The Class of 2020 Writes Their Own Story
As they look to the future, our newest graduates reflect on their time at this place they've called home.
Members of the class of 2020, you’ve heard over and over that you’re missing your big moment. No walk across the stage this spring, no cap toss for now.
But that’s only part of the story. We wanted you to tell the rest.
So we asked for your memories, photos and plans for the future, and crossed our fingers for a few submissions. Within days, you gave us enough words to fill a novel and enough photos to paper a classroom. We’re honored to share many of them here.
So lift your voices, loudly sing from hill to oceanside! Our hearts ever hold you, NC State, in the folds of our love and pride.
The class of 2020 is ready to take on the world, and we couldn’t be prouder. While we may not have commencement exercises together this May, one thing is certain: The entire Wolfpack is with you.
Kunal Narang (Computer Science): For a student from New Delhi, India, who had never stepped outside his home country, NC State provided me with home and friends that I will remember for the rest of my life. I got to experience so much warmth and support from the community here, which I never expected. I call NC State my home away from home.
Tiffany Chrisey (Marketing): The moment I knew I was home was at my first NC State football game. Fans were cheering and chanting while fireworks were shooting off. The amount of school spirit at that game was unimaginable. It was right then when I knew “the strength of the wolf is in the pack.”
Megan McDonald (Elementary Education): NC State became home to me when I found my community within the College of Education. The professors are so passionate about helping us become the best educators that we can be, which in turn inspired me to fall even more in love with teaching! The elementary education department truly made the big university feel small for me.
Meredith Rhoney (Industrial Engineering): My parents (class of 1991 and 1994) met at NC State and have been big Wolfpack supporters ever since. They instilled their love of red and white into all three of their daughters, bringing us to games, teaching us the fight song and showing off their favorite college campus. NC State has become so much more than the family tradition I saw it as upon my arrival in fall of 2016. I now have my own memories that I can share with my children about how this place helped me grow academically and personally.
Nicole Renwick (Elementary Education): I often feel overlooked in large groups of people because I am shy and quiet. When I came to NC State I was nervous about making friends, finding my place on campus and feeling at home. However, the faculty, staff and students quickly welcomed me and built a relationship with me instead of letting me go unnoticed.
Sorali Patel (Zoology): Every time I was in a class with Dr. Campbell felt like home, as well as any class for the dance minor. My family was Just Cuz Crew, a hip-hop dance crew.
Cameron Phipps (International Studies): NC State has been a large, impactful chapter of my life; Raleigh has become my home, and NC State will always be my stomping grounds. I may move around in life, but my heart will always stay in Raleigh.
Adrienne Nip (English): Graduating high school in Hong Kong and moving back to the United States for university was difficult. I had to push myself out of my comfort zone to find my community, and I’m really glad I had the opportunity to grow under the mentorship and guidance of various advisors and professors. It really is a home to me!
Capturing Campus Memories
Lalima Sharda (Computer Science): I am extremely happy that I chose NC State University for my master’s degree. Being away from home for two years can be difficult. But being here, participating in so many amazing events and meeting some of the best people, made me feel at home.
Emily Hager (Environmental Sciences and Political Science): One of the first nights at NC State, my roommate dragged me out of bed to go to the Midnight Howl and Run, something I was not interested in at all. I hated running, much less running at midnight (which seemed so late at the time, but now after countless all-nighters at Hunt, it doesn’t seem late at all anymore). We got to the Belltower and music was pumping; everyone was hyped up and decked out in glow-in-the dark paint and glow sticks. The whole event was so much fun, and I remember getting to the end of the race, munching on my watermelon and being so happy to be part of this amazing university.
Christian Guarente (Microbiology): One thing that I’ll never forget during my time at NC State was freshman year when we beat Duke at Cameron. I remember watching the game in my dorm room and hearing campus absolutely erupt when the buzzer went off. My phone started blowing up with friends asking to meet outside our dorms so we could rush the Belltower together. I don’t think I’ve ever run so hard in my life.
Katie Tart (Business Administration): Agromeck has become my second family, and I’m proud to have served as the editor-in-chief my junior year. I love yearbooks because they are a time capsule of what life was like on the NC State campus. As a staff we get to play the role of historical records keeper, and we directly impact how future generations will look back on this time period on campus.
Julia Madsen (Textile Engineering): I joined the sorority Delta Gamma on campus, and that has given me so many wonderful experiences, like being in charge of our philanthropy events as Vice President of Foundation and raising enough money to sponsor two seeing-eye dogs to go through training.
Abigail Gillin (Environmental Design): NC State has provided me so many opportunities, but more importantly, lifelong friendships and memories. Watching fireworks during Packapalooza. Rushing the Belltower. Having an election concert with Lady Gaga, Bon Jovi and the Clintons. Seeing Michelle Obama speak. Too many free T-shirts. Too many Port City Java bacon, egg and cheeses. One too many slippery bricks. Last-day-of-class brunch with my ladies. My heart is so full, and I owe it all to the red and white.
Courtney Gordon (Computer Science): I loved football game days. It was always so much fun to wake up at 7 a.m. for a noon game and get ready with friends and roommates. Tailgating outside Carter-Finley and screaming the Red and White songs during the games — I always loved the spirit in the air, win or lose.
Kathryn Kittrell (Fashion and Textile Management): My favorite moments of my time at NC State were from being a designer in the Wilson College of Textiles’ THREADS Senior Showcase. Many late nights were spent with my fellow seniors in the studio, pouring our blood, sweat, tears and hearts into our collections. THREADS was very stressful, but all of the work was worth it watching my and my friends’ collections come to life.
Emma Carter (Sociology): Student Government has been my second home outside of the Wolfpack. Working with so many passionate individuals has been a life-changing opportunity, and I am so grateful for the late nights spent in Talley Student Union in the Senate Chambers and the early morning meetings for university committees.
Maggie Jarrett (Industrial Design): Some of my favorite memories are freshman year in Leazar Hall, learning about design and meeting all the incredibly talented students who have inspired me for four years, going to Talley for late-night food runs with studio members, getting to know professors and learning from them in a small class setting, meeting the people I know will be my best friends for life, and creating and completing projects I didn’t know I was capable of.
Savoring Adventures, Celebrating Accomplishments
Julianne Reas (Communication): Each semester, the National Parks Club took a weekend camping trip to a National or State park with 50 students. These were some of my favorite times because it was just a group of awesome, down-to-earth students getting to hike and camp all weekend.
Miralinda Aoun (Nutrition Science): I loved having the opportunity to be a part of Dr. Cooke’s service learning class. I really enjoyed going to a variety of different communities (elderly, children, refugees) and teaching them and cooking with them, which are two of my favorite things.
Allegra Peery (Biochemistry): Being a member of Omega Phi Alpha shaped me for life. We spent hazy mornings on the Agroecology Education Farm harvesting veggies for the dining halls, afternoons dishing out meals at the soup kitchen and even spent time working at Carolina Tiger Rescue in Asheboro. Many weekends spent at the beach or in the mountains strengthening our sisterhood and spending time learning about leadership, diversity and mental health made my years at NC State so sweet and filled with love and support.
Morgan Register (Agricultural Sciences and Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology): One of my greatest memories at NC State included the opportunity to travel to Andros Island in the Bahamas to research public perception on fisheries. While we were there, we interviewed locals and gained insight into a new culture, mindset and way of life.
Noelle Hoehn (Animal Science): As a pre-vet student, I had the opportunity to volunteer with the Turtle Rescue Team. There, I got a better understanding of wildlife medicine and rehabilitation. It was also where I met my companion, Roo! She is an Eastern Box Turtle unable to be released due to her back legs being amputated. I was able to adopt her, and I am thankful for her every day!
Danielle Matthews (Agricultural Business Management): I had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy for Maymester. Getting to experience the culture while learning with my classmates was an unbelievable experience.
Shivani Surati (Science, Technology and Society): My favorite NC State memory is studying abroad! Before coming to NC State, I’ve always found myself daydreaming of travel to exciting places around the world, but I’ve never felt that those dreams were realistic or achievable. Once I was accepted and informed I was a recipient of the chancellor’s scholarship I was so excited! My study abroad experience led me to seek a career in global health.
Looking to the Future
Christian Williams (Animal Science): I have been accepted into the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2024, and I am so excited that I will continue for the next four years with the Wolfpack.
Katherine Hord (Biological Sciences): Medical School at Liberty University! Go Flames!
Hanna DerBoghosian (Criminology): I will be entering the workforce for around two years, then I will go to grad school in Boston for counterterrorism and security intelligence. My ultimate goal is to protect people, to protect families and to protect our country from senseless attacks of terrorism.
Nora Skinner (Marine Science): This summer I will be working as a biology assistant intern for the National Parks Service at Cape Lookout National Seashore. I will be monitoring sea turtle nesting on the park grounds.
Monica Willis (Mathematics Education): I will be teaching high school math just like my grandpa, who also went to NC State!
Courtney Wethington (Technology, Engineering, and Design Education): I have a job at Newport News Shipbuilding as a designer, and my ultimate goal in life is to become a set designer for stage plays and concerts.
Mikayla Graham (Crop and Soil Sciences): I will be the field crops extension agent in Union County and plan to eventually get a master’s degree at NC State!
Ashlynn Ehrler (Social Work): I have just started a job with Meals on Wheels!
Adam Kane (Mechanical Engineering): I am so thankful for this amazing university bringing me together with my best friend, and I am so excited to marry her this summer when we graduate! Caroline will be graduating with a degree in education, and I will be graduating with an engineering degree.
Evan Morris (Paper Science and Engineering): I’ve accepted a position with Sappi’s research and development group in Portland, Maine, where I will be a research technician. I will perform various experiments and lab tests to keep the company on the cutting edge of innovation in the tissue and dissolving pulp industries.
Nakyrah Radney (Design Studies): I will be participating in NC State’s Miller Fellowship entrepreneurship program and hope to be successfully running my sneaker customization business after the program.
Amanda Pappas (Meteorology): My future plans are to be a broadcast meteorologist on Good Morning America in New York or Los Angeles who helps to empower young women to join the STEM field and bridge the gap between the Latino and American communities.