidents. I served as president of the Justice Studies Club from 2022-2023 and as a research assistant for the Department of History, Politics and Social Justice 2023-2024.

How has WSSU helped to develop you as a person?
WSSU truly has given me the space and opportunity to flourish as a student as well as a person. I came to the university as an introverted young woman, and I’m leaving as a force to be reckoned with. I walk with confidence and have been able to do so because of the loving and supportive environment.

Next step: After graduation, I will be participating in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Internship Program for the second year in a row and then transition into the Police Academy this August.

Kenya Hicklin

Mary Grant

Mary Grant

Major: Elementary Education

Hometown: Woodbury, MN

Activities: I was a resident advisor, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge participant, Resident Hall Association national communication chair, Student North Carolina Association of Educators, Next Generation Black STEM Teacher Network, and head manager for the women's basketball team.

How has WSSU prepared you for your ultimate goals?
WSSU has prepared me to pursue my ultimate goals because of all the connections and opportunities I have had here. Once I had taken advantage of the opportunities, I was able to learn more about my major outside of the classroom and travel to different HBCUs to learn about what they do and see what I can take back to my major and apply it.

Next step: My next step is to teach back home and pursue a master's degree in elementary education.


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