Catching Up With the Outgoing Class

By Alex Fulton | NC State

Three years ago, a fresh new class landed on campus full of excitement for the years ahead. We sat down with a handful of them to talk about their aspirations — and they cemented a digital footprint from that moment in time.

Fast-forward to 2021. We figured an update was in order.

Since our first conversations in August 2018, these students have met new friends and discovered new passions. They’ve found strength in the face of unprecedented times. They’ve made NC State their home. And through it all, each has paved their own perfectly imperfect path here.

With added clarity and confidence, six students reintroduce themselves as they move closer to their last NC State milestone: graduation. Hear their reflections on where they began, who they’ve become and what they plan to do next.


Kelci Cox ’22

When Kelci Cox first arrived on campus, she faced a bigger transition than most. The Park Scholar came to Raleigh by way of Düsseldorf, Germany, where she had been attending high school.

She quickly adjusted to life in North Carolina, sprawling grocery stores and all, and the welcoming Park Scholarships community made her move feel all the more seamless.

Video: Kelci reflects on how the Park Scholarships program enhanced her time here, dives into her undergraduate research and more.
NC State student Kelci Cox at the Court of North Carolina.
Kelci Cox in 2018.
Kelci Cox in a lab on campus.
Kelci Cox in 2021.

The Park Scholarships program gave me the confidence to try lots of things.

Cox is majoring in biological sciences with a concentration in integrative physiology and neurobiology. And her studies have led her to conduct undergraduate research with plants, nematodes, lemurs, and more.

For now, she’s enjoying her return to NC State’s campus, where she’ll balance her rigorous coursework with time spent reconnecting with friends. After graduating in fall 2022, Cox intends to begin graduate school.

  • Most Streamed Song:
    • 2018: “2002” by Anne-Marie
    • 2021: “Traitor” by Olivia Rodrigo

Micah Holdsworth ’22

How can we build a better, more equitable world? It’s a vital question, and one that has stayed on Micah Holdsworth’s mind for the last three years.

Holdsworth is earning a bachelor’s degree in environmental design in architecture with a minor in landscape architecture, and he says that a trip organized by the Park Scholarships program to learn about mass incarceration helped him see his studies in a new light.

NC State student Micah Holdsworth at Leazar Hall.
Micah Holdsworth in 2018.
Micah Holdsworth in 2021.

There are so many experienced professors and staff here who would love to invest in you.

Now, he’s focused on finding ways he can use design to address systemic issues and serve the general public.

“I want to design impactful spaces of hope,” he said.

Holdsworth will stay at NC State for another year to earn an accredited professional bachelor of architecture degree. He hopes to find a workplace that engages in socially responsible architecture and potentially return to school to focus on emerging issues such as the refugee crisis.

  • Favorite Place to Study:
    • 2018: The study rooms on the second floor of D.H. Hill
    • 2021: On the floor of my living room with my housemates

Continue reading

This is an excerpt from an article originally published by NC State.