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November Student of the Month

student-Spechel-WootenMeet Spechel Wooten, Humanities and Social Sciences Student of the Month

Hometown: Kinston, NC

Class: Senior

Majors: Anthropology and Criminology

Minor: Forensic Science

Sample Courses:

  • Theories of Social Interaction
  • Human Paleopathology
  • Supreme Court and Public Policy


  • Intern, Wake County Public Defender’s Office, Raleigh: Fall 2014
  • Intern, NC State Center for Student Leadership, Ethics and Public Service (CSLEPS), Summer 2014
  • Intern, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), Greenville, NC: Summer 2012
  • Summer Conference Assistant, NC State Conference Services, Summer 2013
  • Community Assistant, NC State University Housing, 2011-present
  • Student Ambassador, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Community Service Chair, NC State National Society of Leadership and Success
  • Mentor, Downtown East Community Hope Mentoring Program, Raleigh


2013-14 and 2014-15, Mary Lee Taylor Memorial Scholarship

Postgraduate Plans:

Law school

What do you enjoy most about Humanities and Social Sciences?

I knew I wanted to be a lawyer and criminology just seemed to click. It changed a bit once I got here. I discovered anthropology in my second year, and loved the investigative aspects. I made it a second major and added forensic science as a minor. I have enjoyed discovering new passions through my Humanities and Social Sciences classes. There is always something exciting to learn, everyone motivates you to branch out, and you get to see what different disciplines have to offer.

What were your favorite Humanities and Social Sciences courses?

Introduction to Forensic Anthropology with Dr. Chelsey Juarez, which opened my eyes to a new field, and Advanced Methods in Forensic Anthropology with Dr. Ann Ross, which permitted me to actually work firsthand with skeletal material.

How did your internships support your academic experiences?

My internships helped me to realize that I am moving along the right path. My work with the SBI introduced me to long hours spent investigating criminal cases, and my work with CSLEPS helped connect me to the larger community and strengthened my goal of working in the public interest. My internship in the Public Defender’s Office gives me a look inside a law office and courtrooms. Taken together, all three internships have connected me – helped me to grow as a person and shaped my interest in becoming a public defender myself.

What advice would you give incoming students?

Try not to overdo it. There are so many opportunities here, you want to try this, try that … really, try everything! At some point, you need to narrow down to what fits you best and stick with it. Also, realize that what you start with as a freshman is not likely going to be a set plan. Prepare to be flexible, because you will probably change your mind.