Amanda Cannon ‘17 was the kind of high school student who was curious about everything. While one interest – the music industry – stood out among the rest, Cannon doubted its potential to evolve into a “real” career. While she began college in Exploratory Studies (formerly known as the First Year College), NC State’s home for freshmen undecided about a major, by the end of that first year, she declared a business administration major with a concentration in marketing.
In May 2015, Khari Cyrus ’16 and Marcel Souffrant ’16 led the fourth iteration of the Park Scholars’ Belize Experiential Learning Trip, a two-week service-learning initiative in which Evan Brooks ’18, Allie Dinwiddie ’18, Donnielle Jones ’18, Zach Jones ’17, Jeremy Nortey ’18, and Adrienne Williams ’17 also participated. This year’s trip, coordinated in partnership with NC State’s Center for Student Leadership, Ethics & Public Service (CSLEPS) and its Alternative Service Break programs, received partial funding from Park Enrichment Grants.
Two days prior to the start of their junior year, the Class of 2017 took part in “Concepts and Models,” a half-day session that’s part of the Park Scholarships’ comprehensive Leadership Academy. Steve Barr and Paul Mulvey, professors in the Poole College of Management’s Department of Management, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship and former Park Faculty Scholars, led the session, which focused on self-awareness, personality, and communication styles.
Four Park Scholars – Alex Brown ’17, Chandler Gonzales ’18, Alex Kim ’17, and Charan Mohan ’15 – were part of NC State’s delegation to this year’s Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), and attended the CGI U conference at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. from March 6-8, 2015.
Ricky Bloomfield’s undergraduate academic pursuits at NC State could point to any number of careers. With majors in chemistry and secondary education and minors in Spanish and saxophone performance, Bloomfield ’02 used his time as a Park Scholar to academically explore far and wide.
As a high school student, Lauren Frey ‘17 observed that people commonly assumed unidentified individuals or characters to be men. “I realized this happened sometimes due to the lack of language available to describe something in gender-neutral terms,” said Frey. “In other words, the binary system of pronouns made it difficult for people to truly be neutral.
Late film director Mike Nichols once said, “There’s nothing better than discovering, to your own astonishment, what you’re meant to do. It’s like falling in love.” For Laila Knio ‘17, a psychology major and French minor, a series of experiences over the past year sparked her desire to prepare for a future medical career. She hopes to help those in great need of medical care, both in the U.S. and overseas.
At the age of 14, Mark DeMaria ’17 developed a fascination with the merging of computers and design, hybridizing the technical and the creative. This fascination, though, was never of the spectator variety. After a few years of years of experimentation and self-teaching, it has evolved into a passion.
The Learning Lab II experience is designed to allow sophomore Park Scholars to develop a critical understanding of a national issue – selected by the class during their freshman year – by interacting with leaders immersed in that issue. In October the Class of 2017 traveled to Washington, D.C. to examine how leaders in the public and private sectors tackle complex challenges surrounding the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from both domestic and international perspectives.
Retreats are integral components of the Park Scholarships experience. The Freshman Retreat serves to welcome new scholars into the community by affording them opportunities to get to know one another, the program itself, Park Faculty Scholars and staff, and the upperclassmen who facilitate small group discussion throughout the three-day period.