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CHASS Student of the Month – April 2008

Kelsi Vadnais

Photo of Kelsi Vadnais

  • Home Town: Charlotte, NC
  • Class: Senior
  • Major(s):
    • Spanish Language and Literatures
    • International Studies (minor)
  • Sample Courses:
    • Culture and Civilization of the Iberian Peninsula
    • Latin American Literature from 1898 to the Present
    • History of Graphic Design
    • Stagecraft
  • Activities:
    • Internship, NCSU International Affairs Office
    • Study abroad in Seville, Spain
    • Substitute Teacher, Wake County Public Schools: Spanish, Music
    • Curtain Call, Centennial Campus Middle School: Pianist and vocal teacher
    • NCSU Spanish Tutor
  • Honors:
    • NCSU University Scholar
    • National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society
    • Dean’s List: Six semesters
  • Postgraduate Plans: Relocating to Houston, Texas for employment
  • Career Goals: Marketing/Public Relations/Liaison for the Spanish-speaking community
Why did you choose CHASS?

Initially, I was in the College of Engineering because I liked math and science and had done well in those areas. However, after a few semesters, I decided Engineering didn’t really suit my personality and just wasn’t right for me. I had always liked languages, so I gave CHASS a close look. CHASS is very diverse, offering a wide variety of classes both within and outside my major. It’s a good mix – subjects like History and Anthropology – these are essential for any college graduate to have a background in.

What new doors has college opened for you?

I have been able to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. For example, History has never been my forte in terms of test-taking, but I felt it was truly an important subject to take, so I challenged myself to do so. I have also learned about myself. As a freshman, there can be a lot of uncertainty about your future. But now, as a senior, I am confident about my direction and feel that I have a solid base of knowledge to draw upon.

What has been your greatest challenge here at NC State?

I was a little apprehensive before my study abroad trip to Seville, Spain. I was going to be living with a host family and another American college student I did not know. But it was an amazing experience to see firsthand what Spanish culture was like. All my classes were in Spanish, and I was able to visit museums and cathedrals, as well as take side trips to several other cities.

Do you have any advice for incoming students?

Talk to upperclassmen, who are a valuable source of information. Professors are also very welcoming. Take the initiative and ask questions. Get out and meet new people – start by finding a group or club where people share the same interests as you. And don’t forget to carve out personal time and take care of yourself – make use of the gym!

Nominate a student for CHASS Student of the Month.