Old Gold&Black WAKE FOREST STUDENT
Graduation Edition May 7, 2021
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Old Gold & Black | Graduation
Andy Woehr/Old Gold & Black
Dear Class of 2021, Congratulations! As this year comes to a close and the sun begins to set on your undergraduate career, the Old Gold & Black is ecstatic to send you off. When you first stepped onto campus in 2017, I am certain that the way you first perceived Wake Forest is incredibly different from the complex way in which you view your soon-to-be alma mater today. Through eight semesters -- three of which were either fully or partially remote -- you have accomplished tremendous things. After all, that is what this special graduation issue is for — to celebrate outstanding seniors, each of which is nominated by their respective department chair. Each feature piece in this issue was crafted by our editorial staff with admiration and a keen eye, as we would like to give back to you the way you have all given back to the Wake Forest community over the past four years. Just as you have celebrated some of your lasts this week, you will be also experiencing some of your firsts relatively shortly. Whether it be your first time going abroad, your first time living away from home, your first career or your first time living on your own, these next few years are bound to be full of excitement and change. Each and every member of this class entered college full of curiosity and child-like wonderment, and I implore you to carry that same youthful energy with you throughout the rest of your lives. While it may sound cliche, if I have learned anything from editing the best independent studentrun newspaper at Wake Forest, it is to embrace the cliches. Lean into what scares you and allow your passions to carry you as far as they can. You have all gotten to this point as a result of countless hours of hard work and dedication — in the process, you have paved the way for other classes to follow in your
footsteps. Without a doubt, this is something in which you should all take immense pride. There is no question that your class has lived through a tumultuous time. While you should certainly feel excited about the opportunity to graduate in-person, you have every right to meet this joyous opportunity with a bittersweet sentiment. Yes, you got to spend the entirety of your senior year on campus ... but this does not take away the sting that cancelled traditions introduced to your final year. But mourning for your time lost is not the point of this article. If it were, I would be a pretty shoddy hypewoman. Like I said before, the goal of this letter and of this issue is both to lift you up and call you to reflect on your undergraduate experience. From bonding (or fighting) with your random freshman roommate to drinking pitchers at Shorty’s with your serendipitous senior friend group, you have made your mark on campus in more ways than you can possibly imagine. Think about it this way: there are three classes of Wake Forest students beneath you right now. When you were freshmen, there were three classes of students above you. The Wake Forest circle of life pulled you in gently. Now, it is pushing you out with just as much grace. All of you are set to begin new and exciting phases of your lives, and I could not be more thrilled on your behalf. In the meantime, I — and all of us here at the Old Gold & Black — hope that you will take a brief moment and congratulate yourselves on all you’ve achieved so far. In a year defined by unexpected change, you have all made certain that the future remains as bright as ever. Best Wishes, Alexandra Karlinchak Editor-in-Chief The Old Gold & Black
Old Gold&Black T he G raduation E dition
ALEXANDRA KARLINCHAK Editor-in-Chief
BEN CONROY Print Managing Editor
WILL ZIMMERMAN Online Managing Editor
Production Staff: EMILY BEAUCHAMP, JOE CHO, CHRISTINA DENOVIO, OLIVIA FIELD, KATIE FOX, CONNOR MCNEELY, JULIA OCHSENHIRT, AINE PIERRE, MICAH PORTER, JAKE STUART, COOPER SULLIVAN, ESSEX THAYER, SELINNA TRAN Cover by: ANDY WOEHR Back cover art by: SELINNA TRAN The Graduation Tabloid is a special publication of the Old Gold & Black student newspaper, published by Triangle Printing of Durham. We have regular issues printed every Thursday of the regular semester and maintain our website at wfuogb.com. If you have any questions or comments, or would like more information about purchasing advertisements, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2021 WFU Media Board. All rights reserved.
Graduation | Old Gold & Black
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Photo courtesy of Katie Fox
WHAT’S INSIDE: Letter from the Editor The Year In Review Letter from the SG President Accountancy | Anthropology Applied Mathematics | Art History Biochemistry | Biology BEM | Chemistry Chinese | Classical Language Classical Studies | Communications Computer Science | Economics Elementary Education | Engineering English | Environment & Sustainability Environmental Science | Finance
2 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
French | German 16 German Studies | HES 17 History | International Studies 18 Japanese | Latin 19 Math Business | Math Economics 20 Math Statistics | Mathematics 21 Music (Performance) | Philosophy 22 Physics | Politics & International Affairs 23 Psychology | Religion 24 Russian | Sociology 25 Spanish | Studio Art 26 Theatre | WGSS 27
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Old Gold & Black | Graduation
Oct. 15 | Farewell President Hatch
Photo courtesy of the Office of the President
On Oct. 15, President Nathan O. Hatch announced his intention to retire after serving at the helm Wake Forest University for 15 years. He stepped down with a heavy heart, but he is leaving behind a lasting legacy on the Reynolda campus. One of President Hatch’s core contributions to Wake Forest was the establishment of the Magnolia Scholars program, a program for first-generation college students.
Jan. 29 | Welcome President Wente On Jan. 31, Wake Forest announced its historic selection of the university’s 14th President. Dr. Susan R. Wente who currently serves as provost and vicechancellor of academic affairs at Vanderbilt University, she will begin her presidency on July 1, 2021. Dr. Wente, a renowned scientist and educator, has been praised for her leadership and bold student engagement. We are eagerly awaiting her start.
COVID -19 INREVIEW
THE YEAR IN REVIEW
Photo courtesy of Wake Forest
Photo courtesy of Katie Fox
In a year like no other, Wake Forest University’s campus was transformed by the pandemic that swept the nation. COVID-19 proved to be a transformative force that haltered the lives of students, faculty and staff of Wake Forest University and beyond. Masks, regulations and online learning followed. Students had to learn how to live, learn and socialize virtually. Campus culture shifted from a bustling hub of social interaction and vibrant community life to a place of closed doors and masked faces. Despite this, Wake Forest students continued to do what they do best, and the concept of Pro Humanitate still fluorished on campus. From engaging in virtual events to building activities around a safe and socially distanced environment, students on campus managed to make the best of the pandemic. Faculty and staff worked with students to create a learning environment that would be beneficial for everyone. While online classes took a toll on students, the Wake Forest student body still persevered and lived up to our selfproclaimed title: “Work Forest”. This year will go down in history for campus and our nation — a time of highs and lows but also a time where Wake Forest learned to reimagine the meaning of community.
Mar. 15 |Lady Deacons go Dancing “This is a huge step for this program. To have the ability to hang [the NCAA Tournament] banner in the coliseum … no one can take that away from us. [This moment is] something that every one of these kids will be able to tell their children about one day. That’s what makes this so special.” - Head Coach Jen Hoover
Photo courtesy of Katie Fox
Photo Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics
In a time of a pandemic, celebrating arts and culture can be difficult. Despite this, campus arts and culture thrived as students took advantage of virtual and socially distanced performances. The spring semester marked a comeback for different areas of the arts at Wake Forest University with the return of the famed Lilting Banshees comedy shows in April and a series of shows put on by The Wake Forest Studio Series. During this time, campus life saw the emergence of new organizations such as Wayward Fashion, which hosted their first successful and environmentally sustainable fashion show in the spring. Wayward Fashion was not alone — Africasa, the African and Caribbean Student Association, put on a fashion show celebrating African fashion, culture and music.
“We know the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a disproportionate impact on communities of color. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, John Neville and so many before them remind us that inequality and injustice are not limited to public health disparities. For many in our community, the current pandemic and racial injustice are two sides of the same coin. We can’t espouse the values of Pro Humanitate without recommitting to learn from and support each other in a more equitable and welcoming community. For those on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19, we see you, appreciate you and stand with you. For those on the front lines of the fight against white supremacy, homophobia and bigotry of any kind, we see you, appreciate you and stand with you.” The message was sent on behalf of Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch and Student Government President Miles Middleton (’21) on Aug. 4.
Art & Culture |Life
Photo courtesy of Katie Fox
Graduation | Old Gold & Black
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MILES MIDDLETON | SG PRESIDENT To the Wake Forest student body, First, thank you to the Wake Forest community for granting me the honor to serve as your president for the 2020-2021 school year. This has truly been a memorable year for myself and Student Government, and it was truly an experience of a lifetime, replete with many highs and lows. This community has experienced numerous tumultuous events this year related to COVID-19, the 2020 Presidential Election and racial injustice. At points throughout the year, our community did not feel a sense of belonging on campus, with tough times such as when COVID-19 surged on campus and restrictions that limited student life activities were implemented. While these were difficult periods for our campus, the student body was able to move forward and remain resilient. Student leaders across different organizations found ways to connect with students and create events that helped foster an almost normal environment, even with COVID-19 present. Additionally, students brought their voices to the forefront through advocacy to change COVID-19 policies to better reflect the experiences of students. Of course, there were times of confusion, such as when many of us students had no idea what was going on in regards to massive changes to
the COVID policies. We worried about being locked down during the semester or, even worse, having to go home. Student leaders, communicating with administrators, did their best in trying to reflect the needs of students and be transparent with our community once we received information. I thank the students of Wake Forest University for complying and being leaders in their own ways, allowing us to stay here on campus. I will always be the first to say that I did not get everything right as a leader, and there are situations in which I could have handled things differently. I believe that I must acknowledge my mistakes in order to show that I do not believe I am a perfect leader or person. However, what I do know is that I had a fantastic Student Government and even stronger student leaders on campus who made me better as a person and a leader. I did not always have the best ideas or solutions, but because I had this team and we were focused on the mission, we were ultimately able to navigate through one of the hardest years our campus has ever experienced. I love Wake Forest, I love all of you and I thank you again for letting me be your president this year! The best is yet to come! Go Deacs! Miles Middleton
Photo Courtesy of Wake Forest Student Government
YEAR IN REVIEW CONT. The Dialogue |Opinion
Humor & Satire |Life
Even during the pandemic, Americans have bared witness to vast acts of violence. This year, the Opinion section tackled one of the most serious issues in our country, laying the groundwork for awareness and continued productive discussions regarding potential gun-control legislation. The opportunities at the federal and state levels to stop mass shootings are plentiful. In “The Dialogue”, editors Joe Cho and Connor McNeely make known statistics and information relevant to affecting change at the individual and politcal levels.
Over the years, the Life section has amassed talented writers to brainstorm and produce absolute comedic beauties. This year, Life has been transformed significantly by timely, witty addendums. From weekly Will Zimmerman roasts to fire “Hot List” catalogs, the Life section continues to make its readers and the Wake Forest community chuckle, and also provide the occasional head scratch, courtesy of our dearest and beloved Life Co-Editor, Selinna Tran. Specifically, her culinary palate has been a topic of debate (see ‘warm cheesecake’).
Photo Courtesy of Jeff Wheeler/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS
Photo Courtesy of foodsguy.com
COVID-19 Vaccine|News Earlier this year, North Carolina announced that frontline essential workers in Group 3 will be eligible for vaccinations beginning March 3. For Wake Forest faculty, staff and student-workers, this news meant that the majority of the school’s workforce qualified for the COVID-19 vaccine. By early April, most of the Wake Forest community was eligible for the vaccine. On April 20, the university sent an email stating that “Wake Forest intends to require all students enrolled in the Fall 2021 Semester be fully vaccinated.”
Photo Courtesy of Johns Hopkins Medicine
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Old Gold & Black | Graduation
ROSE SAVOCCHI | ACCOUNTANCY BY JAKE STUART Asst. Sports Editor email@example.com
A first generation college student, Rose Savocchi didn’t know what to expect when choosing Wake Forest. She grew up alongside eight siblings and staying close to home was an important factor in her decision. Accounting is a challenge for many Wake Forest students, but Savocchi met that challenge head on. “For some reason I found myself really engaged in class and interested in the concepts,” she said. “It quickly became my favorite class because it involves numbers, simple math, organization and clear paths to the answers. I liked how there was a specific set of rules and steps to follow to get the final answer.” Introduction to Accounting taught by Professor Wilkerson was Savocchi’s academic “lightbulb” moment. It sparked Savocchi’s interest in the subject and led her to consider a career in accounting. “I like the idea that the work accountants do is so essential to the stability of the stock market and the entire economy,” she said. “It’s our job to ensure that people like you and me can trust the information companies’ release.” Despite the challenge of her accounting class, Savocchi said it was this class, and Wilkerson’s teaching, that led to her passion for accounting. “Although the class was difficult, [Wilkerson] always provided a sense of calmness with his presence. I felt like I just clicked with his teaching style. I also had the opportunity to have him again my senior year, for Ethics,” Savocchi said. Not many people get to take multiple courses with the same professor, but Savocchi embraced the opportunity. “[Ethics] was extremely different because Photo courtesy of Rose Savocchi instead of technical topics, we read books,
articles and explored moral leaders,” Savocchi said. “It was cool to see Prof. Wilkerson in a different way, because everyone knew him as a tough professor who teaches an extremely difficult accounting class, but in Ethics he was much more laid back.” Savocchi continued: “It felt as if he was learning from us. He let us lead the class discussions, and really wanted to see what our own interpretations of various passages were. He also opened each class by asking someone to share one piece of good news, whether it be something as small as you had a delicious BEC (Bacon, Egg and Cheese) for breakfast or as big as you just got a puppy.” Wilkerson reciprocated Savocchi’s praise and spoke highly of her intellectual abilities and tenacity. “I was Rose’s instructor in her very first accounting course (ACC 111) and again, in one of her last courses (ACC 390),” Wilkerson said. “What I learned about Rose in that first class was just how intellectually tenacious she is, never content to simply get the accounting mechanics, but always pressing for a clear understanding of the conceptual underpinnings,” He continued, “What I learned about Rose in ACC 390, a discussion-oriented seminar-type course, is that her class contributions are always substantive and can always be counted on to move the class discussion in positive directions. I have no doubt that Rose will have a successful and fulfilling professional career, and I wish her the very best and continued success.” Savocchi not only had high aspirations during her four years at Wake Forest, but she also looks forward to a successful career. “I’m pursuing my MSA at Wake Forest in the fall, and after, I hope to become a CPA and start my career at Ernst & Young in their audit practice, specifically in the capital markets sector.”
CAROLINA CONWAY | ANTHROPOLOGY BY BEN CONROY Print Managing Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolina Conway grew up in Boone, N.C., a mere stone’s throw from Reynolda campus. When it came time to choose a college, Conway noted that Wake Forest stood apart from other schools, in part due to the opportunities the abroad office provided to explore other countries. “I was drawn to the study abroad program,” Conway said. “Wake Forest just felt like the best fit out of all the schools that I applied to.” Conway began her college career without a clue as to which subjects she wanted to pursue and study. As it turned out, her first semester in Winston-Salem yielded several important breakthroughs that would set the tone for the remainder of her time as an undergraduate student. “I took an Introduction to Anthropology class my first semester of my freshman year,” she recalled. “I really loved that class, it opened my eyes to how cool it was to learn about anthropology … I wanted to learn more.” Upon electing to pursue a degree in anthropology, Conway never looked back. She explored every corner of the department, learning about a wide variety of important topics within the field. “I studied ecotourism in Chile when I did the Southern Cone program my sophomore year,” she said. “That was a really rewarding experience. Last semester, I [also] took [a] class [called] Global Justice and Human Rights in Latin America. That was really eye-opening.” Outside the classroom, Conway has left an enormously positive impact both on campus and in the surrounding community. She’s heavily involved in Outdoor Pursuits, Campus Garden and the Office of Sustainability and is also a member of Wake Forest’s service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega.
Conway’s decorated college career taught her plenty of lessons she was happy to pass along to the younger members of the Wake Forest student body. She spoke on the importance of following your passions and enhancing the academic experience by connecting with professors and faculty. “Don’t hesitate to pursue topics that you’re really interested in,” Conway said. “And don’t hesitate to reach out to other professors or upperclassmen — people are always willing to help out and give you opportunities to learn more.” Dr. Paul Thacker, who Conway cited as one of her favorite professors in the department, gave his former student glowing remarks. “Carolina has the rare ability to understand and apply anthropology in socially relevant ways,” he wrote. “She influences everyone she interacts with by listening and understanding with respect and care, yet she never shies from asking difficult questions.” As graduation nears and she prepares to embark on a new adventure, Conway noted how grateful she was that her time at Wake Forest enabled her and her peers to explore the wonders of the natural world. “I think some of my favorite memories have been leading outdoor trips, camping with friends and sharing that experience of the outdoors with them,” she said. Though her time as an undergraduate is rapidly drawing to a close, Conway still hasn’t fully grasped that this chapter of her life will soon be ending. She’ll miss Wake Forest, but even so, she’s confident she can look back on her college days without any regrets. “It’s definitely bittersweet,” she admitted “[But] I’m excited for the next steps.” The next phase of Conway’s life will involve the very thing that defined so much of her time at Wake Forest: the outdoors. She accepted a job in New Mexico working as a ranger for the Bureau of Land Management, and she’s ready to take the plunge into the professional world.
Photo courtesy of Carolina Conway
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FERNANDO RIGAL | APPLIED MATH
BY CHARLIE BENEDICT Business Manager email@example.com
It’s common for many to feel faint or dizzy when they come into contact with a lot of blood. The opposite is true of Fernando Rigal, an applied mathematics and physics double major from Miami, Fla. As part of his independent research, Rigal’s work on blood has been published in two journals: the Redox Biology Journal and the Nitric Oxide Journal. Rigal’s journey to getting published in these wellrespected journals began when he was conducting research during the summer after his freshman year with Professor Daniel Kim-Shapiro of the Physics Department. Rigal would go on to be named a Goldwater Scholar for his work. “I would tell freshmen wanting to study science to email any faculty you know and express interest in their summer research,” Rigal said. “You never know, you could be lucky like me. [Maybe they will] reach out and say ‘yeah, come help me with research this summer.’” Rigal was drawn to math and physics due to his high school coursework. “The applied mathematics major fits really well with majoring in another science because it’s so connected to other disciplines,” Rigal said. In particular, Rigal enjoyed some of the upperlevel mathematics classes offered by the department because they were more granular and relied on less theory. “My favorite applied mathematics class was definitely Introduction to Mathematical Modeling,” Rigal said. “It’s required for the major but it’s the first class where you really learn and understand what applied mathematicians do and how they work. It’s not like pure mathematics where they just apply theory to different problems, it’s more delving into current scientific research, taking data and attempting to create predictive models.” Double majoring is never easy, especially in two majors as regimented and rigorous as physics
and applied mathematics. Despite this, Rigal has thrived. “Fernando is a determined and hard working student who has not only taken challenging courses but pushed himself to succeed despite the difficulties imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. John Gemmer, an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Despite the difficult nature of the major, Rigal still recommends it to everyone he comes into contact with. “The biggest piece of advice I can give, is that if you really like math, major in applied mathematics,” Rigal said. “The major has the most classes and requirements, but many science classes like chemistry and biology count for the applied mathematics major. So, if you like math and are going to be taking those science classes anyways, why not?” Outside of the classroom and his research projects, Rigal serves as the president of the Neuroscience Club. He also chairs IRIS (Integrating Research in Science), a student-led conference that brings together STEM and non-STEM fields. “Basically, we invite people who’ve done research — both at Wake Forest and at other schools — to this big conference at the end of the year where undergraduates can present their research and get feedback from other students and experts,” Rigal said. “This year our event had to be virtual, but it was still a really positive experience.” Although Rigal has enjoyed his time as a Demon Deacon, in particular the President’s Gala he attended during his freshman year, he’s excited for his academic future. This summer, Rigal will be working with a mentor in the Biophysics program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In the fall, he will be enrolled in the Biophysics Ph.D. program there. “It’s been a crazy past couple of years, but I’ve liked most of it,” Rigal said. “That being said, I’m excited to graduate. Hopefully, by next year, enough people will have the [COVID-19] vaccine and I should be able to have a normal graduate experience.”
Photo courtesy of Katie Fox
LYNN HUFFARD | ART HISTORY BY OLIVIA FIELD Senior Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
“We have an art historian on our hands.” This is what Professor Leigh Ann Hallberg told senior Lynn Huffard after she turned in a paper for her first year seminar, Discovering the Avant Garde. Huffard, who had always been interested in art, history and writing, immediately knew she wanted to pursue a degree in art history after taking that FYS course. “It just felt like I understood it,” Huffard said. “Looking at a piece of work, deconstructing it, and using that as a vehicle to talk about things. I really liked that process.” Throughout her time at Wake Forest, Huffard has taken on a variety of roles to ensure that students across campus can appreciate art. From helping to curate the most recent exhibit in the Hanes Gallery, Black Portraiture: Explorations of Self, to eventually interning with the gallery, Huffard has become a stalwart within the art history department. “I was immediately impressed by Lynn’s commitment to her work and her passion for art history,” said Katie Wolf, the assistant director of Hanes Gallery. “She gave so much of her time and talent to the exhibition, especially after the end of her class requirements. She was our intern for a full year, focusing on educational outreach, and her efforts were valued beyond estimation. I’m so proud of [Huffard], and I wish her all the best in the future.” Art History Professor Jay Curely echoed a similar sentiment. “I have so many memories [with Huffard], as I worked as her advisor on three significant projects — her excellent Honors thesis on a Black American abstract painter, her curation of an important show exhibition on Black portraiture that was in Hanes Gallery this year, her involvement in the Student Union Art Acquisitions Committee that just recently revealed their selections to the university. I have learned so much from Lynn!” Curley said. When Huffard speaks about the classes she has taken, her face lights up. Even her divisionals have sparked interest — from the philosophy class that helped inform her thesis to the introductory astronomy course that made her think about the world differently, Huffard has made the most of the interdisciplinary nature of a Wake Forest education. “A class that I loved so much, because it really Photo courtesy of Andy Woehr challenged the way I think about the spaces we live
in, was History of World Architecture,” Huffard said. “You know, it’s an introductory level course but I think everyone should take it because I think learning about the way we as people move through spaces and experience spaces. I just think there is something so interesting about seeing that history unfold and seeing these beautiful monuments to human civilization throughout time.” Clearly, her professors recognize her passion for critical thinking and exploration within the discipline. “Her comments in class discussions would make everyone, including me, see long-familiar images in new ways and push conversations in surprising and exciting directions,” Curley said. “She even did this as a sophomore in a class full of seniors. Basically, if a class was comprised of all Lynns, then it would be something like a graduate school seminar.” While reflecting on her experience as a major, Huffard emphasized how much studying art history can shift one’s world view. “Ultimately, [art] is just another way for people to describe the world,” Huffard said. “I think people are really focused on STEM and business at this school. I think that science is beautiful and it is one way to describe the world, but art is just another way of doing it — you’re doing it on a canvas, you’re doing it as a sculpture, a photograph, a building.” Some of Huffard’s favorite memories at Wake include spending time on Hearn Plaza with friends, especially when golden hour arrives and campus has that special glow. Similarly, her art history perspective shines through as she speaks on her time at Wake Forest: “I was just walking from Q lot to here, and I am very sentimental in the way that — whenever I walk through campus — I just always remember stories or moments of ‘oh I lived there,’ or ‘that funny thing happened there,’” Huffard said. “It’s almost like landmarks and memories are tied into the campus.” Outside of her academic pursuits, Huffard has been involved with WFU Style — Wake Forest’s fashion and lifestyle blog — during her time on campus. Huffard’s love for fashion and passion for visual storytelling is culminating in her post-graduation plans: she will be working at Abercrombie & Fitch Corporate Headquarters and doing visual merchandising through their leadership development program. When asked what advice she had for freshman, Huffard had a simple response: “Do what makes your heart tick.”
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Old Gold & Black| Graduation
REBECCA WALKER | BIOCHEMISTRY BY CHRISTINA DENOVIO Sports Editor email@example.com
Photo courtesy of Katie Fox
Rebecca Walker is a biochemistry and molecular biology major from Winston-Salem, N.C. Originally interested in studying biology, Walker was drawn to her current major when she began doing research. The two classes that Walker credits for her interest in the major are Biochemistry and Organic Chemistry II. “I really liked how biochemistry is more in-depth biology and slightly less in-depth chemistry, so it was [a mixture of] the two,” Walker said. Walker also chose the major because of the research opportunities it provided. “It’s a very research-focused major, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot through the research experiences that I’ve had,” Walker said. “I also wanted to learn more in the classroom about biochemistry and molecular biology, too.” When asked what she liked most about studying biochemistry and molecular biology at Wake Forest, Walker responded, “I like that it’s a smaller major and very close-knit. There are a couple of things ingrained into it, including senior classes, a senior research project and a senior seminar. I like that there are these seniorspecific classes that are focused on reading and writing scientific literature.” One class Walker enjoyed in particular was Dr. Lindsay Comstock’s biochemistry class, which Walker took in the spring of 2020. Walker wasn’t troubled when the class — taught by her major advisor — shifted online. “Rebecca was an outstanding student in my class. She was very conscientious and inquisitive,” Comstock said. “She always pushed me during office hours with difficult questions so that her comprehension of biochemistry was rooted in fundamental concepts that could be applied to her future career in medicine.” Walker has also taken two classes with Dr. Sarah McDonald Esstman, whom she praised for bringing great energy to each class and finding unique ways to engage her students. “I took a very methods-heavy class [with Dr. Esstman], but it was one of the most interesting classes I’ve ever taken,” Walker said. “I didn’t think that methods would necessarily be super interesting to me, but the way she teaches it is very innovative and engaging.” For her part, Esstman said, “Rebecca is an outstanding student who was a joy to teach! She is hardworking, curious and a critical thinker.”
Esstman continued, discussing Walker’s exceptional accomplishments: “Her commitment to her undergraduate research project with Dr. David Ornelles at Wake Forest School of Medicine (Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology) really makes her stand out to me. Through her work, she uncovered novel findings about how a virus, called adenovirus, produces its key proteins when inside of host cells. She documented her findings in the form of a senior thesis, written as part of the BMB capstone course (BMB395). It is an impressive contribution to the field!” Walker said that one of her proudest achievements was receiving funding through URECA for a Wake Forest research fellowship. With it, she undertook the research project she is basing her Honors Thesis upon. Another one of her memorable accomplishments was winning an honorary Richter Scholarship. Walker planned to go to Brazil to study the relationship between deforestation and dengue fever in the Amazon, but these plans fell through due to COVID-19. Her advice to freshmen interested in pursuing biochemistry and molecular biology: start research early. “It can be really hard to get into a research lab. You usually have to email a ton of people, and they’ll say ‘no,’ and that’s okay,” Walker said. “It’s kind of an intimidating process, but the more time you get to spend doing research, the more rewarding it is.” Walker touched on experiencing her final year of college under COVID-19 restrictions and said, “I’m a little sad about the ending. I’ve felt a little distanced from Wake, but I know that the university’s done a lot to mediate that.” Walker had the privilege of taking most of her classes in person this semester because of her status as a senior in a smaller major, which she greatly appreciated. “I find it hard to focus staring at my computer screen for a really long time, so I really enjoyed this semester, particularly because most of my classes were in person.” Looking towards the future, Walker is applying to medical school this cycle. Next year, she is planning on taking a gap year and undertaking a political analysis research position. Walker plans to maintain a relationship with the biochemistry and molecular biology departments here at Wake Forest. “I think with the new president coming into Wake Forest that the program will expand,” she said. “I definitely want to stay engaged with that and offer any expertise I can to future majors as a recent alumna.”
ABIGAIL VOGELEY | BIOLOGY BY WILL ZIMMERMAN Online Managing Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Most students are satisfied with a major and a minor, but there are brave souls among us who want more. Even three subjects weren’t going to cut it for Abby Vogeley: this spring she’ll be graduating with a major in biology, and minors in neuroscience, psychology and writing. And you thought you had a heavy course-load. “[Coming into Wake] I knew that I was either going to be an English major or a biology major, because I’ve always been fascinated [thinking about] why people do things,” Vogeley said. “I’m intrigued by the biological underpinnings of our behavior, which is what drew me to the science. [But I also] want other people to be able to understand, [and that’s] where the writing comes in. These different disciplines really go hand in hand and balance each other out.” The California native has also found time to become involved in ventures beyond the classroom over the past four years. During her freshman year, Vogeley joined Alpha Phi Omega, Wake Forest’s co-ed service fraternity. Since then, she has served as the inner-chapter relations chair, the fundraising chair, and the well-being chair. Research opportunities have also played a sizable role in Vogeley’s undergraduate experience. At the suggestion of her advisor — Dr. Fahrbach — she reached out to a professor conducting research in the Geriatrics unit at the Wake Forest School of Medicine: Dr. Hugenschmidt. There, Vogeley worked with older people afflicted by Alzheimer’s and dementia. The research she participated in explored how dance classes could improve the balance and coordination — and even prompt neurological changes — within the brains of the older participants. “Working with dancers and neuroscientists [and seeing this] unique collaboration has been the highlight of my senior year,” Vogeley said. Even when the class was forced to transition to Zoom when the pandemic struck, Vogeley remained confident that the dancing was still making an impact on the lives of those with neurodegenerative diseases. “We were able to teach all of these older people how to use Zoom, and from watching the progression of their movements and their interactions over time, [I know] there has been a profound difference in their confidence and their quality of life,” Vogeley said. Fahrbach wasn’t surprised by Vogeley’s aptitude to seamlessly integrate her passions and apply them in research.
“Her interdisciplinary approach to her degree requirements resulted in countless synergies,” Fahrbach said. [Abby] demonstrated the power of the Biology [degree] to allow students to choose their own adventure.” Vogeley knew she had no interest in spending the next six years at medical school, but she also knew that finding a way to merge all of her passions and find meaningful work to pursue post-graduation would be no simple task. It wasn’t until she was on the other side of the world that inspiration struck. “I was [abroad in] Copenhagen when I took a class called psychopharmacology,” Vogeley explained. “In that class, we looked at mental illnesses and the drugs we use to treat them. We were talking about the science behind schizophrenia but also considering the humanistic perspective of why people struggle with mental health.” “The disease isn’t the individual’s fault,” she continued. “There are biological underpinnings [at play] that affect how the individual is perceiving the world. It was the first time I found a class that really intermixed all of my interests: mental health advocation, biology, and well-being.” Upon returning home, Vogeley began searching for an opportunity that would allow her to continue to pursue her multi-disciplinary interests. Soon thereafter she struck gold. “I’m going to be in D.C. for the next two years working in a research fellowship position at the National Institute of Mental Health,” Vogeley said. “ I’ll be investigating different therapeutic options for individuals who suffer from treatment-resistant depression and suicidal ideation.” “I’m excited to be working in a field I’m really passionate about,” Vogeley continued. “I want to expand what we know about depression. And I think the best way possible is to do the research and then be able to articulate effectively what we find.” The fellowship seems as though it was tailor-made for someone with Vogeley’s dexterity — a robust understanding of the underlying science, the ingenuity to report findings in an informative yet palatable manner and the passion to re-write the narrative surrounding the treatment of mental health disorders. Vogeley is certainly prepared to embark upon the next chapter of her journey, even though doing so means closing the door on the last one. “I’m sad to be leaving, but I’m also really excited,” Vogeley said. “I’ve made great friends and I’ve found things I’m passionate about. Individual people can make a difference, and that’s really exciting.”
Photo courtesy of Andy Woehr
Graduation | Old Gold & Black
Friday, May 7, 2021 | Page 9
AUDREY GROVES | BEM
BY ESSEX THAYER Sports Editor email@example.com Audrey Groves, an upcoming graduate, was nominated by the Business School to be featured for the business and enterprise management (BEM) major. She is a member of the Kappa Delta Sorority and the chaplain for the Episcopal Student Fellowship (ESF). For Groves, the ESF has played a special role in her Wake Forest experience. “[ESF] was an amazing community where, even when I was super stressed out about computer science and business and all the classes that come along with that, I could just go for an hour or so during the week and just laugh and enjoy college a little bit,” she said. Groves came to Wake Forest not knowing what kind of degree she wanted to pursue. Initially, she was enrolled in several computer science courses, but, she eventually decided that wasn’t the path for her. “I realized that I didn’t really want to be a software engineer,” Groves said. “I wanted to understand the tech piece, but also be on the opposite side of that [on] the human side. So, I thought the business school would be the perfect route to do that.” By taking courses in the Business School, Groves was able to identify opportunities in which she could merge her computer science knowledge and business knowledge to pursue a career in a managerial or entrepreneurial role. A class with Professor Roger Beam was particularly impactful in igniting that desire. “My marketing class with Roger Beam was probably one of my favorite [classes],” Groves said. “It was [about] marketing and new product development. [As] an entrepreneurship minor that really helped earn my entrepreneurship concentration,” Another class in the Business School also helped fuel Groves’ passion for entrepreneurship: Design Thinking with Professor Chris Mumford. “I loved my design thinking class with Professor Mumford,” Groves said. “That [class] was a lot more about being agile and creating new products. All of my entrepreneurship classes were really, really awesome.” Outside of the classroom, adviser Sharon Payne helped Groves in her career pursuits. When COVID-19 took away her planned study-abroad opportunity, Payne worked to help her find an internship. “It was very last minute, but she helped me find [an internship],” Groves explained. “I worked for
XPO Logistics, which was really cool because I hadn’t known anything about logistics. I got to work on the strategy team, and it was just great. I got real business experience, [which] I really, really enjoyed.” The following summer, Groves interned remotely with the Ernst & Young office in Charlotte. She is excited to be working there full time beginning in the fall. For the underclassmen in her major, Groves suggests taking advantage of Wake Forest’s vast and valuable alumni network when searching for job opportunities. “The alumni network, especially within the Business School, is an incredible resource,” Groves said. “I was able to find my internships and my job through it.” That alumni network has also proved helpful as she planned her upcoming move to Charlotte. “Going into a new job, I already know so many people that live in Charlotte that will be doing similar things to me and they’ve given me such good advice,” Groves said. As graduation approaches, Groves has spent much time reflecting on those who were by her side during her undergraduate years. She is grateful for teachers, friends and her pastor. “I am grateful for my two best friends, Kelli Frangoulis and Elizabeth Mabry,” Groves said. “They’ve been my support system the past four years and I don’t know where I’d be without them. Sharon Payne at the business school … she’s worked so hard, and she’s retiring this year. I don’t even think she knows how much of an impact she’s had on my life. Lastly, my pastor, James Franklin [has] been a friend [I’m grateful for because] he’s made me laugh so much.” The proximity of graduation later this month has also had Groves feeling nostalgic about her four years at Wake Forest. “I hadn’t really thought about it until yesterday when we had our final ESF meeting and all the seniors were honored,” she said. “After that, it really hit me. I was walking around campus after that, looking at all the buildings and being flooded with so many memories. I have so many memories attached with every single spot on campus, and it was kind of overwhelming.” “I feel so grateful to have such great memories,” Groves continued. “I’m not really great with goodbyes, and I don’t really like endings, but I’m really excited to go out into the world and apply all this knowledge that I’ve gathered from my studies here.”
Photo Courtesy of Andy Woehr
YUEMING LONG | CHEMISTRY BY CHRISTINA DENOVIO Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Yueming Long is a chemistry major from Shanghai, China who has high hopes for her future career. Long credits her very first organic chemistry class taught by professor Dr. Paul Jones for her decision to pursue the major. “It was the first time I felt like instead of just teaching, [the professor] was involving me in learning,” Long said. “I was more than just a student, I was a participant.” Before she came to Wake Forest, she was interested in biology. After taking several courses in both biology and chemistry though, Long decided to continue with chemistry after experiencing her professors’ mentorship and the support of the chemistry department. When asked about her favorite part of studying here at Wake Forest, Long said, “It’s the small environment. Here, your professor remembers you, and you can interact with them after class hours. They’re always there for you.” Coming from China, Long described attending college in America and the changes that came with it as “challenging, a little bit scary and exciting.” Long expressed that the shift to the American teaching system was also quite an adjustment. “[In China], the teachers take a role kind of as a parent rather than just teaching,” she said. “It’s much more self-structured in America.” Long expressed that she appreciated the American style of teaching more because she found the newfound independence refreshing. When discussing her relationships with the professors in the chemistry department, Long said, “I feel like I have a connection with some of them that’s more than just being a student.” She emphasized that she was always comfortable asking questions and described these relationships as more of a “mentor/mentee” Photo courtesy of Andy Woehr relationship than “professor/student.”
Long’s principal investigator, Dr. S. Bruce King, said, “I had Yueming as a freshman for organic chemistry and she was a great student. As she’s progressed through our courses, many faculty have said, ‘Yueming was my top student’ or ‘she did an outstanding job in my class.’ I was really happy when she decided to join my lab where, not surprisingly, she’s continued to do excellent work.” Long worked as a teacher’s assistant for Organic Chemistry I and General Chemistry I, and was a supplemental instructor for an Organic Chemistry I lecture. During her time as a TA, Long saw how much people can grow and absorb information over their four years at college. Her goal was to maximize their growth and capacity for learning. Looking towards the next couple of years, Long will be attending graduate school this fall at the California Institute of Technology, and after that plans to become a research scientist. She would potentially like to start her own company, too. After graduating, Long looks forward to maintaining a strong relationship with Wake Forest and the chemistry community, and she has professional goals, too. “I want to establish my professional career to a point that I can actually be helpful in a way, that I can establish something here,” Long said. “I want to make a connection that’s deeper than just visiting professors.” Looking back at her time in college, Long appreciates her varied experiences, all they have enabled her to do and the knowledge that she will be taking with her. “It sounds small,” Long said, “but my favorite accomplishment is that I know that I can do more than before.” Discussing the difficulties of online learning this year, Long wanted to send words of encouragement to students struggling with these new methods adopted during the pandemic: “Everything’s getting better and it will be different very soon.”
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Old Gold & Black | Graduation
JOSEPH RAFSHOON | CHINESE BY SELINNA TRAN Life Editor email@example.com
Photo courtesy of Katie Fox
Joseph Rafshoon entered Wake Forest considering a major and career in political science, but he quickly found a deeper passion while in Chinese language & culture classes. After a couple of courses, Rafshoon was sure that Chinese language & culture was the path that he would like to pursue, and he was intrigued by the possibility of studying abroad. Rafshoon has not lost his interest in political science — he also has a minor in politics and international affairs. He is hoping to combine these two areas of study into a career focused on political relations affecting China and Chinese culture. “I know that China has a massive issue in international relations and politics and that knowing the language and the issues related to the relationship between the United States and China would be [advantageous] for my future,” Rafshoon said. Rafshoon took advantage of the opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation and a more thorough understanding of Chinese culture by studying abroad at Donghua University in Shanghai. There, Rafshoon developed proficiency in Mandarin and a deeper understanding of the Chinese economy and culture. This experience solidified Rafshoon’s desire to work in an immersive Chinese environment after graduation. Outside of the classroom, Rafshoon has contributed to the Old Gold & Black as a staff writer for over a year. He enjoyed conducting interviews and highlighting campus life. Rafshoon also held the position of political cohort for Wake the Vote, where he worked to educate young voters and work on local political campaigns.
Although Rafshoon enjoyed his extracurricular ventures outside of the classroom, he especially loved his academic experiences. He fondly recalled some of his favorite memories. “The best day was during the first year when we did projects,” Rafshoon said. “I remember me and my best friend filming each other speaking Chinese at the Pit and campus stores and making up silly stories.” Associate professor of Chinese Andrew Rodekhor, stands out for Rafshoon as an influential person who has been guiding him since the beginning of his time at Wake Forest. Rafshoon admires Rodekhor’s dedication to Chinese language & culture and is appreciative of his unique perspective. Passionate is an understatement when describing Rafshoon’s attitude towards his studies. His dedication comes from his true love for studying Chinese. While reflecting on his time at Wake Forest, Rafshoon speaks with only gratitude — he viewed even the hardest days as enjoyable because of his dedication to the language. Rafshoon’s commitment to his studies stems from his decision to pursue a field of study that was both interesting and enjoyable. He advised underclassmen to do the same. “People should take and choose a major that they would enjoy, not what would be most profitable. I have had a lot more fun that way,” Rafshoon said. “That was what the Chinese language & culture was for me. There are six majors and we all got to know each other by the end of [our time at Wake Forest].” Rafshoon hopes to enter a career that combines Chinese language & culture with politics and international affairs.
KELLI FRANGOULIS | CLASSICAL LANGUAGES BY AINE PIERRE News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
“[Frangoulis] took the challenge on with gusto and impressed everyone in the department with her results. We’re delighted about her upcoming graduate studies at For Kelli Frangoulis, the classical languag- [the University of ] Maryland, and can’t es of Greek and Latin appealed to her more wait to see her bright future unfold ahead than any modern language possibly could. of her,” Gellar-Goad added. Frangoulis combined her classical stud“I’ve been learning Latin since I was a freshman in high school. And I really, re- ies major with a double major in history. “I just have a lot of interests, and that ally loved it,” Frangoulis said. “I got to really plays out in those two majors,” Frgo to Rome in the summer between my angoulis said. “I’ve actually never taken an junior and senior year of high school. ancient history class in the history departThere’s something in me that was just really ment just because I felt like I got so much drawn to it. And when it came to college, I of that in classics that I really wanted to thought, ‘no, pal, you have to do something more practical. And so I decided to switch explore something else when it came to history.” my language to French.” Frangoulis continued, “But I did do the French, however, did not work out. honors track for history. And my thesis “It took me about a semester of French is about Mediterranean women. I think, to realize that I didn’t like French and that even if the time period hasn’t really carried I should take more Latin,” Frangoulis said. between them, the general area has. I’ve “So, immediately after taking a semester of been trying to gear myself more towards the French, I switched back over, started taking Mediterranean, and I don’t think I would Latin again and realized that I just liked it have done that if I hadn’t done classics too much to have to give it up again anytime alongside history.” soon. So, I decided to declare a major.” Frangoulis also noted that the support Frangoulis said that Professor T.H.M. of the classics department got her through Gellar-Goad persuaded her to take on a some tough times. She especially recalled classical languages major, rather than just an interaction with Professor Caitlin Hines, a Latin major. a visiting professor who left Wake Forest “I remember him saying, ‘Yes, you should last year. definitely declare a major. And I think that “There was this semester junior year you should declare classical languages, be- where I was really struggling. I really, recause it’s kind of the star of the department: ally overloaded myself. And I was feeling you’ll get Latin, you’ll get Greek. And that’s the effects of it,” Frangoulis said. “She was kind of the best education you can get really the first person to sit me down and from us moving forward,’” Frangoulis said. [ask me], ‘Kelly, do you have any free time? Gellar-Goad, for his part, had high praise Are you happy at all? You don’t need to be for Frangoulis. doing this.’ And no one had really sat me “Few students take on the double chal- down and said that to me before. It really lenge of studying both Latin and Ancient meant a lot that she cared a lot about me Greek at the college level. Even fewer do so and could tell that I was struggling and with grace, aplomb, good humor, dedica- wanted to say something about it, rather tion and great success,” Gellar-Goad said. than just giving me more work in the class.”
Photo courtesy of Andy Woehr
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Old Gold & Black | Graduation
LOGAN BOLTON | COMMUNICATION BY EMILY BEAUCHAMP Senior Writer email@example.com Logan Bolton is a senior communication major with a minor in journalism. She has always prioritized her academics and has been on the Dean’s List every semester during her time at Wake Forest. It is not her academics, however, that have defined Bolton’s time at this university. It is her involvement and development into a leader throughout many regions of campus that have truly shaped her college experience. Most notable is her involvement in Student Union, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, inc (AKA), her role as President of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), being captain of the cheer team and her role in the Black Student Alliance. Bolton joined Student Union early on, and in her sophomore year she became the director of special events. This position had not existed in years prior. “I planned an event every month of the semester, just trying to stay relevant and prove that I do get to be there,” Bolton said. Director of special events was not her true goal, however, as she was really after the position of director of festivals. Bolton proved that she deserved to be there, and in her junior year she achieved her goal. In this role, she was in charge of organizing Fall Fest and Spring Fest, two of the Student Union’s longest-running traditions. “I had a lot of fun planning and executing [Fall Fest], whereas Spring Fest didn’t happen because of COVID-19,” Bolton said. This year, Bolton is the VP of marketing. She has been able to create promotional materials for Student Union events and she approves marketing campaigns that the other directors have created. This role was perfect for Bolton because she ultimately wants to go into the marketing field. She is responsible for similar tasks in AKA as their vice president. All programming initiatives are reviewed by Bolton, and she is in charge of making flyers for all events and for ensuring the organization meets its national philanthropic targets. Being a member of AKA was particularly special for Bolton because her mother was a member as well. “It’s a huge deal in our family. It was nice to experience that with her,” she said.
Bolton spent two years serving as the president of NPHC, too. “I was in charge of being the liaison for the council to the school,” she explained. However, Bolton accomplished much more than that during this time. She implemented programming that would increase community engagement, re-establishing the cookout at the beginning of the school year, and hosting networking events for members of the community. As president, she worked closely with her advisor, Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Shane Taylor. Taylor has seen Bolton develop into a strong and ambitious leader over the years. He believes that Bolton emulates the idea that personal growth stems from being able to help others and pour back into the community. Bolton feels as though she’s grown since coming to Wake Forest as well. “I found my identity here,” she said, “I found who I am in terms of what I value and how I act around people. What encompasses my experience is being busy. I’ve found my identity through being involved in all of these things.” Taylor has seen Bolton act with a caring heart in everything she does. “I think she wants to leave a legacy here. In everything she does, she wants people after her to have an easier time than when she was in their roles, which I’m very proud of,” Taylor said. Despite her significant extracurricular involvement and strong academics, Bolton values and has achieved an impressive work-life balance. Some of her best memories are ones she had with her friends. “I made my best friends here,” she said. “I met my bridesmaids here, as they say, just doing random stuff like hanging around in the living rooms — little things that were really significant were really my best memories.” Next year, Bolton will be pursuing a Master’s in Marketing at Vanderbilt University. While she will miss many things about Wake Forest, she knows that change happens and often leads to new experiences that will continue to shape her as a person. “I value people, I’ve accomplished so much because I stay grounded with friendships. I’m really family-oriented as well,” Bolton said. “So staying grounded with family and my faith, I think, are the keys to my success.”
Photo courtesy of Katie Fox
WILL LEWIS | CLASSICS BY CONNOR MCNEELY Opinion Editor firstname.lastname@example.org At the beginning of his college career, Will Lewis had no intention of majoring in classics. As a junior halfway through a business major, the switch was surprising to many of his friends and family. “It was a really spontaneous and risky decision,” Lewis said. “People had a lot of questions about why I made the choice.” But, as Lewis now prepares to graduate, he feels right at home within the classics department. Lewis described the personal setting of the Classics courses as a “completely different environment” from his business classes. “I felt like I was just going through the motions in business school,” he said. “The material and the professors that taught [classics] really allowed me to become the best version of myself as a student.” Although Lewis took just three semesters of classics, his short time of study stands as perhaps the clearest example of his unmatched work ethic and drive to learn. The next would be the fact that classics majors must learn either Ancient Greek or Latin, which are arguably the two hardest languages to learn. Lewis learned both at the tail end of his college career. Lewis credits the faculty of the classics department as the most crucial factor in his success. Under the direction of T.H.M. Gellar-Goad, Will conducted research on the plays of Plautus using Gephi, an open-source network analysis and visualization software. His favorite class, taught by Dr. T.H.M. Gellar-Goad focused on the writings of Herodotus. Dr. Gellar-Goad praised Lewis’s abilities as a student and expounded upon his significant role in the study of classics at Wake Forest. “Will is a dynamo, a wonder of self-directed learning and a mogul of motivation,” Gellar-Goad said. The dude taught himself Latin over the summer just for fun, and then dove into advanced Latin the following year! He is part of a wonderful, vibrant, energetic cohort of classics juniors and seniors who have brought engaged and socially-conscious perspectives to the department at precisely the perfect Photo courtesy of WIll Lewis time, as Wake Forest Classics puts more pedagogical
and curricular focus on justice, equity and critically aware study of Ancient Greece and Rome.” Lewis also referenced Dr. Amy Lather as having a profound influence on his exceptional work as a classics major. Dr. Lather commended Will’s work ethic and representation of the study of classics. “Will has brought such passion and energy to the department and has learned an extraordinary amount of Greek and Latin in a very short time,” Lather said. “He has also taken on leadership roles within the department and has been a fantastic advocate for classics.” Outside of the classroom, Lewis has been active in his fraternity, Theta Chi, and has served as the president of the Classics Honors Society. Lewis also co-founded the club baseball team and has been a consistent leader throughout the organization’s early years at Wake Forest. As a senior during one of the most challenging years ever to be a college student, Lewis spoke of how fortunate he was not to see much change to his studies, as most of the courses offered by the Classics department were able to continue to meet in person. “It’s been more of the social and personal relationships that have suffered as a result of the pandemic,” he said. “I remember being holed up during quarantine with a lot of my friends. I’m extremely grateful for the relationships that I built as a result of that time.” Lewis also discussed one of the most significant focuses of his studies, which involved learning about the discrimination so often experienced in Classics scholarship. “Dr.T.H.M.’s Classics Beyond Whiteness seminars were really important in educating me on how to combat the rampant inequality and exclusivity that’s been perpetuated through this system,” Lewis said. I’ve seen texts differently due to the hard work of both Dr. T.H.M. and Dr. Lather.” Though he is now planning to become an investment banking analyst in Boston, Lewis is thankful for his experience in classics. If he could go back and change his decision in the middle of his college career to transition to a classics major, Lewis says that he wouldn’t do so because the switch was the “best choice I ever made.”
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Old Gold & Black | Graduation
JOHN FARRELL | COMPUTER SCIENCE BY SELINNA TRAN Life Editor email@example.com
Photo courtesy of Katie Fox
Artistic and analytical, John Farrell’s studies extend beyond the technical and mathematical framework of Computer Science to achieve deeper creative understanding. This yearning was a contributing factor in his decision to study at Wake Forest and to pursue a liberal arts education. “I am really happy with the computer science department at Wake Forest,” Farrell said, “The professors have been extremely pivotal in fostering my excitement for computer science.” Professor of Computer Science Dr. David John served as one of these pivotal figures for Farrell, as he was the first professor with whom Farrell worked and collaborated on research. This project was made possible through Farrell’s reception of an Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Center (URECA) grant. As someone with a background that is not focused on computer science, Farrell was not entirely confident he could excel in the subject. Dr. John was a guiding figure who helped to mitigate these fears and mentor Farrell’s journey throughout his research. One of the most memorable parts of Farrell’s educational experience at Wake Forest was being able to help other students. Farrell served as a TA for Professor Grey Ballard, an assistant professor of computer science — an experience he recalls to be extremely enriching. Farrell says his most rewarding experiences have centered around being able
to help his classmates or other people come to a solution. “My friend came to me with this problem and his professor did not know what to do,” Farrell said. “I spent an hour with him and it was something very strange, but I was able to help him and I liked that. Helping people to achieve that epiphany, ‘we got it!’ moment.” Currently, Farrell is working at the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) doing web development full stack, along with web data forensics. Farrell is excited, however, to expand his career into one covering multiple creative fields and “fringe topics,” as he calls them, such as 3D modeling, within the video game and entertainment industries. “I devoted myself to [computer science] almost blindly. And now, I have skills and a foundation I can use,” Farrell said. “Foundationally, computer science is great, extremely flexible. I want to keep my options open, it’s the reason that I went to a liberal arts college. I hope to be able to use the flexibility of computer science to pivot into the arts and entertainment industry.” Farrell aspires to pursue further education within the creative industry in the future, with the hopes of someday working as a technical director. Ranging from painting to archaeology, Farrell’s interests are diverse, yet he is confident that he is seeking to incorporate his multifaceted passions into a field of study that offers the flexibility that Farrell was seeking. Farrell’s journey in computer science is open-ended, and he points out that the unknown fuels his excitement to learn more.
OLIVIA NANDKEOLYAR | ECONOMICS BY COOPER SULLIVAN Assistant News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Economics is the study of production, consumption and the transfer of wealth. So that means studying a bunch of numbers, complex graphs and seemingly repetitive models, right? Well, not quite, at least according to senior Olivia Nandkeolyar. Nandkeolyar was drawn to the real-world applications of economics and is intrigued by how monetary policy can be used to bring about positive environmental change. While the Atlanta native has always been surrounded by an economic atmosphere, studying economics wasn’t a guarantee. “My mom has a Ph.D. in economics, so I kind of thought, ‘maybe I’ll take ‘Econ 150’ and see what all the hype is about,’” Nandkeolyar said. “And then I took it and I really loved my professor. I loved how economics explains the world, how it really simplifies models and is really able to explain consumer behavior. And from that, I kind of went with it. I’ve been taking classes in [economics] ever since.” Nandkeolyar has applied all she has learned across her classes to her thesis, a game-theoretic analysis that incentivizes sustainable fashion. In non-economic jargon, she examines how governments can use policy to encourage corporations in the clothing industry to produce in a sustainable fashion. Such is fitting considering that Nandkeolyar is majoring in politics and international relations alongside Economics. “I’m really interested in the fashion industry overall, but I think sustainable fashion, in particular. We live in an increasingly green-focused world, and it is really interesting to look at,” she said. “And hopefully, in the future, I can apply what I’ve studied and my research to what I end up working on.” Exactly what this will be remains to be seen. First, Nandkeolyar will be working for CVS Health in their general management leadership program before she begins searching for MBA programs. While she is excited to take her next step professionally, she doesn’t think that she is ready to leave Wake Forest quite yet. “It’s been such an amazing four years and I think being sad is probably the best emotion you can
have because it means that it was a great experience,” Nandkeolyar said. “I don’t think I would do anything differently when I look back. But yeah, it’s definitely sad. I’m excited to see what the future holds, but I don’t want to leave yet.” Dance has also been an important part of Nandkeolyar’s four years as a Demon Deacon. As a dance minor, she has been a part of the Wake Forest Dance Company and spent time teaching ballet to the Winston-Salem community with the dance department. She also is the treasurer of Women in Economics, served as secretary and new member chair for the International Golden Key Society and was a member of Best Buddies. “I have so many favorite memories, I would say that a lot of them are just those moments, like sitting on the quad with my friends,” she says. “Those are things I think of when I look back because I have loved the campus. Other fond college memories include the ones she made off-campus, abroad in Venice during the spring of her sophomore year, and in Copenhagen the fall of her junior year. “I made amazing memories [while abroad], especially in the Casa Artom House [in Venice], which I think is such a unique, only-Wake-Forest kind of thing,” Nandkeolyar said. “It was amazing living on the Grand Canal, and that’s something I’ll never forget,” As Nandkeolyar prepares for the end of her Wake Forest chapter, she noted two professors in the economics department have helped her reach this point in her academic career: “Dr. Amanda Griffith and Dr. Fred Chen, both of which were my thesis advisors. They’re just really great professors who have pushed me far outside of my comfort zone and made me a much better student.” And for those students who still think that economics is full of only complex models, Nandkeolyar offers one final piece of advice. “Don’t get discouraged by what you would think will be very complex,” she says. “I think at times, economics can be a little daunting because it seems maybe impractical or a little too theoretical, but then you think about the applications. I think economics is able to explain so much more beyond consumer and firm behavior. And we can see these applications in everyday life. Think about more than just the models and you’ll be golden.”
Photo courtesy of Katie Fox
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LILLY PARKER | ELEMENTARY EDUCATION BY CONNOR MCNEELY Opinion Editor email@example.com Although she came to Wake Forest uncertain of her major, Lilly Parker ended her college career completing an exceptional amount of work and has shown incredible dedication to her elementary education studies. Throughout a turbulent senior year — during which the majority of her degree work was to be completed — Lilly Parker showed perseverance and exuded excellence. The university’s courses taught Parker the requisite skills for teaching children in person, but when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, difficulties in adapting to online learning arose. “The biggest challenge was accepting that you’re not going to have a normal teaching experience,” Parker said. Dr. Laura Bilton related a specific story about Lilly’s perseverance in the face of the challenges presented by the pandemic. “She was in EDU 203 when the pandemic sent everyone home. In that course she had to do an assignment where she video-taped herself teaching a story to students,” Bilton said. “Her energy came through the camera, as she was the only student to bring in additional props to help make connections to the book. Lilly is an amazing and engaging student.” The education department gave students the opportunity to choose whether to complete teaching experiences with local schools in either the fall or the spring. Parker would work at Brunson Elementary School for her education lab, which was worth 10 credits. This course was equivalent to the 8-hour work-day of a full-time teaching position. Lilly’s mentor, Kylie White, the first-ever recipient of a Master’s degree in Education at Wake Forest, was an excellent role model and helped with her work at Brunson Elementary. Parker’s work continued with an assignment for a teacher preparation assessment and project that ultimately gives education majors the ability to graduate with a teaching license. Lilly wrote over 20 pages and developed four strategies for her second-grade lesson plan on how to identify even and odd numbers, with an additional 30 pages of commentary featuring video recordings of teacher-to-student feedback.
For an individual as passionate about education as Lilly Parker, this task was a joy to complete. “Coming into school at Wake, I knew there was a lot of work to be done with the different local schools,” she said, “There’s a lot of change that needs to occur in the field over time.” Parker was set up for success by the instruction and mentorship of several professors within Wake Forest’s Education department. Dr. Pat Cunningham, who met weekly with Parker, praised her love of teaching. “I have been teaching elementary education majors for decades,” she said. “I have had many smart, dedicated, hard-working students. Even among this large group, Lilly is outstanding.” Parker was also mentored by Dr. Danielle Parker Moore, with whom she researched the impact of school closures during the COVID-19 crisis on Winston-Salem families. The research stands as another example of Parker’s ability to adapt to different challenges, as her original summer plan was to work at the CDF Freedom school to prevent reading loss with Dr. Moore. Despite the cancellation of that opportunity, Parker still organized a school supplies fundraiser for the kids enrolled in the program. Outside of the towering body of work within her elementary education major, Lilly Parker still found a crucial role to play in the enrichment of the community around her. In her sophomore year, Parker was the vice president of service in the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity. She was then elected president of APO during her junior year and has served countless non-profit organizations and charities throughout her college career. After she graduates, Lilly plans to teach elementary school through Teach For America in Atlanta, Ga. Though she is happy to be doing what she loves, Parker spoke of the precious time she was able to spend on campus during her senior year. “I wasn’t able to spend much time on campus, but when I did I was extremely reflective. I was walking from the Banshees show the other night, and I feel like I should have been walking into Collins (freshman dorm) right after,” she said. To other elementary education majors and to underclassmen in general, Parker offered some valuable advice. “Reach out to the Winston-Salem community,” she said. “My college experience has made me reflect on all the different ways Wake grads can help change the world around them.”
Photo courtesy of Andy Woehr
REGAN O’DONNELL | ENGINEERING BY JULIA OCHSENHIRT Asst. News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Regan O’Donnell is an engineering major with a concentration in biomedical engineering. She is originally from the Boston suburb of Cohasset, Mass. and took a gap year before joining the engineering department’s inaugural class. O’Donnell landed on engineering because of her strong science and mathematics backgroundsand because of the encouragement she received from her high school teachers. She also appreciated how engineering combined different scientific, mathematical and technological disciplines. “I didn’t want to do a bio[logy] or chem[istry] major,” O’Donnell explained. “There wasn’t one science I was drawn to above the others.” O’Donnell applied to both traditional engineering programs and liberal arts schools. She was drawn to Wake Forest’s size, location and liberal arts curriculum, as well as the opportunity to join a brand-new engineering program. “In most engineering programs, I would have declared a biomedical engineering major during my freshman year and been locked into that path,” O’Donnell said. “Wake’s program gives you all the same fundamental skills you’d get from any engineering program, and then you can concentrate on whatever you’re interested in. It’s more of a project-oriented, critical thinking mindset.” O’Donnell developed a keen interest in biomedical engineering during the summer following her sophomore year when she interned for Boston Scientific, a medical device company. As a research and development intern, she worked with a team of eight other engineers to build a new medical device. She intended to return to Boston Scientific in the summer of 2020, but the company canceled its internship program due to the COVID-19 pandemic. O’Donnell continued to cultivate her passion for biomedical engineering through her senior capstone project in which, alongside a team of four other engineering majors, she explored the field of tissue engineering. The group developed a new method for cell-seeding, the process of spreading native human cells onto a three-dimensional surface where they grow into artificial tissues and organs. “We were trying to make a method to make Photo courtesy of Katie Fox cell-seeding more homogeneous,” O’Donnell
explained. “Typically, the cells cluster on different parts of the scaffold and don’t leave an even distribution for best growth. We created a system that traps the scaffold and cells and then rotates them for several hours to achieve a more even distribution.” McDonnell has loved the small size of Wake Engineering. She explained that it fostered a tightknit community and provided her the chance to direct her educational experiences in a way that might not be afforded at a larger institution. “We have a group of 42 students in my graduating class, and I think 12 professors, so it’s been a super close-knit community since the beginning,” O’Donnell said. “I feel like I know my professors on a personal level, and being a part of this first-class at Wake Forest means we’ve really been able to make a legacy and guide the direction of the department.” McDonnell’s professors had nothing but complimentary things to say about her. “In my experience, Regan embodied curiosity, diligence and authenticity,” Carlos Kenga, Adjunct Professor at Wake Engineering and faculty advisor for O’Donnell’s capstone group said. “She acknowledged her gaps in knowledge or expertise and expressed a hunger to fill those gaps.” “[O’Donnell] embodies all the values of the Department of Engineering — empowerment, growth, integrity, inclusion, compassion, and joy,” Olga Pierrakos, Founding Chair and Professor at Wake Engineering, said. “We are all so proud of her. I cannot wait to see her remarkable achievements after graduation.” Alongside her commitment to academics, O’Donnell is involved in a variety of extracurricular activities on campus and in Winston-Salem. She has served as a President’s Aide — a group of students who serve as liaisons between students and university administration — and worked as a student volunteer or leader during various university events. Additionally, O’Donnell is a member of the Engineering Student Advisory Board, providing a student perspective on the engineering department’s curriculum and offerings. She is the secretary of Wake Forest’s chapter of the Society of Women Engineers and an instructor at CycleBar in Winston-Salem. O’Donnell will be joining Putnam Associates, a Boston firm serving biopharmaceutical and medical device clients, as a consultant after graduation. She is excited to return to her hometown and pursue her passion for biomedicine.
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NATALIE BRADFORD | ENGLISH BY SELINNA TRAN Life Editor email@example.com@wfu.edu
Photo courtesy of Natalie Bradford
As a die-hard literature lover, romantic and classics enthusiast, Natalie Bradford has always known that English would play a role in her college experience. “I have always known that I wanted to do English. I did not take an English course in my first semester freshman year, and I was incredibly sad,” Bradford said. “I then took English 265 (English Literature Before the 1800s). It was amazing and I have never looked back.” This passion stems from a childhood surrounded by books and literature. Bradford has always been immersed in the world of books. Specifically, Victorian culture has always spoken to Bradford. The subject pertains to English life for the Victorians of the period. “There are so many interesting things to talk about with books — especially with Victorian classes,” Bradford said. “The Victorians are so weird and I could talk about them all day.” Bradford will be furthering her education as a double Deacon, as she is pursuing a master’s in English at Wake Forest. Her time here is not over yet, and she is excited to continue her education and immerse herself further in English studies. While reflecting on the past four years at Wake Forest, Bradford recalls one of her favorite projects — an independent study between her classmates and Dr. Joanna Ruocco, a creative writing professor, on romance novels. The study delved into the genre of romance novels and Bradford enjoyed studying the history along with understanding the unique aspects that make up the genre. The days in which she had to wake up awake at 4 a.m. were stressful days for Bradford in the semester as she recalls writing endless
essays. However, these memories are also associated with pleasant times as she learned to develop critical thinking skills and a true understanding of the source material beyond the surface level. “Any day being able to talk about fun books and fun people marks a good day for me,” Bradford said. The professors and faculty that Bradford have interacted with over the years at Wake Forest have served as guiding mentors for her academic experience, and she is grateful for her encounters with them. Dr. Jennifer Pyke, an associate teaching professor, stands out in particular as a dedicated and passionate individual that Bradford looks up to. Dr. Pyke’s classes were memorable for Bradford, because of the professor’s interesting rhetoric and dedication to the subject matter. “I have absolutely loved getting to know Natalie over these years,” Dr. Pyke said. “In class, Natalie is hyper-focused. You can see it all being processed and contemplated — each point raised is sparking 10 new thoughts. She is a reader and writer who also sees beyond the edges of classrooms and institutions. She makes room for the world and other kinds of ‘sense’ in what she knows. She is preternaturally focused but also down-to-earth, at the same time. And then she walks into your office and you realize she is also very funny. I will miss her!” In her free time, Bradford enjoys creative writing, embroidery and cross-stitch. She also enjoys being able to experience nature and literature by cracking open a good book while on a hike, a frequent hobby of hers. After graduating, Bradford hopes that her experiences will land her to a job in education and she will be able to spread her love and passion for English.
CAMERON MUNLEY | ENVIROMENT & SUST. BY EMILY BEAUCHAMP Senior Writer firstname.lastname@example.org Cameron Munley grew up in Winston-Salem, N.C., so when it came time to pick a university, she was determined that it would not be Wake Forest. After touring around 15 schools, however, her mind was changed and she would soon be an incoming freshman of Wake Forest’s class of 2021. “I knew there was something about it — the size, the academics, the resources and this weird gut feeling that I had when I went on the campus I that wanted to be nowhere else,” Munley said. When Munley arrived, she wasn’t entirely sure what she wanted to major in, but after taking a couple of biology classes, she realized she was in love with ecology. During her second semester freshman year, she was already taking a 300 level course in the department and ultimately decided that Biology with a minor in environmental science would be the best fit for her. That same year, members of the biology department came to Munley, as they already saw her passion for the environment and pitched her idea they were developing: the environment and sustainability studies major. Munley decided then that this was the course of study for her, and she will be in the first class to graduate with that major. Munley’s Wake Forest career has been defined mostly by her academics. “It’s what I’m most passionate about,” she said. She loves exploring new ideas and ended up taking an archeology class during her freshman year. She fell in love with anthropology soon after and ultimately decided on a double major in both environment and sustainability studies and anthropology, with a minor in biology. She also conducted a significant amount of research during her four years. Munley began her journey as a member of Dave Anderson’s lab in the biology department and went to the Galapagos to study the sleep patterns of the Nazca booby. She then studied with Eric Jones, from the anthropology department during the summer. During this field school experience, she conducted research on lithics and indigenous tribes that lived in the Yadkin Valley, ultimately presenting her findings on Undergraduate Research Day during her sophomore
year. Finally, she worked with Miles Silman in the biology department for several years. One of Munley’s favorite memories from her time at Wake Forest was during a five-week trip to Peru with Silman. “I woke up really early one morning to go see a sunrise,” Munley said. “We took this two-hour bus ride down the bumpy road in the middle of the Andes Mountains. We ended up getting to the peak which was around 14,000 feet; it was about 20 degrees outside and windy. But gradually, the sun started rising and all of a sudden the mountains were illuminated. We were above the clouds and it was the most amazing possible sight.” As Munley watched the sunrise, she was struck by the beauty of nature and how incredible it was. It reinforced her desire to study nature irrevocably. “The best way to learn about nature is to go and see something like that,” Munley said. That is probably one of the most vivid memories that I will ever have and hold with me.” While academics have shaped Munley’s four years, she has many other interests as well. One such interest defined her college career: horseback riding. She has been riding off-and-on since she was six years old. When she came to college, she ended up joining the equestrian team. Munley feels that this has been her most valuable and impactful activity. “I love animals, and horseback riding was probably the first major activity in my life that showed me the importance of animals and how we as humans can make important bonds with them,” she said. Munley would say that her experiences outside of the classroom are some of the most impactful. She has embodied this idea by making every effort to study abroad, whether that be summer in Peru, a semester in Venice Italy, or a week in Belize. Additionally, Munley values the little moments in her life that give her a break from academics. One such moment that she looks forward to every week is spending Saturdays with her best friend, never having a plan and letting spontaneity guide their day. Next year, Munley will be combining her many passions by pursuing a Ph.D. in environmental archeology at the University of Florida. Then, she hopes to go into academia full time to continue researching and teaching students about what she loves.
Photo courtesy of Cameron Munley
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KELSEY MURLLESS | ENVIRO. SCIENCE BY JULIA OCHSENHIRT Asst. News Editor email@example.com Kelsey Murlless is an environmental and sustainability studies major and a politics and international affairs minor from Charlotte, N.C. She spent the first three years of her Wake Forest experience as an interdisciplinary studies student and changed her major to environmental and sustainability studies when the program was created in the Fall of 2020. Murlless first became interested in environmental science in high school when she took Advanced Placement (AP) Environmental Science. Yet, she entered college uncertain of what to major in. She decided she wanted to study environmental science during her sophomore year and began the process of creating her own major as Wake Forest did not have an environmental science department at the time. “The process of creating a major was very long, tedious and difficult,” Murlless said. “A lot of work went into it and I think I really learned perseverance from that experience.” Murlless decided to switch to the environmental and sustainability studies major upon its creation because it offered more structure than the interdisciplinary studies program. However, she enjoyed the opportunity to explore many different departments at Wake Forest during her time as an interdisciplinary studies major. “I’ve taken bio[logy], English, history, politics and economics classes ... I think I’ve taken a class in almost every department,” Murless said. “It’s been great because you really get to meet a lot of people and professors that you wouldn’t get to if you were just within one major.” Two of Murlless’s favorite courses were Environmental Anthropology, taught by Paul Thacker, and International Environmental Policy, taught by Nicolás Cisneros. She appreciated the environmental anthropology course because it gave her a new perspective on environmental issues, and loved how international environmental policy combined her interests in environmental science and politics. “Kelsey is popular within the environmental program community because of her dedicated commitment to a better future and her humility, compassion and kindness,” Thacker said. “She
combines successful training in the natural sciences with a deep understanding of the culturallyconstructed worldviews that structure our relationship to the environment.” Murlless studied in Copenhagen, Denmark in the fall of her junior year, and called her time abroad the best part of her college experience. Murlless studied climate change, glaciers, renewable energy and waste management with the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS). “The program was a very hands on learning experience, which I loved,” Murlless said. Murlless has held multiple environmental internships during her time at Wake Forest. In her sophomore year, she served as the inaugural Athletics, Waste Reduction and Diversion Assistant for the Office of Sustainability on campus. She worked as an intermediary between the Office of Sustainability and athletic programs, and promoted sustainable initiatives within athletics. Among other achievements, Murlless helped host an entirely carbon neutral baseball game. Murlless also interned with Catawba Lands Conservancy doing stewardship work; there, she spent time out in the field monitoring and reporting on the conditions of protected land in and around Charlotte. During her senior year, Murlless joined the Piedmont Environmental Alliance (PEA) as a Community Outreach and Marketing Intern. “Every year PEA puts on a big Earth Day fair, so I have been doing a lot of graphic design and marketing for the fair,” Murlless explained. “It’s been a lot of outreach with the local community and trying to bolster [PEA’s] social media presence in order to increase attendance at the fair.” Throughout the past four years, Murlless has been involved with the Delta Zeta (DZ) sorority and held multiple leadership roles within the organization. She served as DZ’s Greeks Go Green representative, in which she fostered communication between the sorority and the Office of Sustainability and encouraged her fellow sisters to adopt sustainable practices. She also spent a semester as DZ’s intramural sports chair. Murlless enjoyed getting involved with on-campus events, traditions and volunteer opportunities. She has participated in Hit the Bricks, served on a Wake N’ Shake committee and volunteered with Campus Kitchen and Campus Garden.
BURKE PRESTON | FINANCE BY JAKE STUART Asst. Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
A second-generation Demon Deacon from Baltimore, Md., Burke Preston has known Wake Forest was right for him for as long as he can remember. He was drawn in by the “small feel” and “look” of campus. Who isn’t? Preston also admired the Medical School and the Business School, two top-ranked academic institutions. Unlike his college decision, Preston wasn’t so sure of what his major would be. “I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon when I got to campus and I thought that was the plan, but I was still interested in business because my dad and grandfather had been in business,” he said. Figuring out which passion to pursue is a tough task, and one that Preston did not take lightly. “So I went to an information session at one of the big banks at Farrell freshman year to see what banking offered as a profession.They said all the right things and I realized that banking offered everything I could have wanted in a career, he said. “After that meeting, I started networking with alumni and upperclassmen and they all pushed me to go to business school. I enjoyed my finance classes and the professors, and decided it was the best path for me.” Following his major decision, Preston never looked back. He has been consistently involved in business endeavors and has been a staple for the Dow Jones Club on campus, where he led and directed the chapter. Preston looks forward to expanding on his passion for business at the next level. “After graduation, I will be working at TD Securities in New York as a sales and trading analyst,” Preston said. “I worked for TD over the summer and got a full-time offer in August. I’m super excited because TD has many great people and offers a ton of resources to their Photo courtesy of Katie Fox junior people to help them succeed.”
Photo courtesy of Kelsey Murlless
Preston’s mentors ran far and wide, but in his mind, two influenced him the most. Dr. Bill Marcum and Professor Martin Malloy. “They both are awesome and I enjoyed their classes a lot. I have worked with Dr. Marcum more over my time in the Business School as I helped out with panels for the finance department and went on a networking trip with him during my sophomore year,” he said. “He motivated me to work hard to get my job because he knows the street really well and sets high expectations for his students. He never sugar-coated anything and told me how the business world worked and what I needed to do to be successful. Professor Malloy is fantastic and brought a lot of his industry experience to class, which made it a lot of fun to see how the material was used in the real world. He is also a great mentor and super interesting to talk to about markets and about career advice. Professor Malloy only came to Wake in the last two years.” The two professors both agreed that Preston made an impact in the classroom on a plethora of levels. “I cannot think of higher praise than to say that Burke Preston is intelligent, humble, practical, hardworking, generous and kind,” Marcum said. “He exemplifies the type of leader the world desperately needs. It has been an honor to work with Burke during his short time at Wake Forest.” “Burke was a pleasure to have in class,” Malloy said. “He contributed thoughtful and interesting topics to the class discussions. I am confident that Burke will have continued success by bringing the same intellectual curiosity and energy to his professional life that he demonstrated in his academic career.” Preston looks to give back to others following a similar path and offered a few words of wisdom. “I think my advice for an incoming freshman would be to have fun in college by doing things you never thought you would end up doing so go abroad, join clubs, volunteer, try different classes and learn about different careers,” he said. “I would have never made the most of my Wake Forest experience if I hadn’t been willing to try new things.
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JACK LLOYD | FRENCH BY OLIVIA FIELD Senior Writer email@example.com
Photo courtesy of Katie Fox
You may have seen senior Jack Lloyd toiling away at the Campus Garden or hanging out in the Office of Sustainability throughout his time at Wake — and it would make sense, Lloyd is a biology major with a minor in environmental studies. However, while he was studying genetics and cell structure, Lloyd was also fine tuning his grammar and accent through the French major. In fact, Lloyd’s love for the French language and culture has landed him the opportunity to teach English at secondary schools in Marseilles, France after graduation. “If you are learning a language, first, it is really important that you learn to actually communicate with it, but it is also really important to appreciate the tonal sounds of it and really understand the aesthetics of the language,” Lloyd explained. Having studied French in high school, Lloyd knew that it was something he was interested in pursuing once he got to college. Now, after four years at Wake Forest, he has been able to not only to follow his linguistic passions, but also study abroad in Dijon, France. “By rolling up his sleeves and working in our Campus Garden, and later in the Office of Sustainability, Jack has embodied the ideal of a hands-on, engaged liberal arts education,” shared French professor Veronique McNelly, who traveled with Lloyd to Dijon. “This guiding sense of purpose followed him to France. While studying abroad in Dijon, Jack and a classmate investigated the problem of inhumane farming practices in the European Union.Through his studies and sometimes in the practice of everyday life, Jack has shown how much can be achieved when members of a community with a shared sense of purpose are willing to teach by example, to invest time and effort, to roll up their sleeves and demonstrate commitment through hard work.” While in Dijon, Lloyd took a class taught by a charismatic French-Italian man which explored different
movements and periods within the country’s art history. Courses such as this one, which focus more so on culture than just the language itself, have been among the favorites of Lloyd during his time as a French major. “It was really amazing to live with a host family.That provided me with a great opportunity to practice my colloquial French,” Lloyd explained. “Being able to be immersed in France was just an amazing experience.” This interest in French culture was the nexus for his senior Honors Thesis, which is a textual analysis of two gay publications from the 80s and 90s, at the height of the AIDs epidemic. It explores the role of the state in regards to the domain of health. According to Lloyd, the French department and the opportunities it presented only solidified his decision to come to Wake Forest. “I love how close knitted [the department] is, like some of my best friends atWake are also French majors or minors,” Lloyd shared. “The professors are honestly incredible. They are so accommodating, they really want you to succeed and become the best student that you can be. It is really just a great environment to learn in.” Whenaskedabouthisfavoritememoryfromhistime atWake Forest, Lloyd recalled a moment from his time living in the Sustainability House sophomore year. “Right before finals week the winter of my sophomore year, there was a massive blizzard. So, I was living in the Sustainability Theme House on Polo Road and the first day, when all the snow was down, none of the roads had been cleared,” he said. “All 11 of us marched down to the Pit and it felt like we were trekking through Antartica or something. We all just had an early lunch before we went off and studied and that was such a fun memory.” When asked what advice he had for incoming freshmen, Lloyd highlighted just how much opportunity Wake Forest provides and how important it is for students to take advantage of all its resources. “Cherish your time here,” he said. “Really try to live and experience every moment, look for all of the opportunities that you can, and try to take advantage of them.”
RILEY PHILLIPS | GERMAN BY KATIE FOX Photographer firstname.lastname@example.org Although Riley Phillips calls Orlando, Fla. home, she spent parts of elementary school and high school living in Germany and took her first German class during her freshman year of high school in Stuttgart. Phillips graduated from an arts high school in Orlando and wanted to pick German back up at Wake Forest, so she started in Dr. Heiko Wiggers’ GER 153 class. “[Riley] was truly one of the most creative students I have taught,” wrote Dr. Wiggers. “Her contributions were always highly original and very smart. Their Spring 2020 class was interrupted by the pandemic, and I admired how she pulled through these hard times and always strived to improve her German.” Phillips, a German and studio art double major and an art history minor, has dedicated her undergraduate years to combine those interests. She described the German department as very tight-knit and said the professors are very invested in their students, wanting to know them on a deeper level, socialize with them, and of course improve their conversational German. “Professors often talk about a student being ahead of their years in maturity, but I have proof! I remember approaching Riley several years ago, assuming that she was a rising senior and asking if she would like to write an Honors Thesis and in her answer, she reminded me that she was only a sophomore,” Dr. Howards said. Phillips said one of her favorite things about the German department is how supportive they are of the interdisciplinary experience. Ultimately, Phillips will graduate with Honors in German, and Dr. Howards said, “Finally, after years of waiting, my patience paid off with her fascinating honors study on the evolution of Berlin fashion amid the city’s changing political backdrop.” In Spring 2019, Phillips studied abroad in Venice, Italy. That summer, Phillips received a Richter Scholarship to research multicultural influences and developments in Berlin’s fashion scene and spent the summer in Berlin, which she said satisfied her with a taste of German during her collegiate career. While abroad, Phillips embraced street photography as a means of documentation for her research,
but when she returned to campus, she curated a solo artist show through the stArt Gallery’s STARTyourself program. The “Seamed|Ripped” exhibition was up in the Student Art Gallery from October to November of 2020 and exclusively featured photos from Phillips’ time spent in Berlin for her Richter research. Phillips’ German Honors Project was influenced by her Richter research but delved further — examining fashion and youth. She recalled struggling to write the first five pages in January and thinking, ‘I don’t know if I can do this,’ but she made it happen. “I just submitted 70 pages. I never would have thought that I would do that, [...] but, wow, look at this growth from freshman year,” Phillips said. A candidate for Honors in both German and her studio art, Phillips’ Studio Art Honors Exhibition, “Unmentionables: Confronting Fantasy and Femininity”, showed in the stArt Gallery at the end of April. Outside of the classroom, she has been involved in the art department through public art initiatives such as her performance piece “babydoll” in Fall 2020, multiple contributions to student art shows and her aforementioned solo exhibition. She has also been involved with the Anthony Aston Players and worked as a costume shop assistant for the theater and dance department. In addition to making her artistic mark on campus, Phillips was a featured designer at Vancouver Fashion Week in October 2019 with her own runway show, and her work has been published in Local Wolves and Mood Fabrics. She was also the cover story photographer for Allen & Houston Magazine. Furthermore, she had an internship pattern-drafting for Sifted Clothing, which was supplemented by her costume shop experience, and started “Finder’s Keepers” with fellow senior Meredith Vaughn, a podcast turned small business selling vintage clothing which the duo plans to continue after graduation. When Phillips first visitedWake Forest as a junior in high school, the student Art Gallery was one of the first places she went. Although she considered many career paths, her experiences with the gallery managers through her solo exhibitions and honors projects pushed her to apply for the WFU Student Art Gallery manager position, and she’ll begin working at the stArt Gallery in Reynolda Village this summer.
Photo courtesy of Andy Woehr
Friday, May 7, 2021 | Page 17
Graduation | Old Gold & Black
BY SELINNA TRAN Life Editor email@example.com
ED MORGAN | GERMAN STUDIES
Entering Wake Forest, Ed Morgan did not intend to pursue an academic career in German studies, but after a couple of classes, he soon discovered a passion for the discipline. Combined with a major in business management, Morgan was able to merge his interest in the two worlds into a business management degree with a concentration in German studies. At the start of Morgan’s academic career in German studies, Professor Rebecca Thomas served as an influential figure who cemented his desire to continue down the path. Morgan has worked with Professor Thomas and attributes his passion for German studies to her influence. “I taught him in both elementary language and upper-level culture courses,” Thomas said. “Ed is an exceptionally enthusiastic student who brings a sincere interest and curiosity to the discipline. His eagerness for the subject matter was contagious to his classmates.” Morgan was also able to immerse himself in the language by conversing with native speakers. That proved to be an invaluable experience that deepened Morgan’s understanding of the culture and language all while exemplifying his passion for the subject. “When a friend of mine who had German parents came to visit, because of my experience and education in my classes, I was able to speak to them,” Morgan said. It was clear to me that they were appreciative of meeting someone who spoke the language.” Being able to immerse himself in the culture beyond the language was always one of Morgan’s desires, which is why
he took the initiative to go outside of the classroom and learn about German culture. “It has been so much fun to watch him expand his love of German studies beyond the classroom, to take every opportunity to immerse himself in the culture, and to bring those experiences back to the formal learning environment,” Thomas said. “His perspective adds so much to class discussion, and his positive attitude, genuine interest and effort are much appreciated. As a German professor, there is nothing more gratifying than teaching a student who truly falls for the language and culture as hard as I have.” Outside of German studies, Morgan excels in lacrosse, as he serves as copresident of men’s club lacrosse. His hobbies include video games, lacrosse and literature. Once Morgan picks up a fantasy or historical fiction novel, he can’t put it down. Morgan’s assiduity towards German studies — along with a genuine interest in the subject drove his desire to further education on German culture, and the experience was made possible through Wake Forest. “Without a doubt, Wake Forest has changed my life path. I never would have considered a career that incorporated German studies and culture as I do now,” Morgan said. Morgan will be continuing his education at Wake Forest next year as he pursues a master’s in business analytics. He will be completing this program while working at the headquarters of Lowes Foods in the app and website development division. In the graduate program, Morgan will be expanding his background in business management into software development — hoping to take this knowledge into German game development.
ALEXA REILLY | HES
BY MICAH PORTER Life Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexa Reilly has held a passion for working with children and students with disabilities since her days in high school, and thus, she has devoted her time as a Demon Deacon to helping others, making memories and taking advantage of all the opportunities Wake Forest has to offer. Her passion for medical science has motivated her to pursue a graduate degree in speech pathology from Northeastern University where she will begin this coming fall. As both a dedicated student and an active member in several Wake Forest organizations, Reilly has committed herself to community service both within the confines of campus as well as in the surrounding Winston-Salem community. Reilly serves as the president of Best Buddies, a community engagement organization that pairs college students with local individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Her work within this organization has fueled her passions and was influential in her decision to enter the field of speech pathology, though she initially became interested in the field during high school. According to Reilly, the HES major is not for the faint of heart. Between anatomy exams and dissection labs, her experiences within the health and exercise Department have necessitated immense efforts. But, she says, they have also proved tremendously rewarding. When asked about what advice she would give to prospective HES majors, Reilly said, “When they say don’t study the night before the exam, they mean it. You have to prepare.” Reilly recalls long nights before exams in which she often fell asleep while rattling off the names of the different bones and Photo courtesy of Alexa Reilly tendons in her hand.
Photo courtesy of Andy Woehr
One benefit that comes with such a work-intensive major is the connections and sense of comradery that develops between the students. Reilly was able to form some of her closest connections at Wake Forest with peers from her HES classes, and she smiles looking back on long nights studying in the library with them and post-exam celebrations. Since Wake Forest is one of the only undergraduate research institutions to offer cadaver labs, Reilly reports her experiences studying real human bodies as one of the best learning experiences of the past four years. “Before we went in, Dr. [Ted] Eaves told the class that fainting is okay, and it actually happened to him his first time he was in the cadaver lab. This was reassuring, especially hearing it from the anatomy professor himself.” Reilly said. Luckily, she never lost consciousness. Following that experience, she went on to research with several professors studying human physiology. Her primary field of research involved testing the reliability of using an ultrasound to measure muscle thickness. Reilly’s favorite aspect of Wake Forest has been the strong sense of community that is evident throughout campus. “Being able to walk across the quad and see such a vibrant campus with so many amazing people is something I’ll hold on to,” she said. Reilly has certainly done her part in making Wake Forest a campus to be proud of. As the president of Best Buddies, as well as an active member of Hit the Bricks, Reilly has dedicated her time to helping others and acting as a friend to so many. Going forward, she plans to continue in the spirit of service as a speech pathologist for children, and her professors and friends alike have full confidence that she will achieve this ambition, and many others.
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Old Gold & Black | Graduation
ANNA LOW | HISTORY BY KATIE FOX Photographer email@example.com When Anna Low began as a first-year at Wake Forest, she was confident that she wanted to be a teacher. The Charlotte, N.C. native initially thought that her strong mathematical skills would make her a good high school math teacher, but when her registration plans fell through during the second semester of freshman year, she ended up in a 300-level History class on Maoist China with Dr. Qiong Zhang that changed the course of her college career. Before coming to Wake Forest, Low had never known history to be a particularly relevant subject, but as she started to explore the department, she fell in love with the narrow scope of each course and she was excited to learn about the more recent chapters in history. Some of Low’s favorite classes have been with Dr. Jake Ruddiman, including a course in the graduate school she took this spring. Low is highly regarded by Dr. Ruddiman. “Anna Low is an amazing student to teach,” he said. “I’ve been delighted to get the chance to work with her over the past several years. She’s a deeply thoughtful person and a brilliantly creative researcher and writer -- she draws strikingly original connections and conclusions from messy evidence. I’ve been so glad that we’ve gotten to work with her in the History Department.” Low will graduate with Honors in History, and wrote her thesis on enslaved women on college campuses in the mid-19th century, inspired by Wake Forest’s own Slavery, Race and Memory Project. She discussed her rigorous research process which involved archival work at the University of North Carolina, the University of Virginia, the University of Alabama and Wake Forest University. She dealt primarily with handwritten documents in her oft-neglected focus of study, and sought to disrupt the popular narrative that enslavement was confined to plantations in the Deep South. Her work revealed universities to be sites of destruction and oppression rather than of scholarship, enlightenment and liberalism. Dr. Simone Caron, her thesis advisor, praised Low for her Honors research, writing, “[Anna’s] Photo courtesy of Andy Woehr analysis of the intersection of race, gender and
BY CONNOR MCNEELY Opinion Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
powerlessness is exceptional. She has given these women, who are often silenced in historical accounts, the attention they have deserved all along.” At the History Department’s end-of-year celebration on Tuesday, Low was awarded both the W.J. Cash Award for Studies in Southern History and the Forrest W. Clonts Award for Excellence in History for her outstanding paper. Outside of history, Low also studied abroad during the summer of 2019 at the Worrell House in London with Dr. Adam Friedman where she compared British and American education systems, examined international education policy and had the opportunity to enjoy the rich history of Europe. “Anna did an absolutely wonderful job in my study abroad class,” wrote Dr. Friedman. “Not only were her reflections, comments and final paper outstanding, but her interaction with English children was phenomenal.” Low served as a research assistant to Dr. Scott Baker for his manuscript on recentering integration within education policy using North Carolina as a case study. Her honors research skills were put to use as she looked at newspaper archives from the 1970s through the early 2000s. Low also edited portions of Dr. Baker’s work. On campus, she was also involved in the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority as a New Member Educator and Public Relations Representative, served as the Vice President of Intellectual Growth on the Panhellenic Council and she worked as a Resident Advisor for two years. While she takes pride in her own accomplishments, Low is also proud to represent her department as she believes history is uniquely positioned as a powerful tool to keep an account of the past and inform the present and future. In her view, historians have the potential to play a more prevalent role in politics, especially by informing decisions in education. Low hopes she can work to make a difference in changing how history is taught, moving beyond the set of facts, dates and names to the valuable stories and takeaways. Low will be pursuing her Master’s in Education Policy and Analysis at Harvard Graduate School of Education after graduation and plans to continue to prioritize both History and Education.
SARAH TEMPLETON | INT. STUDIES
For an increasing number of Wake Forest students, majoring in interdisciplinary studies is becoming a sought-after academic endeavor. Although this group of students is marked by their exceptional qualifications and outstanding work ethic, you would be hard-pressed to find an individual with a more impressive resumé and personal journey than Sarah Templeton. Templeton was always curious about the environment around her. “I understood at an early age that nature is something that we need to respect and be stewards of,” she said. But, when it came time to decide her major, Wake Forest only offered a minor in Environmental Studies. When Templeton eventually decided on an Interdisciplinary Studies major, she found many initial challenges to overcome. First, there was the decision of whether to get a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Sciences degree. At the beginning of her college career, Templeton believed that she would work towards a B.S. in Environmental Studies. Templeton later discovered that in order to be a “people-oriented” and “networking” person, she would need to make the change to a Bachelor of Arts instead of a Bachelor of Sciences. Sarah credited Dr. Stottlemeyer, the Chair of the Interdisciplinary Majors Committee, as the mentor who guided her to utilize her academic strengths in the best way possible. Although she was a forerunner for the Environmental Studies major, Templeton wasn’t at all single-minded in her pursuit of excellence at Wake Forest. As a member of the Kappa Delta Sorority, she acted as a representative for “Greeks Go Green” — a peer-to-peer program that empowers student representatives from social and service organizations to engage members of their chapters in sustainable initiatives and practices. Sarah also served as the co-chair of the Academic Excellence Committee, which emphasizes the importance of scholarly success through incentives, mentorship and individual tutoring opportunities.
Templeton’s involvement extended into promoting the cause of sustainability on the Wake Forest campus and beyond. She was the vice president of ECO-Deacs, a student organization for undergraduates who want to combat the global challenges of climate change and environmental justice through conversation and action. She also works as the secretary of Women in STEM. “As one of the only people on the executive board who has an environmental science degree, it’s great to bring to the table,” Templeton said. Further along in her time at Wake Forest, the university saw more and more students begin to work towards degrees in the Interdisciplinary Studies program. Eventually, the university began to offer two new major categories for environmental science. Yet, Sarah still finished her time at Wake Forest as an interdisciplinary studies major. “It involved coordinating a lot of different parties and getting signatures,” she said. “The logistical aspect of it can be challenging, but I’m very grateful that I had people in my corner that were helpful to me.” There is no better example of the upside of the Interdisciplinary Studies major than the senior thesis project, otherwise known by its IND 399 course listing. Templeton’s thesis, “Mapuche movement and constitutional change: grounded in land,” observed the indigenous rights movement during a moment of flux in the Chilean government. “It further lent to the development of my knowledge of the environmental field as a complex and nuanced place,” she said. With the vast collection of knowledge and experience gained in her college studies, Templeton feels extremely grateful for her time at Wake Forest. She has felt that the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic provided an opportunity for appreciation. “In the environmental sense, the pandemic has made me more grateful for the little things. Being able to walk outside in a clear sunny day, taking in the natural world around me, it has made me much more determined to protect it. Nature is a great place to escape.”
Photo courtesy of Katie Fox
Friday, May 7, 2021 | Page 19
Graduation | Old Gold & Black
BY MICAH PORTER Life Editor email@example.com
YAIR M. MONTES DE-OCA | JAPANESE
Yair Morales Montes De-Oca has been selected to represent the Department of East Asian Languages as a graduating Japanese major. A Winston-Salem native, De-Oca’s decision to attend Wake Forest University was influenced by his proximity to the university, as well as stories from his older siblings’ attendance. After arriving on campus, De-Oca decided to challenge himself by taking an introductory Japanese course — little did he realize that this initial exposure would influence his decision to fully commit himself to the study of East Asian languages. However, De-Oca’s commitment to studying the culture of Asia wouldn’t end at learning Japanese, he chose to also gain fluency in Chinese. De-Oca will now be graduating as a Japanese and Chinese double major. Reflecting back on his experiences with language, De-Oca credits his interest and motivation in his studies to his exceptional professors, particularly Professor Takata Rallings. Rallings motivated De-Oca to continue his studies in Japanese, and also convinced him to spend a semester abroad. “The professors in the department of East Asian Languages are extremely supportive and have been a huge influence in my academic journey,” De-Oca said. One of the ways in which the EAL department assisted De-Oca was by guiding him in his study abroad search. During his sophomore spring, De-Oca was able to take his studies abroad in Japan, where he improved his level of proficiency and made countless connections within the local community. From the food, to the sites and the culture, traveling to Japan will go down as one of De-Oca’s most memorable undergraduate experiences. Situated near Osaka, Japan, DeOca engaged with a host of international and native students, and was able to travel around the country.
The summer leading into junior year, DeOca chose to return to Asia and embarked on a study abroad journey to Beijing, China, where he participated in a language intensive program to develop fluency in his second major: Chinese. De-Oca mentioned that having knowledge in both Chinese and Japanese is extremely helpful, as they build off of each other in terms of writing. Ultimately, the experience of going abroad to a territory unknown was invaluable to DeOca, who said, “The highlight of my time at Wake has been studying abroad and engaging with communities in China and Japan.” For students interested in pursuing a major or minor in East Asian studies, De-Oca advises that consistent practice is the only way to achieve mastery. Chinese and Japanese are both notoriously challenging languages. Both require commitment to gaining an appreciation and understanding of, not only the language, but the culture as well. And while De-Oca has taken the difficult route of studying both Japanese and Chinese, he recommends learning a basic level of the languages or taking a trip to at least one of these countries. Both are rich in culture and the native people are always excited to engage with American students. As a double major in Chinese and Japanese, De-Oca plans on pursuing a career as an English teacher in China after graduation, with hopes of becoming as an instructor in Japan after that. The next steps for him include gaining certification as an English teacher, and his professors and friends have full confidence that he will achieve this goal. In the meantime, De-Oca is excited to finish his last semester at Wake Forest with exceptional grades, and graduate with the peers he has spent the last four years with. DeOca is immensely grateful to his professors in Japanese, and looks forward to exploring the limitless possibilities his knowledge of Japanese and Chinese will provide him in the future.
ANNA CAMPBELL | LATIN BY AINE PIERRE News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Campbell first visited Wake Forest while being recruited to run, but incidentally, she found herself taking the first step on another kind of track: the track toward being a Latin major. “While I was here, I emailed the head of the classics department asking for information about their program,” Campbell said. “And she actually offered to meet with me while I was on campus. And so that just got me really excited about Wake Forest’s Latin program in particular. So that’s why I decided to pursue that.” Campbell took Latin throughout high school and says that she loves the challenge that translating the language gives her. “It’s really challenging, but in a fun way,” Campbell said. “When I do my Latin homework, it never really feels like work. Even though it takes a long time. I just really enjoy reading Latin. I think the first fun part about it is just translating and trying to get the Latin to make English sense.” “And then of course, once you’ve accomplished that, you have the challenge of trying to figure out what it means and analyzing it as you would English literature,” Campbell said. “And so it’s kind of a two-fold challenge. But I love that. And I also love the bonds that studying Latin creates with the other people and professors in your classes who are also reading it.” Campbell cited three influential professors in the classics department with whom she worked closely. One of them, Dr. Caitlin Hines, is now an assistant professor of classics at the University of Cincinnati. She also worked closely with Professors T.H.M. Gellar-Goad and John Oksanish, who are still at Wake Forest. Both of these professors had high praise for Campbell. “[Campbell]’s Latin skills are razor-sharp,” Gellar-Goad said. “Her acuity and attention to detail would give any classics graduate student a run for their money — and she combines Photo courtesy of Katie Fox those skills with a distinctive inquisitiveness
Photo courtesy of Yair Morales Montes De-Oca
that takes the long view on Roman literature and culture.” Campbell is incorporating that long view into her senior thesis, which is centered around the Metamorphoses of Ovid, from whence most of the Greek myths in the popular canon come. “I’m going through the poem, and I’ve picked three selections that kind of relate to each other,” Campbell said. “So I’m doing an analysis — comparing and contrasting those. And I’m also looking at Ovid’s use of legal and financial language within those selections.” Oksanish, who first taught Campbell in Introduction to Latin Prose (LAT 212), is advising Campbell on her thesis. “It has been such an immense pleasure to work closely with Anna this year on her thesis project, an interpretive commentary on selections of Ovid’s Metamorphoses,” Oksanish told the Old Gold & Black. “Particularly during this trying academic year, I valued our weekly meetings immensely. “I won’t forget taking camp chairs out onto the Reynolda lawn this past fall so that we could meet face to face to discuss her ideas and work through the text,” she said. Oksanish continued, “I know Campbell will go on to great things and am so glad that she will bring what she learned from her WFU Classics experience with her. It was a privilege to have had the chance to work with her.” As she prepares to leave the Wake Forest Classics department behind, Campbell offered this piece of advice to prospective Latin majors. “My advice would be, to take as many classes as possible, and try to get as many different professors as you can because every professor at Wake Forest has something really unique and great to offer,” Campbell said. “And when you find a professor, your tendency is to sign up for more classes with them,” Campbell said. “But I think the great thing about the classics department is all the different perspectives I got on Latin from the different professors.” “I would also tell these students to try to go to the talks,” Campbell added. “The department usually has speakers come in from different universities, and they’re just really great.”
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Old Gold & Black | Graduation
KYLE BLACKBURN | MATH BUSINESS BY JOE CHO Asst. Life Editor email@example.com Coming from a small private high school in Warrenton, Va., it seemed as if Kyle Blackburn fit the mold of a small private institution in the South — like a fish that graduates from a pond to a lake. Admittedly, he loved the warm weather of the South, which helped narrow his search for schools. But primarily, Blackburn sought out institutions that were academically challenging and morally upstanding. Not too long into his selection process, he found Wake Forest, applied, and was accepted early in his senior year of high school. Initially, like most first-years, Blackburn was uncertain about what he wanted to study at Wake Forest. He always had an inclination for the STEM fields, but the fields were vast and diverse, so it was a matter of deciding which path he would take. “The question really became kind of whether I wanted to go into something like analytics, statistics, business, or if I wanted to go into biology, chemistry and medicine. I ended up doing both, which was interesting,” Blackburn said. Influenced by factors such as Sharon Payne’s information session on the business school and having an advantage in his math coursework, he eventually declared mathematical business as his major. Still, Blackburn always had an aptitude for biology and medicine, so naturally, he acquired biology and chemistry as his minors. Blackburn attributes many of his academic successes to the first classes he took as a freshman, especially multivariable calculus with Dr. John Gemmer. “I got to meet some of the most intelligent people that I’ve ever met, and some of my best friends came out of that class,” Blackburn said. “That was also the most challenging class I’ve taken at Wake in terms of rigor, and that really pushed me in my first year. It really set the tone for the rest of my college career.” Blackburn also credited Dr. Berenhaut of the Photo courtesy of Andy Woehr mathematics department and Dr. Dalzell of the
statistics department as academic mentors that fostered his interest in analytical and statistical math. Additionally, Blackburn has conducted research with Dr. Berenhaut, investigating clusterbased networks through community detection. Outside of the classroom, Kyle Blackburn is seen wearing many hats and participating in numerous events. Most notably, he is one of 40 President’s Aides who assist and represent President Hatch at special occasions and donor events. He has been the director of CHARGE for the last two years, a student leadership program designed for first-year students and sophomores. Blackburn is a part of the Athletic Student Leadership Council, a student council committee that focuses on improving fan engagement at sports events. He is also on the Undergraduate Business School Council. Blackburn is also involved with faith-based organizations such as STS, student-led worship and Catholic apologetics, a discussion group among the Catholic community. Most recently, he has received the Academic Excellence Award for his major. Along with this prestigious recognition, he was also inducted into multiple honor societies including Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Kappa Delta, Pi Mu Epsilon for mathematics and Beta Gamma Sigma for business. When asked about his daily routines and how he managed to accomplish all these feats, Blackburn responded with a simple yet powerful answer: he made sure to get the proper amount of sleep every night. Healthy advice for underclassmen. Even with four years of academic excellence and successful leadership under his belt, Blackburn shared with us a humble sentiment. “I am very blessed to have such a loving and supportive family that helped me become who I am today. They always had a really huge impact on me and my success,” Blackburn said gratefully. After graduation, Blackburn will be taking a gap year working as a research assistant for the University of Maryland Medical School’s surgical oncology department. Following the gap year, he will prepare, apply to and enroll in medical school in pursuit of his long-term goal to become a doctor.
ANDREW LOGAN | MATH ECONOMICS BY CHARLIE BENEDICT Business Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Andrew Logan, a senior from Atlanta, Ga., majoring in mathematical economics, loves to solve problems. His interest in problem-solving spans multiple academic disciplines, which is part of the reason he chose to attend Wake Forest to begin with. “When I came to Wake Forest, I thought I’d study political science or philosophy or maybe economics,” Logan said. “I think that’s what’s so great about Wake Forest — you get to take a variety of classes and see what really clicks.” For Logan, Intermediate Mathematical Macroeconomics with Professor John Dalton was the class that made everything click for him. “That class was the reason I’m a mathematical economics major,” Logan said. “Professor Dalton is really good at eliciting student interest and engagement in the subject. It was really awesome and kind of a jumping-off point for my intellectual interests.” Logan appreciates the unique and thorough way the major approaches problems. “I think it’s a really interesting way to think about public policy problems,” Logan said. “It gives you a strong analytical toolkit through the econometrics curriculum that lets you evaluate competing policy proposals and their effects. As someone who is interested in public policy and government service, the mathematical economics major combines my love for rigorous thinking with my other interests.” Some of Logan’s other interests were addressed by his International Finance class with Dr. Sandeep Mazumder. “That class was really cool because it taught me how to think about the relationship between international trade and financial flows and how those affect domestic economic performance,” Logan said. “There were a lot of interesting connections between the economic growth and the mathematical macroeconomics class, which is stuff I’ll want to know for later in my life or career.”
Logan’s dedication to his interests was widely noticed by his teachers in both departments. “The most remarkable student of my career. That is how I will remember Andrew Logan,” Dalton said. “His combination of intellectual ability, work ethic and humility, all fueled by his natural wonder and curiosity about economic problems, have made Andrew the ideal mathematical economics student. Whether from his presence in the classroom, his participation in the Federal Reserve Challenge Team, or his work as a research assistant and co-author of economics research, Andrew has made Wake Forest a much better place for the life of the mind.” As noted by Dalton, Logan was a pivotal member on Wake Forest’s College Fed Challenge Team, an academic competition team that consisted of five to six members who modeled the Federal Open Market Committee’s deliberations. The team presented a recommendation for the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy and engaged in a question-and-answer session with the judges. The team is coached by Professor Sandeep Mazumder, who also has taught Logan. “Andrew is a fantastic student who is genuinely interested in understanding how the economy works and what real-world policy can do to improve the outcomes we expect,” Mazumder said. “His passion for economics is one of the strongest I’ve seen among all students I’ve taught in my time at Wake Forest.” Although Logan is now widely regarded as an excellent mathematical economics student, it wasn’t always that way. “As a freshman coming into Wake Forest, I wasn’t thinking I was going to be a mathematical economics major, because I didn’t really like math in high school,” Logan said. “I would encourage freshmen to take a wide variety of classes. Be flexible and open about what you want to study, because for instance, you may really love your math divisional.” Although much of Logan’s Wake Forest career was altered by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was still an overwhelmingly positive one. “I’ll always remember storming the court after we beat Duke in basketball,” Logan said. “I don’t think I’ll ever forget those memories.”
Photo courtesy of Andrew Logan
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Graduation | Old Gold and Black
ANNA FLOWERS | MATH STATISTICS BY WILL ZIMMERMAN Online Managing Editor email@example.com For Madison, Ala. native Anna Flowers, the path to the mathematical statistics major wasn’t a straightforward one. “I actually came to Wake as a chemistry major,” Flowers said. “I was taking ‘orgo’ and ‘calc’ as a freshman when I realized I wasn’t really enjoying the whole chemistry thing. The ‘calc’ class was hard, but I really liked it, and so I knew I wanted to do some sort of math major.” Within a few semesters, “some sort of math major” became statistics. “[I was drawn to statistics because] you can apply it to a lot of different areas. You can spend one day talking about sports and the next day talking about something science-related,” she said. “I enjoyed doing all this different stuff, moving around a lot.” Her experience within the statistics department has been shaped in large part by the relationship she developed with Professor Rob Erhardt — or “Dr. Rob” — who she first met when she enrolled in his multivariate statistics course during the spring of her sophomore year. “When I first met Anna, I thought she was a senior,” Dr. Rob recounts. “She was a top student in a 300-level statistics class, so it was an easy mistake to make.” Dr. Rob’s multivariate course spoke directly to Anna’s fascination with the ways in which statistics can be applied. “The material made a lot of sense to me and so I really enjoyed it,” Flowers said. “We used methods like factor analysis to predict traits that you can’t really measure, like how extroverted someone is.” During the spring of her junior year, Flowers began working with Dr. Rob on a research project that included predicting and models she was introduced to in the multivariate statistics course. “I created two different modeling techniques to assess droughts,” she explained. “One model would predict the likelihood of damages to crops based on current weather patterns, and the other model looked at, given there is some crop damage that occurs, how serious and impactful it is go-
ing to be. Taken together, the ‘Drought Monitor’ could predict crop damage, [which is important because] unlike with a tornado or other natural disasters, the damage caused by droughts often isn’t as visible.” Beyond Flowers’ work in the statistics department, music has also had a sizable impact on her undergraduate experience. Not only does Anna have a music minor, but she also plays clarinet and serves as the woodwind captain of Wake Forest’s marching band — the Spirit of the Old Gold and Black (SOTOGAB) — is the musicianship chair of Kappa Kappa Psi — the band service fraternity — and is a Presidential Scholar for Music. Her roles among these different organizations have allowed Anna the opportunity to participate in all sorts of diverse experiences over the last four years. During her time with the SOTOGAB she’s traveled to cities near and far, playing for and cheering on the Demon Deacon sports teams. “For the [Pinstripe] Bowl game last year the school flew us up to New York City,” Flowers said. “We also went there during Spring Break of my freshman year for a basketball tournament. The hotel room was provided, we got to stroll through Central Park and I saw a Broadway show, too. It was all a lot of fun.” With Kappa Kappa Psi, she’s participated in a plethora of events over the years, the most memorable of which took place at Gibson Elementary School. “It was in the fall, right around Halloween time,” she recalled. “10 or 15 of us were at the door by 7 a.m. and playing as the kids were arriving for school.” Though her days with SOTOGAB and playing clarinet for elementary schoolers may be coming to an end, another exciting chapter lays ahead for Flowers, who will be attending graduate school at Virginia Tech where she will pursue a Ph. D. in statistics. “It’s crazy that I’m graduating,” Flowers said. “It doesn’t feel like it has been four years here, but I’m glad to have made it through. [What comes next] is a little bit scary but also very exciting.” Dr. Rob doubts Anna has anything to fear. “I have every confidence that Anna will continue to excel ... next year at Virginia Tech,” he said.
Photo courtesy of Katie Fox
LILY WANG | MATHEMATICS BY JULIA OCHSENHIRT Asst. News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo courtesy of Lily Wang
Lily Wang came to Wake Forest from Shenzhen, China. She became interested in attending college in the United States in middle school and decided on Wake Forest for the personalized education it offers. “I heard that there are lots of research opportunities at U.S. colleges, which is not really the case in China,” Wang said. “The reason that I chose Wake is because it’s a very small school. That was important for me because I wanted the chance to have close contact with professors and many research experiences during my undergraduate years.” While Wang spent her early semesters at Wake exploring different majors — including biology and business — she has always loved mathematics. “I’ve been good at math since I was young. It’s something that I’m interested in and also something I’m good at,” Wang said. “I feel like I kind of have this kind of math intuition — I think of ways that you can solve [a problem]. Even [when I become confused], I know what types of methods I can use to solve a complex problem.” One class that Wang found particularly impactful was a graduate-level class on stochastic processing taught by Kenneth Berenhaut. The class was “one of the hardest classes I took in college;” Wang loved the intellectual challenge and found the subject matter fascinating. She also enjoyed Stochastic Calculus with John Holmes. “Lily is the strongest student I have taught in the class so far,” Holmes said. “She is exceptionally detail-oriented and careful … her work demonstrates her creativity, work ethic, and ability to work independently.” Wang decided to declare a second major in computer science to complement her interest in mathematics. She was interested in how computers can be used to approach especially difficult problems. “I want to use [computer science] as a tool to solve complex math problems,” Wang said. “In math, there are some problems, like par-
tial differential equations, that are very hard to solve theoretically. So, you can use computer science to solve problems more efficiently or solve some problems that cannot be solved by humans directly.” Internships helped Wang further narrow her academic focus. When she was interested in majoring in business, she completed an investment banking internship. The experience was eye-opening for Wang — she realized that she was not well-suited for a career as an investment banker and wanted to combine her interests in mathematics and business. Wang then interned for Jefferies, a financial services company, doing data analysis. Wang also partook in research during her time at Wake Forest. She spent her last semester completing her senior thesis in mathematics, Honors Research in computer science and an independent project with a mathematics professor. Wang’s mathematics research centered around clustering, the mathematical phenomenon in which a group of numbers centers around one particular value. “For human networks and many other groups of numbers, there are some notes where some individuals are closer than the [rest of the] group,” Wang explained. “So we’re studying those kinds of networks and the relationships within those networks.” Her computer science research aimed to create a deep-learning model to predict whether a particular patient would become infected with COVID-19 and anticipate the severity of the patients’ symptoms. She submitted a paper summarizing her work for publication at the end of the fall semester. Wang elaborated on her passion for research: “It feels good when you do research because you [can] make use of what you learn from your classes,” she said. “You get to turn what you learned into an idea and then turn that idea into actual implementation. I like the process because it involves both creativity and practical problem-solving.” Wang graduated from Wake Forest in Dec. 2020. She accepted a full-time position at Jeffries in New York City, where she works on the technology team doing software engineering.
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Old Gold & Black | Graduation
JULIANNE ZHU | MUSIC PERFORMANCE BY COOPER SULLIVAN Asst. News Editor email@example.com When the clock strikes 5 p.m., the Wait Chapel bells begin their brief but beautiful song. These aren’t the only instances of music coming down from above — choir concerts, guest performers and symphony orchestras have all graced the stone stage, as has senior Julianne Zhu. “I’ve always wanted to major in music,” Zhu said. “Even before I came to Wake Forest I knew I was going to major in music. At that time, I wanted to be a singer. But, when I got to Wake Forest and I saw the organ in Wait Chapel, and I thought, ‘I want to play that.’” Having only played piano for a few years as a kid in Shanghai, China, Zhu was determined to master the giant instrument. During her sophomore year, Zhu decided to make organ, not voice, the concentration of her Music Performance degree. This past September, Zhu was able to perform, albeit virtually, her senior recital on the Wait Chapel organ. She played pieces from Bach (her favorite composer), Butehude, Eben, Franch, Boellmann and Wake Forest’s own composer in residence, Dr. Dan Locklair. Zhu has also written her own short two-to-three minute compositions on the piano for her music theory class, and she is aiming to write longer organ compositions in the future. “I would also like to know how to improvise,” Zhu said. “Because that’s a really important skill for any organist, and I just have no idea how to do it. My teacher [adjunct faculty member Susan Bates] can just sit on the organ and play some amazing music. And she’s like, ‘Oh, I just made it up.’ So, I really want to learn how to do that.” The organ has not received all of Zhu’s musical attention — she has also learned the viola da gamba, a Baroque-Renaissance style string instrument played similarly to the cello, for the Collegium Musicum, an ensemble she has been involved with since freshman year. Zhu also made sure not to neglect her initial Photo courtesy of Katie Fox musical love: singing. A video recently posted to
the Wake Forest Music department’s Instagram page shows the Bach enthusiast performing Mozart’s “Ah perdona al primo” in Italian. Zhu’s artistic attentions are not confined to music, however. As a member of the Ballroom Dancing Club, one of her fondest memories at Wake Forest was being a part of a theatre student’s honor project, which combined different styles of dance into one performance. “I got to do the polka and wear the giant dress,” she recalled. “That was really fun.” As graduation quickly approaches, Zhu can’t think of anything that she would change about the past four years. Adamantly, she believes she has “made the most out of college.” “I don’t feel like a senior,” Zhu said. “I feel like this past year, because of COVID, I didn’t really have that year, and it feels like I had [only] three years here. I’m not ready to graduate.” But Zhu won’t be going far following graduation. Next year, she will be attending the UNC School of the Arts (UNCSA) in downtown Winston-Salem for a two-year graduate program. After that, the possibilities are endless. “I am thinking about going to Europe to find other graduate schools [where I can] continue playing. For music, you can really do anything with a bachelor’s degree,” Zhu said laughingly. Zhu credits Dr. Stewart Carter, her Collegium Musicum conductor and a professor of music history, as the instructor that helped and inspired her the most over the past four years. As for her advice for others thinking they may want to major in music performance as well,” Zhu explained the importance of remaining flexible and open to change. “I’d say ‘keep your mind open.’ Like I said, when I came here, I wanted to major in voice and I ended up doing organ. Take two or three music classes before you decide what you really want to major in. I know a lot of people struggle in music theory, and when they attend that class they weren’t expecting that kind of difficulty. I would also say, take at least one theory class before you decide your major.”
LORRAINE HAYES | PHILOSOPHY BY BEN CONROY Print Managing Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Lorraine Hayes’ hometown of Johnson City, Tenn. is home to a culture far different from that of Winston-Salem. For this reason, it was a leap of faith for her to choose to attend Wake Forest. In the end, the lure of a full scholarship and the appeal of remaining within three hours of her hometown proved too sweet to pass up. “My mentor [for the scholarship] went to Wake Forest,” Hayes said. “I thought, okay, maybe I should branch out. I [also] wanted to be able to drive home whenever I needed freshman year … I’m the first person from my town that’s come to Wake Forest.” Like many students, Hayes’ academic career has followed an entirely different trajectory than she initially planned. After a period of trial and error, she discovered the subject and major that would come to define the rest of her time on the Reynolda campus — philosophy. “Freshman year, I took a couple of science classes,” she said, “[but] I was more attracted to helping people and learning about people … I quickly realized the sciences weren’t for me.” What resonates most with Hayes about the subject of philosophy is how it can be applied to so many aspects of the world around us. Though it may not always be readily apparent, Hayes learned through the various classes she took just how intertwined philosophy is with the human condition. “I took … Philosophy of Emotions, and it showed me how philosophy can be used in day-to-day life to solve personal issues,” Hayes recalled. The instructor of that class, Professor Francisco Gallegos, was one of Hayes’ most influential mentors within the major, and she’s incredibly appreciative of how he helped her find her footing when she’d just begun to explore the subject matter. The feeling of admiration was mutual, as Professor Gallegos spoke highly of Hayes and all she’s accomplished.
“Lorraine is one of the most well-rounded students I have had the chance to work with,” Gallegos said. “She is an excellent writer with a sharp, analytical mind. Power with heart — that is Lorraine in a nutshell.” However, Lorraine’s accomplishments extend beyond the classroom; she’s involved in a plethora of extracurricular organizations and activities, including the Pan-Hellenic Diversity and Inclusion Council and Habitat for Humanity. Hayes cited her affiliation with these organization as a way to stay true to her roots and her heritage while still broadening her horizons. “When you come to Wake, you want to hold onto the parts of you that feel like home,” she said. “It’s been really cool to talk to other kids with similar yet different experiences than me.” As it did for all of us, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic threw Hayes for a loop. Even so, she was able to lean on the connections she’d established earlier in her collegiate career and make the most of her final year as an undergraduate student at Wake Forest. “A senior year with COVID was [something] no one saw coming,” she said. “I’m very thankful for the friendships and relationships I’ve made.” As graduation looms just around the corner, Hayes noted that it’s the little things about life at Wake Forest, such as studying with friends or spending time outdoors, that she’ll remember the most fondly. “During finals, my friends and I always rent out a couple rooms in Tribble and literally live there for three or four days,” she said. “I think that’s one of [my favorite memories]. And being on the quad. I’m going to miss that.” After graduation, Hayes intends to pursue a law degree from Boston College, where she was recently accepted. Even as she shifts gears from philosophy, she’ll continue to carry with her all she’s learned from the time she spent studying the subject. “Professor Gallegos phrased it like this: ‘Philosophy makes the familiar strange and the strange familiar,’” he said. “I really appreciate the new perspectives I have been given and the tools philosophy gives you to unpack the way the world works.”
Photo courtesy of Andy Woehr
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Graduation | Old Gold & Black
BY SELINNA TRAN Life Editor email@example.com
Noah Meyer excels as a Wake Forest student in the study of physics. From the age of 11, Meyer knew that he wanted to pursue a career in physics — fast forward almost a decade and Meyer was awarded the Nancy Susan Reynolds and Goldwater scholarships at Wake Forest. The scholarship is a prestigious achievement that is offered to five students studying natural sciences, engineering or mathematics. Although Meyer has always known that physics was his goal, his experience and the opportunities that he has had during his time as an undergraduate have allowed him to explore the world of physics and home in on a specific area of research. Meyer’s utmost fascination with physics relates to materials and quantum mechanics, a concentration he will continue to study at the University of Cambridge. “Physics, to me, has always been the most fundamental way to approach the science and understand the world around us,” Meyer said. As Meyer reflects on his experiences at Wake Forest, he speaks of projects and research that he conducted during his senior year and is especially proud of. One of the primary reasons for Meyer’s passion and love for physics is because it allows him the ability to explore what we do not know, or what we may be unable to see on the surface level. The vast unknown of physics has always appealed to Meyer, and this quality has led him to question the ways the world works. Meyer’s research, which he credits as garnering a deeper appreciation for scientific operations, explores potential answers to these looming questions. “[Within the research], we are working with these crystal structures with metal organic frameworks that have channels and guest
NOAH MEYER | PHYSICS
molecules that combine to the inside of the channels,” Myers explains. “[We want to better] understand how certain molecules combine to certain metal organic frameworks.” Dr. Timo Thonhauser, a professor in the physics department, has played a guiding role in Meyer’s academic journey through both mentorship and research assistance. Meyer’s time with Thonhauser has been incredibly insightful and quite lengthy, as Thonhauser has guided and advised Meyer since his freshman year. “It has been a delight to work with Noah — even as a freshman he was already at the level of a graduate student with his interest, motivation, independence and willingness to learn,” Dr. Thonhauser said. “He has had an impressive career here at Wake Forest. I am very excited for him as he goes to the University of Cambridge and I believe he has a bright future ahead of him.” Beyond the classroom, Meyer is a part of the Society of Physics Students, the Student Association for the Advancement of Refugees, the Association of Women in Mathematics and has participated in the Integrating Research in Science Conference. Meyer regards his time at Wake Forest as enriching and says he feels grateful for the resources, mentorship and advising that were available to guide him as he pursued his ambitious academic dreams. Meyer will be graduating from Wake Forest with plans of completing a Master’s at the University of Cambridge in physics followed by a Ph. D. at the University of Maryland. At the University of Cambridge, Meyer’s studies will be concentrated in quantum matter, a field of study connected to quantum mechanics. Meyer’s career plans remain unknown, but he is excited to see where his journey will take him. Science policy is not out of the realm of possibility, too, as Meyer would consider a career that combines both politics and physics.
OLIVIA FIELD | POLITICS
BY ALEXANDRA KARLINCHAK Editor-in-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org
In an ever-changing cultural environment, it is vital to prioritize the education of young people so that they are primed to reimagine and improve the political world as it currently exists. Thankfully, students such as Olivia Field have stepped up to the plate throughout their undergraduate career. Field is a politics and international affairs major with minors in French and English, and she is the definition of a changemaker. “I came to Wake and the easiest thing about this whole entire college thing was deciding to major in politics — I never wanted to major in anything else,” Field explained, passion evident in her tone. “I was never ‘pressed’ about it. I knew that politics was the thing I wanted to do.” Field explained that one thing she appreciates so much about the politics and international affairs department at Wake Forest is how flexible it is. “There’s so much room to explore your interests and draw lines that connect different categories,” she explained. “So, even though I wasn’t super interested in international politics, I took a class on colonialism, capitalism and development while I was abroad. I was able to connect that a lot with the domestic work I was learning about in the United States.” While abroad in London, Field also interned at a nonprofit organization that functioned as a women’s aid charity. “At that time, there was a domestic abuse bill going through Parliament,” Field explained. “So, I learned a lot about how Parliament works because of that. I definitely engaged with my politics major while I was abroad.” Field’s work did not stop when she returned from overseas. For four years, Field wrote and edited for The Old Gold & Black, serving as Photo courtesy of Andy Woehr its Editor-in-chief in 2020. In this position,
Photo courtesy of Katie Fox
Field wrote, edited and published hundreds of informative and provocative articles that kept the Wake Forest population both entertained and well-informed. For a while, Field thought that her calling was journalism. After all, with years of editorial experience under her belt, it seemed like the natural next step. But after the 2020 election, Field realized that the intersection of journalism and politics emerges in one specific area: political campaigning. “I’ve spent all of college wrestling between going into government work and politics or journalism,” Field said. “Then I kind of came to my own personal conclusion that I care about all these issues so much and the only way for those issues to matter and for us to see progress with them is to win elections. For the right people to win elections.” Right now, Field is working on Erica Smith’s U.S. Senate campaign. Smith is running to represent North Carolina in 2022. Following graduation, Field will be continuing her work on Smith’s communication team. As for a 10 year plan, Field just knows that she wants to do something impactful. “I just want what I do to make a difference,” she explained. “That’s vague, but that really is it. If that’s happening within a campaign, that’s great. If that’s happening within the actual government, at some level, that’s great. If that’s happening within nonprofits, that’s great. I’ll see where life takes me. I just want to wake up every day and know that the work that I’m doing is making positive, tangible change in someone’s life.” In a time of such partisanship and pain, future political scholars and leaders need to move forward with unity, compassion and ingenuity in mind. Field embodies each of these qualities to the fullest. “I feel so passionately about America,” Fields finished. “Yes, America is so deeply problematic, but I believe so much in its values. I just want to see us live up to them.”
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Old Gold & Black | Graduation
NADIA BOKHARI | PSYCHOLOGY BY BEN CONROY Print Managing Editor email@example.com Nadia Bokhari grew up and attended high school in a small New Jersey town by the name of Greenburgh. As a result, Wake Forest wasn’t initially on her radar. When the college selection process rolled around, she took the advice of her guidance counselor and applied to Wake Forest despite her lack of familiarity with the school. In the end, her visit to the Reynolda campus won her over. “I really loved it here [on my first tour],” she said. “Academically, it seemed like a good fit.” Bokhari found her niche within the psychology department through the pre-med track, which allowed her to take some psychology classes early in her career that paved the way for the remainder of her time at Wake Forest. The bonds she formed with faculty along with compelling subject matter kept her coming back for more. “I meshed a lot with a bunch of different professors,” she noted. “I just continued taking psychology courses … I could pair that very well with my pre-med courses. It just seemed like a good fit.” Of all the psychology courses she’s taken during her four years at Wake Forest, a few have stood out among the rest. She’s also continuously leaned on a few professors for guidance as she made her way through the required courses for the major. “I really liked Biological Psychology and Cognitive Psychology,” she said. “And my honors thesis advisor, Dr. Anthony Sali, is one of my favorites, along with Dr. Best … both [are] amazing and they have both been really good mentors for me over the past three years.” The aforementioned thesis was constructed through a rigorous process that involved cycling through various potential topics before selecting one to research and examine in depth. The end result was an impressive study on the topic of emotion-induced blindness, which, according to Bokhari, plays a significant role Photo courtesy of Andy Woehr in how humans think and act.
“In the short term, if you see an emotional stimulus, you’re likely to miss information that follows because of your attention being drawn towards it and the distraction which results,” she explained. While the aforementioned thesis represented the culmination of her achievements in the classroom, the mark she left on Wake Forest’s campus had an even wider scope. She is the Vice President of the Psychology Honors Society, Vice President of the pre-med Honors society, and a four-year member of Health Occupation Students of America. She also gives back to the community by doing volunteer work at an Alzheimer’s center and a science museum, both of which are located in Winston-Salem. Her impressive track record of achievements both in and out of the classroom has taught her the importance of communicating and cooperating with other members of the Wake Forest community, a sentiment she expressed when I asked her if she had any wisdom that she’d like to bestow upon the younger members of the Wake Forest student body. “I would suggest reaching out to your professors with any concerns, questions or ideas that you want to pursue,” she said. “Letting them know where you’re at, I think, is really beneficial.” As the sun begins to set on her time at Wake Forest, Bokhari has taken time to reflect on her experience as a Demon Deacon, noting how grateful she is that all the puzzle pieces of her college career have finally snapped into place. “I’m starting to get really nostalgic,” she said. “It’s a weird feeling to look back and realize that every little step along the way kind of contributed to me being at this place.” When I asked her if she could recall any particularly memorable moments from her college career, she paused and thought before answering. “I don’t know if I can list just a few,” she admitted. “I’ve had a really great experience.” Bokhari is set to begin her career on an exciting note; she’s accepted a job offer as a research coordinator at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Mass. and she’s thrilled about what’s to come. “I’m really happy where I’m at,” she said.
CASSIE BALL | RELIGIOUS STUDIES BY ALEXANDRA KARLINCHAK Editor-In-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org Senior Cassie Ball did not come to Wake Forest expecting to major in Religious Studies. If anything, the major found her. Hailing from Beckley, W.Va., Ball said that she originally discovered Wake Forest via a family friend’s recommendation. “I came into Wake knowing I wanted to major in English, and that is actually my other major,” Ball explained. “So, that’s what I’m studying — English and religion.” Ball was first introduced to the religious studies department during her freshman fall. She took Introduction to Jewish Traditions expecting to learn about holidays and simple traditions, but instead walked away with the knowledge that religion impacts all facets of life and the human experience. Suddenly, there was no turning back. “The thing is, even if you’re not religious, religion still impacts your life,” Ball said. “Everything you are interacting with has something to do with some form of religion.” Ball said that she became increasingly aware of how deeply embedded religion is in society, not only through her religion courses, but through her English classes as well. While studying abroad in Venice, Ball lived in Casa Artom, a beautiful Wake Forest-owned living and office space located directly on the canal. Here, she and a cohort of students took mainly English classes. There, Ball said she took away more knowledge about the study of religion than she could have ever imagined. “Though I didn’t necessarily take any religion classes, religion was very interwoven through what I studied,” Ball said. “I took two English classes, and a history and art history class. Italy is a very religious country, in my history and art history classes, we would visit different churches around Venice and see phenomenal art pieces
that were just painted on church walls and these different mosaics and things — it was beautiful.” Even in non-waterfront Winston-Salem, Ball says that the religion classes she took shaped both her experience at Wake Forest and her outlook on the world. One particular course that truly piqued Ball’s interest was titled Religion, Culture, and the Body. In this class, students studied the many ways religion impacts the ways bodies are viewed, displayed and altered. “It was so fascinating,” Ball remarked when asked about the class. “We studied different intersections between religion and everything from my body appearance to clothing and tattoos. We even talked about religion and [and its impact on] medicine in the past and the present. I think that is one of the best classes I have ever taken.” Ball’s study of religion extended far beyond the classroom. Last summer, she was granted a URECA scholarship and used the grant money to study nature, religion and their influence on Irish poetry. Next year, Ball will be pursuing her Master’s in English and American Literature at New York University. Eventually, she hopes to get her doctorate in English literature so that she can study the intersection between American literature, religion and nature. The knowledge that Ball took away from her time studying religion is unique to her and her alone. Afterall, religion is both a personal relationship as well as a community-based belief. In learning that the world is interconnected via the impacts of spirituality and religion, Ball is leaving Wake Forest with a degree in her hand and years of wise, deep-seeded knowledge in her heart. When asked if she had any advice for freshmen or sophomores who have not yet declared their majors, Ball suggested that everyone take a religion divisional at some point before they graduate. After all, she did … and look where she is now.
Photo courtesy of Katie Fox
Graduation | Old Gold & Black
BY JOE CHO Asst. Life Editor email@example.com Hailing from Vicenza, Italy, Kiki Sibilla traveled across the Atlantic pond and found her home at Wake Forest University. Similar to most incoming first-years, Sibilla’s career did not start with a definitive trajectory. Although Sibilla did not enter Wake Forest intending to major in Russian, she admits that the decision is “the coolest thing I’ve done at Wake.” She is now a double major in politics & international affairs and Russian. In all of her four years at Wake Forest, Sibilla mentioned that History of Slavic Language with Dr. Hamilton of the German & Russian department was her favorite class. Along with Dr. Hamilton, she also credits Dr. Clark for piquing her interest in Russian. “Both Dr. Clark and Dr. Hamilton of the Russian department are the coolest people I’ve ever met,” Sibilla said. “Dr. Hamilton is the guy who sits in a lawn chair outside of Greene, smoking a pipe, and has also played with Jerry Garcia in a bluegrass band. And Dr. Clark is super awesome because she really cares about teaching and has also helped me career-wise, as I figured out what to do. Both make the Russian language and culture so exciting. They’re my two favorite professors at Wake.” Additionally, both Dr. Clark and Dr. Hamilton graciously provided endearing remarks for Kiki. “I admire her willingness to put herself out there and try different things. She’s always full of a delightful and refreshing enthusiasm for learning for the sake of learning,” Dr. Clark said. “As I worked with her more, I came to appreciate her quirky humor, her warm and empathetic treatment of others, and the look on her face when she would have a sudden insight and fascinating observations that she would offer up to the rest of the class with her characteristic humility and good nature.” “When I was a kid, my favorite toy was a sort of rounded human doll that you could punch, and no matter how hard or in what direction I would
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KIKI SIBILLA | RUSSIAN
punch, she or he would immediately return to standing position. Guess who that reminds me of?” Dr. Hamilton said. Sibilla has also completed an independent study with Dr. Stanton on Russian-Jewish literary figures. She and Dr. Stanton analyzed prominent Russian-Jewish literature, including works from the Russian writer Isaac Babel. Besides from her experiences living in Northern Italy for quite some time, Sibilla has been on a couple of study-abroad trips during her time at Wake Forest. “The summer of my freshman year, I went to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. I would recommend anyone to visit there. The food there is chef ’s kiss! The spring semester of my sophomore year, I went to St. Petersburg, Russia. I spent some lovely time in both places studying Russian.” Outside of the classroom, Kiki Sibilla is a resident advisor (my RA, specifically) and an ROTC cadet. For four days every week, her early mornings are filled with training and sheer determination, a significant and courageous commitment on her part. “Yeah, caffeine has definitely been my friend,” Sibella laughed. Sibilla describes her time at Wake Forest to be genuinely unforgettable and attributes her success to many of the great relationships she developed with professors. “In general, all the professors I’ve had have been super personable and willing to discuss my questions, comments or concerns. Professors here make it less intimidating to approach them,” Sibilla said. “For example, you can ask them, ‘can you help me out with this? I’m having trouble finishing this paper. What are your thoughts?’ I feel like in a much larger school, that relationship doesn’t exist. And if it does, it takes a long time to curate.” After graduation, Sibilla plans to go to Jerusalem, Israel to study Arabic at Hebrew University for the summer or return to Vincenza, Italy, for an internship. Once October rolls around, Sibilla will be going to Fort Lee, Va., for Army training and will join the Army Reserves. Her long-term goal is to become a humanitarian, following Wake Forest’s Pro-Humanitate motto.
Photo courtesy of Andy Woehr
FRANTASIA HILL| SOCIOLOGY BY KATIE FOX Photography Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo courtesy of Katie Fox
Coming into college, Frantasia Hill thought she wanted to study something within the sphere of health, but she wasn’t interested in the natural sciences. She explored her options, considering political science, religion, education and more. However, after taking Contemporary Families with Dr. Catherine Harnois, Hill’s interest in sociology was sparked. “After reading her midterm, I reached out to tell her how impressed I was,” Dr. Harnois recalled. Another professor, Dr. Saylor Breckenridge, can attest to this level of Hill’s intuition. Breckenridge remembered, “She enrolled in my Social Statistics course as a sophomore, and right away, stood out as someone with keen attention to sociological science and great skill with data analysis.” After loving the class and the faculty, Hill knew sociology was the major for her. Hill will graduate with a concentration in the social determinants of health and well-being, which she says is helping her transition to her next phase of life as she will pursue a master’s degree in Public Health at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health with a concentration in health behavior. This perfectly caters to her interests of food insecurity and health inequities, and Hill is excited for her plans to prepare her for whatever future career awaits. Faculty in the sociology department regard Hill highly, selecting her as a recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Student Award, which is given annually to a sociology major who “embodies excellence in coursework, makes consistent thoughtful contributions to class discussions, and puts sociology into action in extracurricular work,” according to the department website. Outside of the classroom, Hill worked as an undergraduate research assistant with a Wake Forest law professor when she was considering law school, and more recently with Dr. Ana Wahl from the sociology department. Dr. Hana Brown, one of Hill’s mentors in the sociology department, praised Hill, writing, “Frantasia is an intellectual powerhouse. She is one of those unique students who can see the connections between very different streams of
research and who can bridge seemingly disparate fields of study through her own theorizing. On top of her academic excellence, Frantasia is deeply committed to using her talents and energy to shape the public good. She has already accomplished so much in that regard. I’m looking forward to following her very bright future.” Aside from academics, Hill has dipped her toes into just about everything: BSA, Students for Education Reform, Campus Kitchen, Campus Garden, Sister Circle WFU and First in the Forest. Hill is also a Magnolia Scholar and the chair of a new committee tasked with managing and distributing restitution funds for the Episcopal Student Fellowship. In addition, she started the Student Advisory Committee for the Center for the Advancement of Teaching with fellow senior Cameron Allen. “[The committee] intends to enhance communication between students and professors,” Hill shared. “Because the committee is working under/ with CAT, it’ll have the potential to influence how professors are trained and how feedback is provided by students for professors.” Finally, Hill was a Resident Advisor her junior and senior year, and was named an Outstanding RA last year. While Hill considers declaring her Sociology major as the best decision she made at Wake Forest, studying abroad comes in at a close second. “[Going abroad] turned out to be literally the best experiences of my life, especially Wake Washington,” she said. Although her Spring 2020 in DC got cut short by the pandemic, Hill described it as the most impactful experience of her time in college. She worked a full-time job as the Children, Youth & Families Intern at the Human Rights Campaign and attending political science classes at night. Hill’s time as a Demon Deacon prepared her well for her future plans, and she’s very appreciative of the unique opportunities she’s had over the course of her four years. Hill’s “keen sociological mind, exceptional analytic abilities and outstanding writing skills,” even as a first-year student, blew Dr. Harnois away, and the sociology faculty are proud to have her represent the department as she goes on to pursue her Master’s at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.
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Old Gold & Black | Graduation
SAVARNI SANKA | SPANISH BY AINE PIERRE News Editor email@example.com
Photo courtesy of Savarni Sanka
For Savarni Sanka, Wake Forest’s 14th Rhodes Scholar and student trustee, studying the Spanish language is both a means to an end but also deeply enjoyable. “My favorite part of studying Spanish has probably been the geographic diversity,” Sanka said. “I’ve been able to take classes on medieval Spain and also take classes on the Southern Cone. The major just gives you such a variety of options to choose from. And really, you can learn about so many different aspects of the Spanish language and the people who speak it.” Sanka chose to major in Spanish both because she loves it and because it will help advance her career goals of working with migrants. “Here in the United States, we have a pretty significant population of Spanish speaking migrants,” Sanka said. “So I know my learnings will come into good use.” Sanka said that the professor she found to be most influential in the Spanish department was Dr. Sol Miguel-Prendes. The two first met when Sanka sat in on one of her classes as a high school student. Later, Miguel-Prendes taught Sanka’s SPA 280 class. “I was able to take several classes with her and spend a lot of time with her in office hours, and learning from her has been really great,” Sanka said. “She’s been an awesome friend and mentor and teacher.” Miguel-Prendes, for her part, had incredibly high praise for Sanka. “Having Savarni in class was a joy, and I looked forward to
chatting with her in the weekly conferences that she asked me to hold for her to practice Spanish,” Miguel-Prendes said. “She is one of the most intelligent, inquisitive and compassionate students I have met, not to mention [she’s so much] fun. During our conversations, I learned about all the teaching and volunteering that she had done over the years. She tutored ESL students and taught Spanish. She mentored Syrian refugees and Indian students, too.” Miguel-Prendes also shared a riveting story about Sanka’s time abroad. “After her first year at Wake Forest, she got a scholarship to spend the summer in Nicaragua. A few days after her arrival, violent protests started against President Daniel Ortega. [Sanka] wanted to stay to document the demonstrations but the situation became so dangerous that she was forced to leave the country,” Miguel-Prendes said. “She had waited for so long that it was not easy — imagine a petite 19-year-old, alone in a cab taking an hours-long drive through unpaved back roads to skip roadblocks.” Miguel-Prendes recounted that the next semester, Sanka organized a conference on the Nicaraguan protests. For prospective Spanish majors, Sanka had this advice: “Take as broad of a variety of classes as you can to get that exposure to different regions and different time periods and learning Spanish in different contexts. The department just has so many great professors that if one [learns from] a lot of different professors, they’ll be able to really expand the horizons of their language abilities and their understanding of Spanish and cultures that speak Spanish.”
MIKEY MATTONE | STUDIO ART BY ESSEX THAYER Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org In high school, Mikey Mattone never really considered Wake Forest an option. His college counselor was the one to put the school on his list. “I had no expectations for Wake Forest. My dad’s only reaction was that he thought it was a good school. I’d never even been to North Carolina before touring. In the info session, my mom and I were nudging each other the whole time. We were thinking ‘Oh my God, the opportunities,’” Mattone said. Wake Forest immediately was a draw to Mattone because it offered the ability to try new things and not be forced into a specific school or major right away. “A big thing for me was that Wake wasn’t somewhere [where I] had to definitively decide what I wanted to do as soon as I entered. Some other universities have [a] College of Arts and Sciences, [a] College of Engineering, [a] College of Business, or whatever. I have a weirdly nerdy side that loves calculus and analytics and math, but I’m also highly creative, like an art major. And so Wake [provided] the opportunity for me to explore both passions,” he said. Mattone came into Wake Forest with 30 AP credit hours, so he was able to declare his major as a freshman in the spring. This gave him the opportunity to explore different classes, which led him to art. “My freshman spring, I took a painting class even though I’d never painted before. Just kind of on a whim and a gut feeling,” Mattone said. Halfway through that painting class, I declared my major. In the class, I had never spent so much time, energy and effort on art that I would consider mediocre. But it challenged me. And I think that’s why I liked it. It wasn’t easy to master at first, and that’s what drew me back,” Mattone said. Outside of the major, Mattone found many other classes that piqued his interest. “My first semester here, I took an intro to Buddhist traditions that changed the way I think about the world,” he said. “I also took a contemporary history class last semester, that completely changed the way I think about art
and the way I make art. But my favorite class is the special topics art history class I took [during] my sophomore spring. It was called Slow Looking American Art, and it really changed the way I interpret art.” Outside of the classroom, Mattone made an impact on campus as an RA, which was an extremely important endeavor for him. “I wanted to be involved on campus and I wanted to make a change in some way. As a freshman, I had RAs in my building that [cared about me] and changed my sense of belonging. And I really wanted to make that same difference,” he said. Also, Mattone was one of the few Wake Forest students to be selected to the Student Union Art Acquisition Committee. “I and 12 other students had the opportunity to spend a large sum of money to buy art on behalf of the university. It taught me a lot about being passionate and being able to communicate that passion in front of a large group. It was a once-in-a-lifetime type of thing because we had a lot of responsibility and freedom,” Mattone said. Regarding his art, Mattone is proud to be displaying a show at the Hanes Mezzanine Gallery called Sticks and Stones. He compared it to a thesis in other disciplines. “I really dove head in with the paintings. For the past few weekends, I was painting for about 18 hours. I wanted to create my own show, it’s not something I can do after graduation,” he said. Looking ahead to graduation, Mattone is grateful and very proud of his time at Wake Forest. “I’m very at peace with graduating. I’m very proud of the legacy I’m leaving. I’m proud of the people I’ve influenced and the places I’ve made an impact. But I’m ready for the next stage of life.” After graduation, Mattone will be moving to Madison, Wisc. to begin a position as a full-time project manager at Epic. With the company, Mattone will be on-site at hospitals and healthcare systems launching software. Of his time in the department, Professor Jay Curley said of Mattone, “It’s been such a pleasure teaching Mikey over the years. His passion, sense of humor and ethical leadership have made him such a vital and important member of classes I’ve taught.”
Photo courtesy of Katie Fox
Graduation | Old Gold & Black
BY ALEXANDRA KARLINCHAK Editor-in-Chief email@example.com In the era of COVID-19, the performing arts have had to adjust to unprecedented times in a number of unprecedented ways. Senior Emma Szuba is among one of the many performing artists who has witnessed this struggle firsthand — both as a consumer of the arts and as a performer, designer, playwright and director. Szuba hails from Pittsburgh, Pa. and has been passionate about theatre for as long as she can remember. But her longing to study theatre did not exactly carry over into her desire to attend Wake Forest University — at least, not at first. Szuba is a third-generation Wake Forest University graduate. Initially, she was reluctant to attend her mother’s alma mater. After she was awarded the prestigious Stamps Scholarship, though, Szuba bit the bullet and put down her deposit for Wake Forest. If you ask her today, she says it is one of the best and most impactful decisions she has ever made. At Wake Forest, Szuba is a double major in English and theatre. Outside of the classroom, she is involved in Anthony Aston Players (AAP), a student-led organization dedicated to the promotion of service in the performing arts — both at Wake Forest and within the greater WinstonSalem community. “In all honesty, I spend the majority of my time doing theatre,” Szuba said. “I’ve been in shows, worked on shows [at Wake Forest] and done shows in Winston-Salem with community theater groups here. I play Dungeons & Dragons on the weekends for fun. But I really just do theater.” Throughout her time as a theatre student, Szuba took a plethora of classes that she says will influence her view of performing arts production for the remainder of her life. One of these incredibly influential and rewarding classes was Playwriting. Szuba submitted one of the 10-minute plays that she wrote throughout the course of the semester to a 10-minute play competition, and her work was selected to be performed at the Little Theatre of WinstonSalem. Szuba did not limit her study of theatre within the confines of the campus — or the country.
Friday, May 7, 2021 | Page 27
EMMA SZUBA | THEATRE She took the opportunity to study abroad with the English department in London at the Wake Forest Worrell House. While in London, she saw a total of 49 plays. This came out to upwards of six plays a weekend. “I am realizing while saying this out loud that this makes me sound totally one-noted and absolutely obsessed,” Szuba said, laughing. But with obsession comes creative genius. Even in the wake of COVID-19, Szuba made it her goal to perform live theatre in some capacity. Ask any person involved with or passionate about theatre and they will tell you how much more genuine live theatre is compared to Zoom. Szuba’s Honors Project centered around her one true love in the theatre world: Shakespeare. “My honors project this spring was directing a production of Shakespeare’s ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’,” Szuba said. “I wanted a live outdoor production, even under the social distancing requirements, so it was a big challenge. But it was really exciting to do a live performance here again on campus.” Being able to put together a live production after such a tumultuous time for the performing arts was a powerful experience for Szuba. “It just felt really poetic in some ways, because, you know, Shakespeare’s theatre was being shut down by the plague all the time,” Szuba said. “And when we were worried about rain, there’s figurative language in the play about rain ruining everything. And obviously, this isn’t the show that we wanted to do. Obviously, we don’t want to be worried about the pandemic.” Szuba continued: “But afterwards, we kept hearing from people in the audience, ‘I’m just so glad that I got to see a play.’ And that’s what matters.” Following graduation, Szuba explained that she plans to pursue a career in theatre. But with a freeze on live productions, the conditions needed to meet this aspiration are not present. “I’ve been joking with my friends that they’ve all got grad school plans. And I’m like, ‘I’m going to adopt a cat this summer,’” Szuba laughed. “But I want to work in theater, which means playing a little bit of a waiting game [during] this next year as I wait [for everything] to reopen,” she continued. “I would love to get an MFA either in acting or directing. But that’s something for my five-year plan.”
Photo courtesy of Katie Fox
MAGGIE KUHN| WGSS BY ALEXANDRA KARLINCHAK Editor-in-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo courtesy of Maggie Kuhn
As an older sister with a passion for service, Maggie Kuhn was well-versed in community involvement long before she ever stepped foot on Wake Forest’s campus. And after four years here in Winston-Salem, she will leave campus with an even bigger heart and an even deeper understanding of the world around her. While Kuhn noted that she took away valuable lessons from all (okay, most) of her coursework at Wake Forest, she made certain to adamantly explain that her relationship with the Department of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies (WGSS) was the most meaningful one she cultivated here. Kuhn was nominated to be highlighted in this issue of the Old Gold & Black because of the extensive work she has done promoting equality and safety for women both in and beyond the classroom. “[Kuhn] has done critically important work to address sexual violence at Wake Forest by curating the ‘End the Silence Wake Forest’ blog for the past several years,” WGSS Professor Dr. Kristina Gupta said. “By combining feminist inquiry with social justice activism, Maggie exemplifies the values of WGSS as a department and a field.” Kuhn’s relationship with the WGSS department began during her freshman year in her First Year Seminar. The class was called I’m Not a Feminist and was taught by Dr. Tanisha Ramachandran. According to Kuhn, it shaped her entire academic career. “In the class, we just went over basic feminist ideals, but we applied them to things that were around us all the time,” Kuhn said. “I honestly wanted all freshmen to take that as a seminar class, because it really changed my perspective of everything.” Kuhn estimated that, including herself, there were 13 total girls in the class. “It was really powerful, just kind of sharing experiences with Dr. Ramachandran,” Kuhn reflected. “And she was validating these experiences and thoughts every
time we would talk about them, which is what made it so powerful.” This was the first truly personal experience Kuhn underwent in college. And, as she found out, it would be far from her last. “I started studying Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and had a minor before I even knew it because I loved the classes so much,” Kuhn explained, optimism echoing in her voice. “I signed up for [WGSS classes] without even knowing that I was following a path or an academic course. That’s how I knew that I should keep with it.” Kuhn said that one of the most interesting WGSS classes she took was a class about men, masculinity and power. Before this class, Kuhn admitted that she did not know much about masculinity studies. Afterward, she walked away feeling educated. “It was really cool being in class with guys and seeing them open up about things that were personal to them, because that’s the whole point of the class. Before this, I had only been in those types of classes with women.” Outside the classroom, Kuhn has spent the past four years at Wake volunteering at the Office of Civic and Community Engagement, serving as a SPARC leader and coordinator, working at the Women’s Center and running and curating End the Silence Wake Forest, a blog and social media movement where sexual assault survivors can anonymously post their stories for closure. Kuhn hopes to go to grad school in the future. “I would want to go to grad school to get the tools to change policies or work on the interpersonal and cultural sides of operations and businesses,” Kuhn said. Kuhn made a point to thank the WGSS department for all of the support and knowledge they extended to her throughout her time at Wake Forest. “While pursuing the WGSS major, I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned is how to ask questions and not just accept what people tell you as fact to actually be fact,” Kuhn said. “I’ve learned about how there are systems that make people believe things that they don’t have to believe in the simplest terms. That opened up a whole lot for me.”
CLASS 2021 OF
“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” - B.B. King