Graduate Spotlights

Graduation caps illustration
Monday, May 24, 2021

Walking across the stage to accept a college diploma is the crowning achievement of one’s academic life. It marks the end of a journey that often includes obstacles and challenges overcome by hard work and perseverance.

It also signifies the start of a new chapter as graduates begin their post-graduate lives.

Add in a once-in-a-generation global pandemic that framed the past year and a half for many of this year’s graduates, and this commencement season is sure to feel extra sweet.

With many of the Class of 2020 — who celebrated their graduation virtually last year — set to join the Class of 2021 for in-person ceremonies this week, get to know a few of our graduates as they reflect on their fondest memories, recognize impactful faculty and staff, and bestow advice to future Niners from their time on campus. And check out this bonus videos from our Bachelor of Science in Nursing program

 

Alex Gomes

Alex Gomes

Hometown: Clarkton, N.C. 

Major(s)/Graduate Program: Theatre and Health Systems Management, Colleges of Art + Architecture and Health and Human Services, respectively

Scholarship(s): Martin Scholar; Order of Omega, Zeta Phi chapter (scholastic honor organization for top 3% of Greek Fraternity/Sorority members) 

Campus Connections: Arts + Architecture Honors Program, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., NPHC Executive Board, Black Student Union, Emerging Leaders, NAACP, Souls’ Speak, “Blues for an Alabama Sky” Student Dramaturg, “The Corona Caesar” casted as Flavius/Trebonius/Lucius. 

Internship(s): Charlotte Community Scholars summer research internship

Why did you choose UNC Charlotte?

I chose UNC Charlotte for a variety of reasons but the most important would be the amount of opportunities here, not only in the University, but also within the growing and changing city of Charlotte. I wanted to go to a place where I could feel and be reminded of the growth that I was going through, and I found that (and so much more) at UNC Charlotte.

What are your UNC Charlotte highlights or favorite memories?

There’s so many. One of my favorites was the first week of freshman year where I got lost on campus and spent the time exploring as I found my way back to my dorm. I remember going inside Robinson Hall and seeing Belk Theater and feeling a mix of nervous excitement, inspiration and motivation. I knew that this was the place for me.

Who are faculty or staff members who had an impact on you?

There’s been many people that poured into me at UNC Charlotte, including the amazing faculty/staff. My professor and someone I consider a mentor, Assistant Professor of Acting Kaja Dunn, constantly inspires me as a creative and learner. She’s also helped plant the seeds of the career path that I found where I belong: arts administration.

What advice would you give to future Niners?

You get as much as you put in. Your college experience will be everything you want it to be and more if you really try (which can be kinda scary sometimes). Join one or two of the MANY clubs or organizations that sparks your interest, be open to change and differences, and lastly, don’t be too hard on yourself, there’s knowledge and growth in “failure.”

What are your post-graduation plans?

After graduation, I have the awesome opportunity to be an intern for American for the Arts’ Diversity in Arts Leadership program this summer, remotely this year due to the pandemic, where I’ll still be in Charlotte. Afterwards, I’ll be in Charlotte, taking a “gap” year from school for two main reasons: I want to gain experience and apply the skills/knowledge I’ve developed toward this city, and to take a reprieve from “Zoom University.” I definitely still will be looking for opportunities to grow as a professional in the meantime, and hopefully will be in graduate school for Arts Administration in Fall 2023!

Milcah Williams

Milcah Williams

Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.

Major(s)/Graduate Program: Health Systems Management, College of Health and Human Services

Minor: Dance, College of Arts + Architecture

Campus Connections: CxC Communication Consultant; PHS Commencement Committee

Why did you choose UNC Charlotte?

I chose UNC Charlotte because of the beautiful campus, amazing facility and staff dedicated to the success of their students, and to stay close to my family.

What are your UNC Charlotte highlights or favorite memories?

Being invited to perform a piece from the Fall 2019 Dance Concert at the North Carolina Art Museum in Raleigh.

Who are faculty or staff members who had an impact on you?

Miss Beete has been one of the most impactful faculty members to me. She was always willing to go out of her way to help me in any way she could.

What advice would you give to future Niners?

Take advantage of the resources you have from the University because it really does make a difference. Set aside time to take care of yourself, and don’t forget to remind yourself that you’re doing a good job every now and then too!

What are your post-graduation plans?

I plan to take time to gain work experience before applying to graduate programs.