By Natalie Gore, DASA Marketing Intern
NC State University will hold its 2022 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 7, at 9 a.m. Prior to the event, we spoke with some members of the graduating class who have made their mark on the division through their involvement and leadership:
Kayla Beasley (sports management ‘22)
Kayla Beasley is earning an undergraduate degree in sports management with a double minor in business administration and business entrepreneurship. She has been involved in numerous leadership positions including: vice president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (2020-2021); vice president of National Pan-Hellenic Council (2021-2022); varsity student-athlete on the track and field team (2018-2022); Sports Management Club; Black Students Board (2018-2019); Queen In You (2018-2019); Rho Phi Lambda; University Honors Student (2018-2022). After graduation, she plans to earn a master’s degree in sports administration.
Conner Borkowski (electrical engineering, computer engineering ‘22)
Conner Borkowski is earning undergraduate degrees in electrical engineering and computer engineering as well as minors in outdoor leadership and art and design. He started his involvement at NC State during his first year by joining Engineers Without Borders and the Diversity Activities Board for the University Activities Board. Borkowski also joined the Caldwell Fellows. As he continued college, he became project lead for the Sierra Leone Renewable Energy Project, and then vice president of projects. He also started working for Outdoor Adventures as a climbing wall specialist and trip lead. In those roles, Borkowski helped open the new wall as a climbing wall route setter and experienced climbing instructor. He was able to help rebuild the Outdoor Adventures program after the university closed due to COVID-19. Recently, he started the Embedded Machine Learning Club, focused on community education around coding and machine learning. Finally, Borkowski was lucky enough to come back to the Department of Health and Exercise Studies as a teaching assistant for Scott Schneider’s Rock Climbing 2 class. After graduation, he will take a 30-day National Outdoor Leadership School course called Mountaineering for Outdoor Educators in the Cascades Mountain Range and British Columbia, Canada. He then will head to Colorado to pursue a master of the environment degree with a specialization in sustainability in the outdoor industry.
Katherine Bublitz (business administration ‘22)
Katherine Bublitz is earning an undergraduate degree in business administration with a concentration in finance. She has worked with NC State Wellness and Recreation and NC State Dance Marathon during her time at NC State. She worked for WellRec for almost four years as a group fitness instructor and this semester partnered with them for a Capstone Research Project. As a group fitness instructor, she’s had the opportunity to lead individuals of all abilities through exercise and help them each attain their goals. As for her capstone project, Bublitz is working with her boss at the gym to coordinate and lead workshops on how to continuously improve herself and fellow instructors through demonstrations and discussion panels. Bublitz was involved with the Dance Marathon for three of her four years at NC State. Dance Marathon is a year-long effort to raise money for Duke Children’s Hospital that manifests in a 12-hour dance marathon fundraising event in March of every year.
Bublitz is also an undergraduate teaching assistant for the LSFY Program LSC 101. The course helps incoming students develop critical and creative thinking skills, and she assists the professor in facilitating an open and productive learning environment. After graduation, she will stay in the Raleigh-Durham area and work for Merrill Lynch in their Financial Advisor Development Program. During the three-year program, Bublitz will work towards obtaining the licenses needed to financially advise individuals. After the conclusion of the program, she plans to go back to school and get her MBA.
Brooke Burns (environmental sciences ‘22)
Brooke Burns is a program assistant for the Sports Program Department at Wellness and Recreation as well as a small group leader for CRU. After graduation, she plans to stay in Raleigh and work at a local urban farm or community garden, particularly with a focus on food security and community development. She is earning an undergraduate degree in environmental sciences.
Lindsay Caslin (graphic design ‘22)
Lindsay Caslin is earning an undergraduate degree in graphic design with a minor in computer programming. In the past two years, she has had the privilege to work alongside incredible artists and choreographers and continue to pursue her passion for dance through the State Dance Company. In her time with the dance program, she is “grateful I was able to perform, direct some rehearsals, and explore the realm of artistic research through choreography.” Outside of her experience with the company, she spent time on NC State’s dance team and conducted an on-campus VR lab. After graduation, she will work in a full time role as an internal graphic designer for PepsiCo Direct on their Winston-Salem marketing team.
Alexander (Alex) Constantine (aerospace engineering ’22)
Alex Constantine will earn an undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering this spring. Constantine has been the NC State Club Swim vice president, president, and meet manager. Additionally, Constantine is a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society and was the events coordinator and professional development chair. Constantine also works for Wellness and Recreation as a lifeguard, swim instructor, supervisor and aquatics program assistant. After graduation, he will work for the U.S. Space Force at Space Systems Command in Los Angeles, Cal., doing systems engineering combined with the acquisition and procurement of space systems.
Jimmy Cooley (political science ‘22)
Jimmy Cooley will be graduating with an undergraduate degree in political science with a minor in social work. He has served in several leadership roles during his time at NC State, including: Chancellor’s Aide, Alternative Service Break team leader, general manager of College Mentors for Kids, student engagement intern, and summer director of Millstone 4-H Camp. Cooley was also a finalist for the Leader of the Pack award and was recognized at the Homecoming football game last fall. After graduation, Cooley will begin his summer job as a Shelton Challenge intern before taking a gap year as an AmeriCorps service member in Puerto Rico.
Lizzie Dunsmore (chemistry ’22)
Lizzie Dunsmore is earning an undergraduate degree in chemistry, with a minor in psychology. She has worked as a Mental Health Ambassador, Alternative Service Break team leader and an orientation leader during her time at NC State. She will be attending the University of South Carolina for their master’s of education in higher education and student affairs program. Dunsmore added, “I’m excited for my next steps!”
Javairia Haq (human biology ‘22)
Javairia Haq will be earning her undergraduate degree in biological sciences with a human biology concentration. She will also be graduating with a minor in forensic science. Throughout her time at NC State, Haq has participated in several organizations. She worked as a journalist for NC State Odyssey as well as a volunteer for the Dance Marathon. She is also a member of the Muslim Student Association and has been the service coordinator, treasurer and current co-president of NC State’s PreHealth Club. Haq works as a group tutor for the Academic Success Center, helping students with organic chemistry. She also works as a teaching assistant for biochemistry. Haq plans to pursue a master’s degree in bioinformatics at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill after graduation.
Sierra Kabir (Political Science ‘22)
Sierra Kabir will receive an undergraduate degree in political science. She has worked as the Diversity Activities Board chair for the University Activities Board and as an event coordinator for the Asian Student Association. After graduating, she will work at a consulting firm. Eventually, she plans to attend graduate school.
Kirsten Keleher (fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology ‘22)
Kirsten Keleher is earning an undergraduate degree in fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology. In her time at NC State, she has primarily worked as a student researcher. Explaining more of what she’s done, Keleher said “I have worked with the urban ecology lab to examine how insects respond to a changing environment and with the plankton ecology lab to study how cyanotoxins are transferred throughout the food web in our largest natural lake in North Carolina, Lake Mattamuskeet.” She also worked as a tutor with the College of Natural Resources her first year and sophomore year of college. Finally, she is also a member of the University Honors and Scholars Program at NC State. After graduation, she will pursue a Ph.D. in neurobiology and behavior at Cornell University.
Eric Knowles (material science and engineering ‘22)
Eric Knowles is graduating with an undergraduate degree in material science and engineering. Knowles has been involved with NC State’s Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes and was a member of the varsity swim/dive team for five years and served as captain for two of those years. He also served on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee for three years and has been involved with Athletes in Action all five years of college. After graduation, Knowles will work as an engineer for Cree LED.
Maggie Lally (technology, design and engineering education ‘22)
Maggie Lally is earning her undergraduate degree in technology, design and engineering education. During her time at NC State, she has served as or been a part of the following organizations: Inter-Residence Council president (current), vice president of media and marketing (last academic year), TEECA (the Technology and Engineering Education Collegiate Association), resident advisor (2019-20) and the University Honors and Scholars Village. Lally has officially committed to Old Dominion University for the fall to earn her master’s degree in higher education administration.
Julianne Mahley (Chemical Engineering ‘22)
Julianne Mahley will receive an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, with minors in English and marine science. The summer after her first year at NC State, she worked as an orientation leader with New Student Programs. She has also been in the University Scholars Program since her first semester and now works as a University Honors and Scholars Program ambassador. She went on her first Alternative Service Break sophomore year, co-led two virtual experiences her junior year, and co-led an in-person trip this spring break. She is also a member of the club Girls Engineering Change. After graduation, she will move to Ohio to start working in a rotational program for Parker Hannifin as an environmental health and safety leadership associate.
Erin Migneco (communication, anthropology ‘22)
Erin Migneco is graduating with a double major in anthropology and communication. After arriving at NC State in 2018, she took on her very first internship at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, where she worked within the Paleontology Research Lab. In their sophomore and junior years, they took on the role of a village mentor and fellow for the University Honors and Scholars Program, assisting in the classroom while also planning and running village-wide events. Migneco has also served as vice president (now president) of the Anthropology Club on campus since her sophomore year, in addition to being a part of the volunteer committee for the National Parks Club. Their second internship was at the Gregg Museum of Art and Design on campus, where they worked in the collections to catalog and help display items for exhibition. Soon after this, Migneco started her third and final internship at NC State with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. More recently, after studying abroad in Greece this past summer, they have become a Pack Abroad Ambassador, which allowed them to share their experiences with other students interested in studying abroad as well as current students who are studying abroad at NC State. Finally, Migneco is the current secretary for NC State’s Beta chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, a national communication honor society of which NC State is one of the earliest founding members. After graduation, she is pursuing a master’s degree in maritime archaeology at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
Selma Okyere-Badoo (biochemistry, Spanish language and literature ‘22)
Selma Okyere-Badoo will earn undergraduate degrees in biochemistry and in foreign languages and literature, with a concentration in Spanish language and literature. On campus, she is involved in two scholarship programs — the Goodnight Scholars and the Thomas Jefferson Scholars Program. She has been an ambassador and mentor within the Goodnight Scholars program. Okyere-Badoo is also on the executive board for various service organizations, including Voluntarios Ahora en Raleigh (VOLAR) and Service Raleigh. She has been involved in VOLAR for three years as a member, secretary, and now president of the student organization. Okyere-Badoo has been involved in Service Raleigh all four years of her undergraduate career as a partners committee member and then a partners committee co-head for the last two years.
Through Student Leadership and Engagement, she has been an Alternative Service Break (ASB) team participant on the Guatemala Health ASB and a team co-lead for both the Coharie Tribe Virtual and the Interfaith Philadelphia ASB experiences. Additionally, she has had the opportunity to be a College of Humanities and Social Sciences Ambassador and an NC State Undergraduate Admissions intern for her last year at NC State. Okyere-Badoo has also been an organic chemistry teaching assistant and TRIO Student Support Services tutor, where she received a Tutor of Distinction Award. After graduation, she will be working as a community lab intern at Biogen and seeking healthcare experiences during her gap year before applying to medical schools.
Casey Quinn (fashion and textile management ‘22)
Casey Quinn will receive an undergraduate degree in fashion and textile management, as well as a minor in business administration. During her time at NC State, she has served the community within these student organizations: president of NC State Panhellenic Association; Fraternity and Sorority Life Woman of the Year in 2021; Panhellenic Association sorority recruitment counselor; president of Wilson College of Textiles TATM Student Advisory Board; Wilson College of Textiles December Commencement Speaker for 2021; NC State football team intern; university ambassador for athletics; Fashion Group; and member of Kappa Delta Sorority. After graduating, Quinn will move to Austin, Texas and work for Kendra Scott as an assistant merchandiser from their corporate headquarters.
Lara Rabinowitz (fashion and textile design, anthropology ‘22)
Lara Rabinowitz is earning undergraduate degrees in fashion and textile design as well as in anthropology. She has worked as a team leader on an Alternative Service Break in Woodland Harvest and a team co-leader and member for an ASB in Alaska. Rabinowitz has had research proposals funded by the Office of Undergraduate Research in August 2019, August 2020 and December 2021. She also serves as a board member of the Wilson College of Textiles TATM Student Advisory Board. Rabinowitz is also a part of the FTD Emerging Designers Showcase. Following graduation, she will work as a textile and material design intern at Hunter Douglas in Broomfield, Colo.
Solteria Ross (aerospace engineering ‘22)
Solteria Ross will earn an undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering, with minors in English as well as women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. Her leadership roles at NC State have included: parliamentarian (spring 2022); treasurer and community service chair of the Mu Omicron Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; secretary of the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges Scholars Program; and as the Pre-College Initiative chair for the National Society of Black Engineers. Her other campus involvement includes being a part of the following organizations: Engineering Ambassadors, NC State Dance Program (Panoramic Dance Project), TRIO SSS-STEM, NC State’s Friday Institute, University Scholars Program, College Mentors for Kids, and the Women and Minority Engineering Program. She has earned other accolades as well, becoming a Brooke Owens Fellow and an AIAA Diversity Scholar. In terms of work experience, Ross interned at Collins Aerospace, GE Aviation, Made in Space and NC State’s Friday Institute. After graduation, she will work as a systems engineer at Lockheed Martin Space within their Deep Space Exploration Advanced Programs in Littleton, Colo.
Arnulfo Silva (electrical engineering, computer engineering ’22)
Arnulfo Silva is earning undergraduate degrees in electrical engineering and in computer engineering. He has been involved in the Juntos program and is currently the president of the IPC student chapter at NC State, administrative officer of the Society of Hispanic Engineers NC State chapter, and administrative officer of Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc. Silva has also held roles as the accounting team lead for Liquid Rocketry Lab, Professional Development Committee director, Engineering Relations Committee director, and Welcome Back Bash coordinator for the Engineers’ Council. After graduation, he will be joining Eaton within their Engineering Leadership Development Program: Software and Embedded Systems, where Silva will have two, one-year rotations to explore different technical roles while further developing as a leader.
Massey Stichter (parks, recreation, and tourism ‘22)
Massey Stichter will earn an undergraduate degree in parks, recreation and tourism, with minors in psychology and Spanish. She has been involved with the University Scholars program all four years of college, which gave her the opportunity to have a variety of learning experiences outside of the classroom. Stichter has also been involved with Epsilon Eta, the environmental fraternity on campus, throughout her time at NC State as a member, but also as vice president of finance and as co-president. Working at the NC State Challenge Course all four years gave her the opportunity to get real-world experience working in the outdoor field as an apprentice, facilitator, lead facilitator and program assistant. This summer, Stichter will work as a trip leader for a company called Road Less Traveled in Hawaii and the Galapagos. This company facilitates outdoor and service-focused trips that aim to help high-schoolers and middle-schoolers develop community, stewardship and personal growth. After that, she is looking forward to traveling and working seasonal positions in order to learn more about our world from within the field.
Lindsay Strickland (biological sciences ‘22)
Lindsay Strickland is earning an undergraduate degree in biological sciences, with a minor in genetics. She has served as a supplemental instruction (SI) leader and SI peer supervisor with the Academic Success Center, the vice president of programming for Order of Omega, a sorority recruitment counselor, and has been a member of Pi Beta Phi for four years. In the fall, Strickland will attend the University of Virginia, working towards her master’s of public health degree with a research in practice concentration.
Rosali Su (accounting ‘22)
Rosali Su will earn an undergraduate degree in accounting. In her time at NC State, she has served in the following leadership roles: president and new member educator for Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc.; certified peer educator for Fraternity and Sorority Life; secretary for the Asian Students Association; and co-design chair for the Asia Night Committee. Her other campus involvement includes being a part of Order of Omega, a Greek Honor Society; being a member of Beta Alpha Psi; and being part of Asian Inter-Varsity. She will intern this summer with a local accounting firm, Stancil PC: CPA Advisors, doing audit projects and tax returns. Su will be traveling a lot as well — she will return to NC State in the fall to complete her master of accounting degree. Throughout her graduate school program, she looks forward to studying abroad and plans to pursue her Certified Public Accountant certification.
Emma Trudan (psychology, Spanish language and literature ‘22)
Emma Trudan is earning undergraduate degrees in psychology and in foreign languages and literatures, with a Spanish language and literature concentration. Trudan has been working as a writing consultant at the Undergraduate Writing Center in the Academic Success Center since spring 2019. She also began working as a peer supervisor for the UWC in fall 2021. In addition, she worked as a research assistant in professor Amy Halberstadt’s Family Affect, Beliefs and Behaviors (FABB) Lab, a psychology research lab. Trudan currently works as a research assistant in professor Jeff Mielke’s phonetics lab. She is also involved in Voluntarios Ahora en Raleigh (VOLAR), a campus organization that provides opportunities to practice Spanish while serving the Hispanic community in Raleigh. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in speech-language pathology, which she hopes to tie-in with her interest in Spanish through additional training in bilingual speech pathology. Trudan is currently deciding between several master’s degree programs in communication sciences and disorders starting this fall.
Lydia Wells (nutrition science ‘22)
Lydia Wells is earning an undergraduate degree in nutrition science with a minor in sports science. Most recently, she has been a fitness program assistant with Wellness and Recreation, working primarily with the personal trainers. Wells also works as a personal trainer and F45 coach at Wellness and Recreation. In her first and second years, she was a member of the Hunt Seat Equestrian Club team, where she also held an officer position for one semester. After graduation, Wells will be attending UNC Greensboro to pursue a master’s of science degree in athletic training beginning in summer 2022.