Hometown: Gordonsville, VA (A small town outside of Charlottesville)
Education: BA in History at Christopher Newport University-Newport News, VA and MA in History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Fun Fact: I was a first-generation college student.
Favorite Class: My favorite class as an undergraduate was a history class on the Civil Rights Movement in which we conducted oral history interviews with locals about the movement in Hampton Roads. Not only was the content engaging, but it started me off on my path towards studying race in the American South in graduate school. As for graduate school, my favorite class was an independent study on race and college athletics where I got to read lots of scholarship about the connection of two areas of interest.
Activities: In college, I was involved in the Honors Program, the President’s Leadership Program, Residence Life, Greek Life, Undergraduate Research, Study Abroad, Intramurals, and the Competitive Fishing Team. In grad school, I served on the Graduate History Society and also worked for ASPSA at UNC-CH. Now when I am not working you can find me watching some type of sport, reading, or playing the drums.
Honors: I graduated Magna Cum Laude in addition to earning Highest Honors in History and Service Distinction. Also in undergrad, I was a Prestigious Scholar, a Ferguson Fellow, and recipient of several research grants. During my time in graduate school, I was a Jacquelyn Dowd Hall Research Fellow.
Career Goals: I just recently started as an Academic Guide at Duke University. This position provides holistic student support services from a residential area with the goal of promoting academic success, wellbeing, and resilience in students. I am excited about this position as it blends many of my interests into a single position. One day I hope to direct some type of academic support center at a university, but that is a long way away and life is a crazy journey so we will see!
Why did you choose to mentor with ASPSA? Previously I have worked with academic support programs for student-athletes at Christopher Newport University (a D-III school) and UNC-CH. Working with these students in various roles I developed a passion for helping them navigate the challenges of balancing their academic and athletic identities. Additionally, I love helping students figure out what success means to them and then figuring out a plan to get them there. Therefore, the academic mentor position in ASPSA provided a great opportunity to support a new community of student-athletes and gain new experiences.
If you could provide us with a short quote or statement about your experience as a tutor so far. My favorite thing about working as a mentor at NC State ASPSA is learning about the students I work with and seeing them grow in confidence as learners.
Jonina Wrenn, ASPSA Tutor (Fall 2019)
Major: Human Biology
Favorite Class: News & Article Writing
Activities: Volunteer at InterAct, member of SMS, enjoy cooking and hosting friends
Honors: Park Scholar, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, University Scholar, WEB DuBois Honor Society
Favorite experience at NC State: teaching assistant for Dr. Ferzli
Postgraduate/Career Goals: medical school and work in health policy
Why did you choose to tutor with ASPSA? I wanted to help students tackle difficult topics and also refine my knowledge of the material
If you could provide us with a short quote or statement about your experience as a tutor so far.
“Working at ASPSA has allowed me to help many students but has also helped me become a better student.”
Cal Maxwell, ASPSA Mentor (Spring 2019)
Class: Class of 2019 (Senior)
Major: Sport Management with a Minor in Business Administration
Favorite Class: Sport Marketing with Dr. Kyle Bunds
Activities: Bible Study Leader with Cru, Sport Management Club Vice President, Co-Founder of Spirit League which is a basketball program for athletes with special needs.
Honors: Deans List, Apex Community Service Award
Favorite experience at NC State: My favorite experience at NC State is last year when we beat Louisville in football on a Thursday night game. It was an incredible atmosphere.
Postgraduate/Career Goals: My dream job is to one day be a Division I Athletics Director. Regardless of my end career, I want to work within collegiate athletics where I can assist in student-athlete development. I also hope to continue to grow Spirit League, which is a basketball program for athletes with special needs that I became a co-founder of my freshman year.
Why did you choose to tutor with ASPSA? I thought it would be a great way to bridge the gap between my passion for collegiate athletics, and my ambition to prepare student-athletes for life beyond sports. This program has done just that and more. ASPSA has a great reputation of high integrity and developing young men and women into great members of society. It is great to be a part of a program that takes pride in doing things the right way.
If you could provide us with a short quote or statement about your experience as a tutor/mentor so far.
My experience as a tutor and mentor has been fantastic. It has been amazing to watch students gain confidence and skills that they need to achieve at a high level in the classroom. On top of this, the staff has been incredibly kind. Not only have they equipped me with the skills that I need to assist student-athletes in the classroom, but they have also been supportive and encouraging of my own future goals.
Jessica Mattie, ASPSA Mentor (Spring 2019)
Major: Counselor Education, School Counseling
Favorite class: Multicultural Social Work because it taught me how to be more multiculturally competent when working with my students. Having difficult conversations with my peers about privilege and identities were essential to my development as a counselor!
Activities: NCSU Counseling Center Mental Health Ambassador, Pi Beta Phi Sorority, NCSU Dance Company
Honors: Graduated Summa Cum Laude in Social Work in 2017, Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society, Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Honors Society
Favorite experience at NC State: This is my 6th year at NC State so it is hard to choose just one, but I would say getting into NC State for graduate school!
Postgraduate/Career Goals: I will be graduating in May 2019 with my M.Ed. and plan on becoming a high school counselor. My goal is to combine my counseling experience and my work with ASPSA to create a transition program for high school athletes who want to become NCAA student-athletes!
Why did you choose to tutor/mentor with ASPSA? When I began my graduate program, I knew I wanted to work with students in any capacity to prepare myself for the personal/social, academic and career counseling I would do in the future. I have learned so many techniques regarding time management and academic coaching that I have incorporated with all of my student-athletes as well as my high school students!
If you could provide us with a short quote or statement about your experience as a tutor/mentor so far. Becoming a mentor has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had at NC State. It has prepared me for my future career as a school counselor and ignited a passion for working with student-athletes! I worked as a SummerSTART Mentor this summer with our incoming freshmen and helping them transition from high schoolers to college students was so motivating. I hope my students know how much they have inspired me in my career!
Taylor Hayden, ASPSA Tutor (Fall 2018)
Class: Class of 2020 (Junior)
Major: Double major in International Studies and Arabic with a minor in Business Administration
Favorite Class: English
Activities: Intern for the Office of Global Engagement at NC State, President of Arabic Club. When I’m not on campus or studying I like to run. I am currently training for a half marathon.
Honors: Outstanding Student in Arabic two years in a row,
Favorite experience at NC State: My favorite experience at NC State so far is when State beat Duke in basketball at home!
Postgraduate/Career Goals: After graduating from State I hope to pursue a go on to get my Masters in International Business then go into working with a company that does a lot of business in the Middle East. I would also like to get involved with a nonprofit that is helping with the Syrian refugee crisis.
Why did you choose to tutor with ASPSA? I chose to tutor with ASPSA because of the high standards they hold their students to. It was an environment that I felt I could bring a positive influence to and really make a difference in. I love reading and writing and I like that this job gives me the opportunity to help other students discover that they like it and to better their skills.
If you could provide us with a short quote or statement about your experience as a tutor/mentor so far. Tutoring at ASPSA has been one of the most rewarding jobs I have had as it has allowed me the opportunity to watch my students gain confidence in a subject area that they have struggled in previously and develop a new interest in.
Rachel Bland, ASPSA Tutor (Fall 2018)
Major: Elementary Education: STEM
Favorite Class: I had a physics class freshman year that was specialized for elementary ed majors, so we worked on experiments we could replicate in our own classroom.
Activities: First Year Mentor, STEM Coach, and Goodnight Fellow with the Goodnight Scholars Program, executive board member for Education Council, and in my free time paddleboarding, ukulele, working on the farm, and reading.
Honors: Goodnight Scholar
Favorite experience at NC State: As cliche as it sounds, working with ASPSA! I interact with a group of students I wouldn’t encounter otherwise, and I learn something new every day I go into work.
Postgraduate/Career Goals: be a lifelong learner! (probably as a classroom teacher wearing a few other hats)
Why did you choose to tutor with ASPSA? I am one of the lucky few who loves learning and sees class as an opportunity, not a chore. Our student-athletes have such hectic schedules. I wanted to be a positive influence in their academic lives. They have so much pressure placed on them for their physical ability, but I wanted to be able to challenge and support them in their academic endeavors as well.
If you could provide us with a short quote or statement about your experience as a tutor/mentor so far. A friend of mine Kayla Delzer shared the mantra, “Everyone’s a teacher. Everyone’s a learner.” That quote embodies why I love working with ASPSA and why I am pursuing a career in education. I think it is so important to make every student feel valued and appreciated. Your GPA and test scores do not define you- neither does your batting average or fastest mile. For me, tutoring isn’t a job as much as a continued opportunity to learn, and I hope that my joy in learning- if not contagious- is at least recognizable.