Tag Archives: student life

Pushing New Boundaries at Wingate University

Savanna Harris, Staff Writer

The start of your college journey can come across as daunting. In most cases, everything is new. New city, new people, the list goes on.

From moving into a space filled with unfamiliar faces to hoping that you don’t walk into the wrong room on your first day of classes, it can all seem rather intimidating.

No one knows this to be true more than the 933 new members of the freshman class of 2022 here at Wingate. With orientation long over and classes beginning more than two weeks ago now, they have gotten a firsthand look at college life.

Freshmen Kayden Wilson and Hailey McCarty were both eager to share their thoughts.

Overall, the general consensus seemed to be that, so far, college is great but definitely a far cry from high school.

According to Hailey, “It’s very… different from the life that I am used to. I’ve never had this amount of freedom before. There’s definitely been a learning curve as I’ve figured things out.”

On the other hand, Kayden went as far as to say, “Honestly, college, in my opinion, is amazing. Personally, I thought I would end up being homesick, but I took Ruth’s (one of the Orientation leaders) advice when she said to get involved and have loved every second on this campus!”

Getting involved in your new community can be one of the best ways to become more connected to it. Along with potentially opening up new opportunities, it allows for the chance to connect with people on an individual level.

“I am a part of the Common Ground worship ministry here on campus, as a singer,” Hailey said. “It’s been really cool meeting other people who are into the same things that I am through that program. I’m also thinking about joining the Psychology Club, but I haven’t fully decided yet.”

Another way to meet new people, although this one isn’t quite so voluntary, is living in a dorm for the first time. Hailey and Kayden are thankfully enjoying their new living situations.

Kayden said, “I love my roomies and my suitemates across the hall! We have an open door policy and it makes me feel a lot closer with them.” It remains true that living in that close of quarters with people can cause friendships to form extremely quickly.

All in all, let’s face it, being a freshman can be scary. But, despite occasional homesickness or a particularly stressful class or assignment, college is the adventure of a lifetime. It may not seem like it at times, but running through a downpour to make your 8 a.m. will be worth it in the end. There might even be time for the occasional Netflix binge, too.

Edited by Rachael Robinson

Candlelight Vigil held for the passing of Wingate student Geoffrey Dawkins

Gabriela Cabrera, Staff Writer

Wingate University students were silent as they gathered together on Thursday to hold a candlelight vigil for a sophomore who passed away earlier this week.

Geoffrey Dawkins, a sophomore criminal justice major, passed away at CMC Main in Charlotte, North Carolina. Students honored his memory by gathering together to share the joy he had brought to each of them. Geoffrey was a member of the Wingate Pep band and Marching band and also the Kappa Alpha fraternity.

Students gather for a candlelight vigil for the passing of Geoffrey Dawkins

Noah Couick, student manager of Wingate University’s Writing Center, said that Geoffrey was not only a fighter through his sickness, but also through his academics.

“He frequently visited the Writing Center for help with papers and had a zeal to succeed,” said Couick. “I look back and am honored to know that I read the papers of this student.”

Students assembled on the Stegall lawn, hugging and sharing support as Shannon Powell, the director of the Campus Fellowship for Christian Athletes, opened with prayer.

Shelby Dworek, a junior, said she felt comforted being surrounded by friends who also knew Geoffrey.

“You could hear people crying as Mr. Powell started praying. We were all there to support each other in this loss,” said Dworek.

Gage Sumrall, a sophomore who shared the same Kappa Alpha Order fraternity as Dawkins, said that Dawkins was not only a friend and fellow band member, but a brother to him as well.

“Geoffrey Dawkins will be missed by many, but I am so happy to know that his health will never be an issue again,” said Sumrall.

Geoffrey suffered from a skin disease that affected his skin, nails and hair growth. By sophomore year in high school he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a heart disease that makes it hard for the heart to deliver blood throughout the body.

Cardell Rawlings, a senior, said that once someone got to know Dawkins, he was easily the most genuine and happiest person to walk this Earth.

Rawlings, along with Sumrall and others on the football team, surprised Dawkins, before he passed, by visiting him at CMC Main.

Photo from Wingate Bulldogs Site

Rawlings said Dawkins kept mentioning how much he wished he could have been at the Wingate homecoming game.

“He stayed so positive and kept telling me, ‘Keep going, keep grinding, it’s all going to pay off’,” said Rawlings. “That hit me then and has hit me even deeper now.”

The vigil ended with the students reciting the Lord’s prayer.

The fraternity brothers of Kappa Alpha Order set up a Go Fund Me page for Dawkins’ family, to help pay his medical bills.


Edited by: Brea Childs

Photo cover by: Gabriela Cabrera

Track and Field Team prepares for its upcoming season

Track and Field Team Overview

Tariah Harrell, Staff Writer

The Wingate University men’s and women’s track and field teams have began their preseason practices for the 2016-2017 season. Head coach of the men’s and women’s track and field teams Travis Leflore and graduate assistant sprint coach Cole Henderson has given us a little insight on how they feel about this preseason and this upcoming indoor and outdoor season.

“The 2016 preseason is looking very encouraging for us,” Leflore said. “We have a lot of new faces to mix in with a strong group of returners. Athletes are looking strong and fit, which for us means a lot. We’re going to continue to build on the great start and try to keep everyone healthy. That mixture will lead to a successful year.”

“The 2016 preseason is looking promising for WUTF” grad assistant Cole Henderson said. “Some students have came back from summer training looking like brand new versions of themselves. The testing week showed growth in strength and speed from returners. Many of the athletes are experiencing some hard workouts, but understand that is the little improvements that add to future accomplishments. I believe the team could be called ‘Wingate Hills’ instead of Wingate Bulldogs right now because we will be running a lot of hills during this preseason.”

WUTF has been on a roll the past two seasons (indoor and outdoor), meanwhile fighting through struggles as days go on as they continue striving to become the best team in the country physically, mentally and emotionally.

“As head coach of this team, my job is to not only prepare our student-athletes for the season, but also our staff,” Lefore says. “As a staff, and a young staff, we’ve done a lot during the offseason to continue to progress this program. We’ve focused a lot on nutrition and hydration with our athletes this preseason, really driving home how important it is to take care of your body to improve. Obviously on the track, we have been working to get as fit as possible while staying injury free; and emotionally, we have been talking about faith, whether someone believes in that or not. That is something that has brought us closer together as a program.”

Cole Henderson, who is a former Wingate track and field superstar, is now in his 2nd year of grad school and being a coach. His mindset has changed tremendously from an ‘athlete’s’ mindset, to a coach’s point of view, but yet he can still relate.

“Mentally I am trying to prepare the athletes to consciously understand what their body is doing during performance. I do not want any athlete to simply just go through the motions of sprinting and hurdling. I try to challenge them to get out of their comfort zone when performing different repetitive workouts. Practice is the time to make mistakes and learn from them.”

“Physically, I am trying to prepare my athletes to be strong, therefore there are a lot of workouts that demand strength from the athlete. Threshold and capacity workouts will be implemented before speed, which becomes the cement over the foundation. Emotionally, I hope I am preparing my athletes to lean on God by example. Whenever an athlete is emotionally stricken, I like to remind the athletes that we serve a good God and to lean on him in times of need through prayer” Henderson replies.

In the South Atlantic Conference Championships this past March, men’s track and field placed 3rd, while the women placed 2nd, losing to Queens University by a few points. “I fully expect for both men and women to win the SAC conference championships this year,” Henderson said.

“I have been a part of the WUTF program for 6 years and this is the most competitive women’s team I have ever seen. The women’s team is filled with veterans that are ‘hungry’ for the championship. While on the men’s side has seen success in 2014 at the SAC championships, last year’s 3rd place finish was a big upset. The memory of last year’s defeat is fueling the men’s team this year, and it is evident by the hard work they have been showing, ”Henderson said.

Leflore, being the youngest track and field coach in NCAA Division II history and first AfricanAmerican head coach at Wingate, says that his expectations for the team is fairly simple. He expects the WUTF to be one of the top teams in the region and conference, and continue to have more athletes competing in the NCAA National Championships while also moving up in their national rankings.

“I want our young men and women to grow as individuals”. WUTF’s team morales has become very high since Isaiah Kyle’s return to campus after an intense health scare. Leflore and Henderson both say that the team morale has been high and has brought the team closer together.

“We have all been through a lot as a team, but we have all witnessed God’s grace and mercy with Isaiah coming back on campus, and we are so happy to have him back,” Leflore responds.” The love and support shown by the university and student body was graciously overwhelming,”

Cole Henderson says. “It was special to see the faith aspect of Wingate University be fulfilled during that hard time. People who didn’t know Isaiah personally were praying for him and prayer was the powerful tool that helped complete the process.”

As the team gets ready for their 1st indoor meet, the coaches are preparing not only their athletes but also themselves for the upcoming season. “As head coach, we deal with so much daily, I think the big thing for me is just to continue to improve across the board and be ready for everything,” Coach Travis responded.

“Motivation for the team can come in so many different ways, I am constantly thinking of ways to keep everyone motivated through the long season.” As for grad assistant Cole Henderson, he says he prepares by praying over the team and for himself that he can lead accordingly.

“I pray for my sanity at times because coaching is not easy. I try to learn from my elders, such as Coach Travis, Coach Whitney, and Coach Ashley, by asking them questions and following their lead. I am continuing to grow from things that I did last year as a coach and improving the program by any means necessary; and with that commitment, I hope to see success fall into place”.

The Wingate Bulldogs first meet is December 3rd at the JDL Kickoff Classic in Winston- Salem, North Carolina.

Edited by: Sara Gunter

Students prep for the future with Internships and Career Services

Tips for Internships and Career Services 

Cierra Smith, Staff Writer

As many college students may know, the stresses of getting out into the workforce after spending four years earning a degree can be monumental. During those four years, the students spend the majority of their time researching what they want to do and who they want to be once graduating, and that can also be an added stress. Depending on the school, there are an abundance of different resources on-campus that can help aid in the process of finding employment, as well as prepare students with the necessary experience that they may need when entering the workforce.

Here at Wingate, we have just that! The Office of Internships and Career Services, is an on-campus organization that aims to help students find internships and jobs prior to graduation, as well as serve as a resource for students when it comes to the different aspects of their majors.

In an interview with the Assistant Director of the office, Candice Sturdivant, she was able to lay out a few key things about her job, as well as valuable information about the Office of Internships and Career Services. When talking about internships, it’s important to know what they actually are.

Candice described internships as opportunities for students to learn more about a career that interests them, as well as a way to gain real-world job experience through hands-on learning. With internships, not only are they essential when it comes to gaining experience in your career-field of choice, but they are also great resume builders.

Candice stressed that it is not imperative to have an internship, but did mention that having one could give you the upper hand when it comes to interviewing for jobs once graduating from college.

In the Office of Internships and Career Services, there are six career advisors, including Candice, who serve as allies to help students within particular majors get their careers started. They work with students to build resumes, find what career they want to go into, as well as aid them in other areas of academics.

The office also has an online database, CareerGate, which populates the legitimate jobs and internships in the areas surrounding Wingate and the database is meant to be used as a tool for students looking for employment opportunities.

During the interview, Candice mentioned that the office looks at other job databases and personally picks out jobs that they know will be of interest to students and jobs that relate to the majors here at Wingate. As the interview wrapped up, Candice shared that the most rewarding part of working in the Office of Internships and Career Services is being able to help students navigate their way through their college journey and seeing all of the success stories of the students who visited the office while in college.

Candice also said that the most challenging part was advertising the office and getting more students into their doors. One last thing that Candice stressed during the interview was to not be afraid to stop by the office, which is located on the first floor of Alumni Hall. All of the career advisers are there to help students in any way that they can when it comes to their career of choice and enjoy being an ally for students here at Wingate.

Edited by: Sara Gunter

Study Abroad Peer Mentor Program Starts at Wingate

Beginning of a new program to connects its students Internationally

Megan Katz, Staff Writer

This semester, Wingate’s Office of International Programs is beginning a new Peer Mentor program to connect students interested in studying abroad with mentors who have already completed their respective programs.

Ms. Lizz Baxter, Assistant Director of International Programs at Wingate University, crafted this program from a pre-existing model, because she says she wanted there to be a platform for students who go abroad to be able to share their stories.

Ms. Baxter says it was evident the most effective way students get information about study abroad opportunities is through a personal connection, and she wanted to help make those connections stronger.

“The first mentor assignment has been to speak in Gateway classes upon request,” says Ms. Baxter. “We have a language fair that the mentors will be involved with, as well as the W’International Pre-departure.”

Peer mentors will also have the opportunity to speak at special events like Family Weekend and Scholar’s Day.

Sophomore Danielle Nook is one of the student mentors in this program. She had the opportunity to participate in the Costa Rica Language Immersion program this past summer.

“I had an absolutely incredible time on my study abroad program, and I wanted to share that with other people and encourage them to do the same,” says Nook.

Nook says that any student who may be wary about going abroad should really just take the time to talk to a mentor. Going abroad is a priceless opportunity, and there may be so many ways to achieve that experience that students may never think of, Nook says.

Ms. Jennifer Armentrout, Director of International Programs, says, “I am excited to see this program come together, and I look forward to even more students taking advantage of the many opportunities we offer to go abroad on high impact programs.”

A bulletin board featuring the pictures and biographies of all of the current peer mentors will soon be posted in the lobby of Alumni and the DPC.

Ms. Baxter says she is always looking for more mentors, so if you are interested in becoming a mentor or studying abroad, please contact the Office of International Programs at e.baxter@wingate.edu or international@wingate.edu.

Keep an eye out for the Language Fair which will be held in the cafeteria on October 4th from 11-1pm, as well as International Education Week which will happen in November. Please contact Ms. Baxter if you would like to propose an event for that week.

Edited by: Sara Gunter

Calm on campus amid the chaos close to home

Perspective of safety from a Campus Safety Officer

Zeriq Lolar, Staff Writer

             With the hustle and bustle of the Wingate University school year, it can be very hectic for students and faculty. Although, it is hectic for these individuals, campus safety can be hectic also.

Wingate University has had its population go up and down the past years, but for the 2016-2017 school year it has been very evident that the population is flooding with students. With limited parking spots, and smaller cafeteria, Wingate has been trying to expand due to its overflow of individuals. This however can attract a lot of crime due to more vehicles around campus and limited parking spots.

Wingate University Chief of Campus Safety Michael Easley reacted to the increase of students. Easley said, “The calls for service are a lot more than we normally deal with, nothing bad though, but with the number of freshman that we have coming in it was a lot to handle at once, so we had to bring in some new officers for traffic control and answer calls for service.”

The chief also gave some good advice and insight on safety for cars as students look for parking spots, especially at night to prevent break-ins. Easley said, “I would suggest that you park in well-lit areas so your car is visible, keep your car locked don’t leave any valuables in view, and always report any suspicious activity.”

Due to recent events in Charlotte, there have protests and rioting that have caused lots of damage to the city of Charlotte. With Wingate only being 30 miles down the road from Charlotte there have been rumors that there was going to be rioting or protests on campus.

Chief Easley shared what his plan would be if that were to occur. “Unfortunately we have had some rumors that these things might happen on campus, I immediately got with our command team and met with local law enforcement and had a plan in place if in the event something were to occur. Thankfully nothing happened, we actually had a prayer vigil and some of the campus safety officers participated in the vigil. We have a great community at this University and we like to think of it as one big family.”

Craziness might be happening right in our backyard, however, the students and faculty of Wingate University can feel very safe, especially when Chief Michael Easley and Wingate Police are around to protect and serve.

Edited by: Sara Gunter

Greek Life and Recruitment 101

Recruitment may be over but here is the information you need to know.

Kendall Sienon, Staff Writer

Wingate, N.C. — It is that time of year again when sorority women all over Wingate University campus step up their game in preparation for recruitment in hopes to attract incoming freshman and other potential new members to Greek life.

Mary Catherine Boylin, Membership Vice President of Alpha Xi Delta believes that girls “should go through recruitment because there is no way to describe the feeling of having so many sister’s love and support you through your time in college and beyond. Sisters motivate and push you to fully realize your potential.”

Formal Recruitment starts Thursday, Sept. 14 and goes through Sunday, Sept. 18. All four Pan-Hellenic Sororities (Alpha Omicron Pi, Chi Omega, Alpha Xi Delta and Sigma Sigma Sigma) are participating in this year’s recruitment. There is an information meeting starting Wednesday Sept. 14 for all potential new members to learn about the upcoming process.

Diana Coyle, Wingate University’s Associate Director of Residence Life and Involvement, is in charge of formal recruitment and other Greek Life matters. Currently, there are 111 women who have signed-up for Recruitment this year. “It is fairly on par with previous years,” states Coyle. One trend seen at Wingate University is the increasing number of sophomores and juniors who register to go through.

“I think this speaks highly to the connections women make on campus during the first few years,” says Coyle “and that Wingate become their family so they want to find their sisters.”

The three nights are divided into different rounds with their own themes. The first night each sorority gives information about their philanthropy and financial obligations; Friday night is sisterhood; and the final night is “Preference” in which each organization demonstrates a special ceremony.

Bid Day is the last day in which girl going through the process finds their home. Bhumi Hardev, Sigma Sigma Sigma’s Membership Recruitment Director, claims that Bid Day is her favorite event all year, “It’s an exciting moment for me personally to see girls run out with happiness and knowing that practices with my chapter helped to win these girls over.”

There are many advantages for young college students to join in Greek Life. It helps them find a place in their college or university, it provides a plethora of social occasions, deep involvement with philanthropy and community service, there are many networking opportunities, and it helps students gain and maintain many different skills such as time management.

Anna Harbacevich from Chi Omega believes that “Recruitment is a great experience and girls should consider it whether they think they ‘fit’ the lifestyle or not and (they can) meet tons of amazing women along the way”.

For more information and to register for recruitment today follow this link: https://enroll.icsrecruiter.com/pan/WINGATE

Or email Diana Coyle at d.coyle@wingate.edu

Edited by: Sara Gunter