SPRING 2022 GRADUATES SHARE THEIR ‘JOURNEY TO THE DEGREE’ AT N.C. A&T
By: North Carolina A&T State University
More than 1,900 degrees are expected to be awarded to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University students during its spring 2022 commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 14, 8:30 a.m., at Greensboro Coliseum.
The journey has been great for many students and these soon-to-be alumni share their stories of perseverance, dedication, scholarship and innovation.
N.C. A&T students have risen above and excelled. While there are hundreds of stories to be told, they represent the diverse intellectual climate, entrepreneurial spirit, civic engagement and academic excellence that characterizes the A&T experience. Here are a few of their stories, in their own words. Read more on the university’s Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn pages.
“I am a native of Wilmington, North Carolina, graduating with a Master of Social Work from the Joint Master of Social Work Program (JMSW) at the John R. and Kathy R. Hairston College of Health and Human Sciences at North Carolina A&T and UNC Greensboro. As a first-generation student, guided by a trusted family member and a zeal to improve the quality of life for marginalized communities, I chose social work.
After earning my Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Education, I realized that I was called to social work, and I applied to the JMSW program. Throughout my time in the program, I’ve had multiple successes, such as being selected as one of 45 MSW students nationwide for the Council on Social Work Education Master’s Minority Fellowship.”
“My time at A&T has been nothing short of amazing. The JMSW program has prepared my colleagues and me to join in the fight for equality and instilled in us the skills to adapt to an ever-changing environment and deliver quality and culturally informed care to those we serve. I greatly cherish our fantastic faculty in the JMSW program. The faculty’s mentorship allowed me to make my dreams a reality; because of their mentorship, I’m headed to the University of Alabama School of Social Work as a Capstone Fellow to pursue my Ph.D. in social work. A&T faculty members Drs. Jeffrey Shears, Sharon Parker, Grace Gowdy, and Carmen Monico truly embodied what it means to attend an HBCU and receive a ‘visceral promise of support.’ One of the most meaningful actions a student can take while attending A&T is to forge connections with faculty members as they may become mentors or supporters as you strive to set and accomplish your goals.”
“I am graduating from the JMSW program equipped and confident that excellence has no boundaries. I am incredibly grateful to be a part of the rich tradition of Aggies. AGGIE PRIDE!”
ERICKA QUESADA GOMIS
May 2022 graduate Ericka Quesada Gomis, of San José, Costa Rica double majored in finance and accounting as an Aggie athlete. She wrapped up her collegiate bowling career as a National Tenpin Coaches Association Academic All-American and a member of the team that won the 2021 and 2022 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championships and made it to the NCAA Championship Bowling Tournament for a second straight year.
“I chose to study finance because I was always interested in analyzing, forecasting and investing. However, after taking some accounting classes, it all just “clicked” on me, and I decided to pursue a double major in finance and accounting.”
“What I love about the Willie E. Deese College of Business and Economics is the connections that you build with both faculty and other students and how those connections push you to become your better self and face new challenges. When I was not sure about how to add accounting into my education, it was the faculty who encouraged me to pursue a double major. Then, it was other students who pushed me to pursue more professional opportunities, such as internships, development programs and honor societies.”
“Overall, it was the people who made me choose A&T and it was also the people who made my four years here unforgettable. During the summer, I will complete my second internship with Deloitte’s Audit & Assurance department, and I am interested in building a career in audit afterward. During the fall, I will continue my education and pursue a master’s in accounting so that I can both prepare and meet the 150-credit requirement to sit for the CPA exams.”
“The advice I would give to current and potential students is to take advantage of the opportunities the college gives because so many of my opportunities came from there. I would also encourage other students to network with their peers since they will push you to become better and it is also very likely you will work with them in the future.”
Correggio Peagler knew from middle school that he wanted to go North Carolina A&T after a very informative campus tour with his older sisters and a knowledgeable professor. He knew in high school, after an athletic injury required hospitalization, that he wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon.
As a senior pre-medical biology student in the College of Science and Technology, Correggio already knows his next move: George Washington University School of Medicine on a full-tuition scholarship.
During his time at A&T, Correggio has distinguished himself as a Lewis and Elizabeth Dowdy Scholar, an undergraduate researcher, working with Robert H. Newman, Ph.D., to research cell signal pathways, and earned the Chancellor’s Award this spring.
He’s thrived socially, joining several student organizations including the Minority Association for Pre-med Students, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Phi Kappa Phi National Honors Society and his hometown organization, Georgia Aggies.
“My time at A&T has been invaluable,” he said. “I’ve met so many people – people who look like me, people who don’t look like me and people who look like me but think differently ¬– who have allowed me to connect with different kinds of people. I’m glad to have had so many experiences that will take me past graduation.”
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