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Embarking on a New Journey

Meet 12 of our spring 2024 graduates.

Jameson Wolf
Jameson Wolf

From late-night cram sessions to early-morning caffeine runs the journey of the Class of 2024 has been nothing short of remarkable. When our students toss their mortarboards and flip their tassels this spring, they’re not just closing a chapter, they’re opening the door to new possibilities.

They’re also leaving the College of Humanities and Social Sciences with memories that will last a lifetime. Their collegiate experience has been bookended by the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic and historic triumphs on the court by our men’s and women’s basketball teams.

A shared sense of achievement binds these graduates together. With resilience, knowledge and spirit to guide them, they’re critical thinkers and responsible citizens — ready to tackle whatever the future holds.

Meet 12 of our 2024 undergraduate and graduate students. Learn about their NC State experiences, what’s next for them and what it means to be a member of the Wolfpack.

Lee Chavis-Tartaglia

A John Hester Franklin Scholarship recipient, Lee Chavis-Tartaglia was a member of Alpha Pi Omega and served as vice president of the Native American Student Association and mentor for the Native Space Living and Learning Village.

Majors: History and Anthropology

Hometown: Fayetteville, NC

Advice to my freshman self: Go out and get involved in things! It may seem scary and nerve-racking, but you don’t know how many amazing people you will meet and build connections with.

Most impactful experience at NC State: Getting involved in student organizations and the community has provided so much support to keep me pursuing my interests. Additionally, my internships at museums have helped me realize I was interested in working at museums as a career.

What’s next?: I plan to work full-time for a year or two before I apply to graduate school for a master’s degree in public history and then go on for my Ph.D. in public history.

Lee Chavis
Lee Chavis-Tartaglia during her first and last years at NC State.

Jenni Campos 

Jenni Campos participated in Social Work Student Ambassadors, Mental Health Ambassadors, the National Association of Social Work and the Americorps Survivor Link program. She also interned at Lutheran Services Carolinas.

Major: Social Work

Hometown: Wendell, NC

Advice to my freshman self: Seize all the opportunities that come my way. Whether they are student organizations, events or academic programs, it’s important not to underestimate oneself. Stepping out of your comfort zone and taking chances can lead to amazing opportunities that will enrich your college and professional experience.

Most impactful experience at NC State: The projects in my social work classes! For instance, my group had the opportunity to meet with Representative James Roberson to present a policy that addressed social issues in North Carolina. This experience highlighted the significance of advocacy within social work, as we applied it during our meeting with legislators.

What’s next?: I will continue to be at NC State as a graduate student in the Advanced Standing Master of Social Work program starting in May. Additionally, I will be working at Lutheran Services Carolinas within the refugee resettlement program over the summer.

Jennifer Campos
Jenni Campos during her first and last years at NC State.

Kelsey Dufresne

Kelsey Dufresne works as a graduate extension assistant in the D.H. Hill Jr. Library Makerspace and with Marginalia Making to bring inclusive and wellness-oriented making to our campus. She’s also involved with NC State’s DanceLife, which raises money for local charities.

Graduate Program: Ph.D. in Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media

Hometown: As a military kid, I grew up all over — from Japan to Texas to up and down the East Coast 

Advice to my freshman self:

“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”

                      –   an excerpt from Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese

Most impactful experience at NC State: After learning how to be a high school English teacher in my B.A. program, I then was able to teach several different literature courses in the English Department as part of my graduate programs. Teaching these classes and learning from my students was, by far, the most impactful part of my educational journey at NC State.

What’s next?: I will be starting with the NC State Data Science Education Postdoctoral Fellowship. I will continue to work with the inspiring, driven and innovative students on our campus — emphasizing and exploring the role of data across all disciplines, and the beauty and importance of small data in our everyday lives.

kelsey dufresne
Kelsey Dufresne during her first and last years at NC State.

Grace Gould

Benjamin Franklin Scholar Grace Gould has worked as a resident advisor, lifeguard and tutor. She was also a member of the Philosophy Club, serving as its president for the last two years. 

Majors: Philosophy and Environmental Engineering. 

Minor: Renewable Energy Assessment 

Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC

Advice to my freshman self: Make as many connections as you can. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there and talk to people. 

Most impactful experience at NC State: The experience of being part of the Sustainability Fund Advisory Board has greatly impacted me by encouraging me to always think of the environmental and social impacts something has. It motivates me to incorporate sustainable alternatives and introduce new ways an organization can be more sustainable.

What’s next?: I have accepted a job working in solar land development at an engineering firm in Raleigh. I also plan to continue my education by getting a master’s in sustainable management while working.

Grace Gould during her first and last years at NC State.

Jeanine Ikekhua

Park Scholar Jeanine Ikekhua was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and held several internships, including at the student radio station WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1 and at  ABC11/WTVD as a Disney community engagement intern.

Majors: International Studies and Communication 

Minor: Chinese Studies

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria 

Advice to my freshman self: Keep a list of the professional contacts you make and enjoy yourself as much as you can during college. It goes by incredibly fast! 

Most impactful experience at NC State: My study abroad experience made me re-analyze my goals and realize that I would like to get a job that allows me to travel. My time as a Park Scholar also shaped my experience at NC State and is one of the reasons I was able to accomplish so much. 

What’s next?: I will attend New York University on a full scholarship from the Payne Fellowship. I will be pursuing master’s degrees in international relations and journalism. After that, I will become a Foreign Service Officer. 

Jeanine Ikekhua during her first and last years at NC State.

Sarah Isenhour

Department of Sociology and Anthropology Student Ambassador Sarah Isenhour participated in the Provost’s Professional Experience Program as the engagement intern for the Department of Psychology. She was also a research assistant in the Media, Identity and Attitudes Lab.

Majors: Criminology and Psychology

Minors: Cognitive Science and Political Science

Hometown: New London, NC

Advice to my freshman self: Always remember to balance taking advantage of the wonderful opportunities NC State has to offer and overextending yourself. Maintaining your mental health is essential!

Most impactful experience at NC State: My experience as assistant director of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology Student Ambassadors had the most impact on me. This position helped me develop my leadership skills, challenged me to think big, and introduced me to lifelong friends.

What’s next?: I plan to take a few development years before attending a clinical psychology Ph.D. program with the goal of eventually becoming a forensic psychologist. During my development years, I hope to gain more full-time research experience in psychology. 

sarah_isenhour (1)
Sarah Isenhour during her first and last years at NC State.

Ciara McArthur

Ciara McArthur served as treasurer of Sigma Delta Pi, the national collegiate Hispanic honor society, and studied abroad in Seville, Spain, in the summer of 2023.

Major: Spanish Language and Literature

Minor: Teaching English as a Foreign Language 

Hometown: Fuquay-Varina, NC. 

Advice to my freshman self: Explore opportunities even if they take you out of your comfort zone and pursue what you enjoy doing. 

Most impactful experience at NC State: Studying abroad has been the most impactful experience that I’ve had during my time at NC State. I had the opportunity to study abroad in Seville, Spain, and the knowledge and experiences it provided me with were immeasurable. 

What’s next?: I will attend graduate school at NC State to pursue a master’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature and Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages. In the future, I hope to teach Spanish and ESL courses at the collegiate level. 

Ciara McArthur during her first and last years at NC State.

Fiona Prestemon

University Honors Program member Fiona Prestemon co-founded the Healing EveryBODY Club on campus, worked in the Social Development Lab, served as president of The Movement Peer Educators for IPV prevention, and studied abroad in London.

Major: Psychology 

Minor: Social Work

Hometown: Cary, NC

Advice to my freshman self: You will find your people and purpose, even if things feel scary or lonely now. It is going to be far better than you believe is possible. In the meantime, continue reaching out to classmates and professors and talking to your campus celebrities. It will get easier —I swear! Connection is an important part of getting through the challenging moments. 

Most impactful experience at NC State: The opportunities to serve my NC State peers through action and leadership were most influential. In particular, I helped lead a scale-smashing event with the Healing EveryBODY Club, read a collective statement from The Movement at Take Back the Night 2023, and discussed research at symposiums. 

What’s next?: I will attend UNC-Chapel Hill to earn my Master of Social Work. My current aim is to be a clinical social worker, specializing in the intersection of substance use and sexual violence. 

Fiona Prestemon during her first and last years at NC State.

Ben Price 

Chi Psi member Ben Price also was involved with WKNC,88.1 FM HD-1, the student-run radio station, writing blogs about music and doing radio shows

Majors: English and Science, Technology and Society 

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Advice to my freshman self: Drop out of engineering. It’s not for you. Listen to more metal. Read more books. Take more Plant Biology classes. Write as much as you can in your free time. 

Most impactful experience at NC State: Writing blogs about music for WKNC 88.1, NC State’s student-run radio station, has been a wonderful time for me to dive deeper into the music I love, learn more about my writing strengths, work on my time management skills, and practice writing. 

What’s next?: I will volunteer with the Peace Corps in Paraguay for two years. I’ll be helping local farmers work on obtaining climate-smart solutions to their farming practices. After that, I’ll be writing and traveling.

Ben Price during his first and last years at NC State.

Nathaniel Somma

Nathaniel Somma has been a member of student government all four years, starting as a student senator and serving as chief justice his senior year. He is also a member of the Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, Club Racquetball and the Italian Club.

Major: Political Science

Minor: Italian Studies

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA, to Pfafftown, NC

Advice to my freshman self: Get involved! Join an interesting club, attend a Wolfpack basketball game, and work on completing the various traditions on The Brick app with your friends.

Most impactful experience at NC State: The chance to participate in the study abroad program in Perugia, Italy, was exciting and enlightening. I developed a better understanding of global perspectives, enhanced my language learning skills, and explored the beautiful landscape of Italy. 

What’s next? I will attend UNC Law School. I am looking forward to joining various student organizations and broadening my understanding of the legal principles that support our system of government.

Nathaniel Somma during his first and last years at NC State.

Conner Tomlinson

Conner Tomlinson was a DJ for the student-run radio station WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1 and an  Arts Club member. He’s also worked in writing, TA, and sound tech roles for various departments, including communication, interdisciplinary studies and performing arts and technologies.

Graduate Program: M.A. in Liberal Studies (MALS) 

Hometown: Silk Hope, NC

Advice to my freshman self: Connect and keep in touch with classmates and professors. Most of humanity’s collective knowledge is available for free online – universities are there so you can meet people who can support you and push you to think critically and act boldly.

Most impactful experience at NC State: I completely changed my career trajectory during my Arts Entrepreneurship minor as an undergraduate. The classes reignited my love for art and inspired me to make a living in the independent music industry. 

What’s next?: I’ll take a year or two to focus on my professional life, looking for more opportunities as an audio engineer, producer, musician, music journalist, and PR agent. I’d love to add “lecturer” to the list, teaching communication or media production as I prepare for doctoral studies. 

Conner Tomlinson during his first and last years at NC State.

Jameson Wolf

Caldwell Fellow Jameson Wolf is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, the University Honors Program and the English Honors Program. She was editor-in-chief of Technician and held several internships, including with NC State DELTA.

Major: English

Hometown: Asheville, NC

Advice to freshman self: Ask for help when you need it, drink water, sleep (yes, every single night), don’t discount the importance of relationships and community building, call your mom, practice gratitude, take advantage of the resources you have as a student (you may never have them again).

Most impactful experience at NC State: Serving as the editor-in-chief of Technician this past school year. I got to see the campus community from all angles and cover the challenges and victories we have seen over the past four years. Being a student journalist helped me to fall in love with this campus.

What’s Next?: I will relocate to Boston this fall to complete a year of service through AmeriCorps or work in academic publishing.

Jameson Wolf during her first and last years at NC State.