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Alums Share Wisdom with Wolf Pups

Alums Ashley Simons-Rudolph, Brooks Raiford, and Terrence Holt at an orientation panel for new students.

When 658 new CHASS majors — freshmen and transfer students — came to campus this summer for orientation, CHASS alumni were on hand to welcome them, encourage them, and offer some advice from their side of the diploma.

During panel presentations that took place during orientation, alumni shared their thoughts and wisdom. Here’s a sampling:

“Love the journey. I look at the world through a different lens because of what I learned here … how to get beneath the surface of things, whether we’re discussing poverty or some other issue. I also learned the importance of finishing things, and of being accountable to myself.” — Terrence Holt (’07, Sociology), former NFL football player; president of Holt Brothers Enterprises; member of CHASS Dean’s Advisory Board

“Pick up a minor, like finance. Apply yourself all day long. Practice time management, and procrastinate less. I am learning that the hard way in my job now! And spend time outside. Make sure to be active, to exercise and pay attention to your diet.  — Kelly Hook (’11, Political Science), 2011 NC State student body president; marketing coordinator, Carolina Ballet

“Learn the wonder of coffee. (Just kidding.) Network with teachers from high school, with professors, with friends of your parents. They want to be helpful to you, and to get to know you. I am still in touch with several of my professors from NC State.” — Daniel Gunter (’00, History and Spanish Languages and Literatures), attorney with DLA Piper, LLP

“Be kind. Notice people. I always made it a point to speak to the cafeteria workers. When it came time for me to graduate, one of them gave me a gift of $50. When I asked her why, she said, ‘You treated me like a human being.'” — Tensie Taylor (’09, Communication; minor in Psychology), former assistant for NC State’s Diversity Program; heading to grad school in student affairs at the University of Southern California

Many thanks to these panelists and the following alumni who volunteered to give back and share their wisdom:

  • Nick DiColandrea (’04, Political Science), federal grants manager at Communities in Schools of North Carolina
  • Maria Kingery (’99, English), co-founder of Southern Energy Management; CHASS Dean’s Advisory Board member
  • Paula Kukulinski (’95, Communication), division director, NC Office of State Personnel
  • Brooks Raiford (’97, Political Science), president & CEO, NC Technology Association; CHASS Dean’s Advisory Board member
  • Ashley Simons-Rudolph (’99, Psychology), director of NC State’s Women’s Center
  • Brandon York (’93, Communication), executive recruiter for Wyndham Mills

Would you like to volunteer to serve on an alumni panel? Contact for details.