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Graduate outcomes: What's next for the Class of 2019?

The Class of 2019 graduated in Smith Hall Theatre on Sunday, May 12. Here is what some of them will be doing next in their lives beyond the Red Brick Wall:

Maya Wheeler

Major: Environmental studies

Working for the Peace Corps in Senegal

“I was mostly interested in the environmental field and agriculture, so when I was searching for opportunities with the Peace Corps, Senegal came up. Also, two of my friends here are from Senegal and have told me how much they love it there. I’ve always wanted to go to Africa, so I thought this would be a great opportunity.

Being at Randolph has helped me realize that in order to accomplish what I want, I need to seize opportunities that interest me. Randolph has also allowed me to find a great support system of friends, faculty, and staff who have encouraged me to pursue my interests and so, I have had the courage to take more risks. In addition, Randolph has taught me to become more adaptable to situations, which I think will be beneficial for my time with the Peace Corps.”


Brooks Gillerlain

Major: Sport and exercise studies

Attending graduate school at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

“I will be entering the Master of Public Health/ Registered Dietitian Program at UNC Chapel Hill. After completing the degree, I will be eligible to sit for the Registered Exam for Dietitians. Upon passing, I would like to work specifically in sport dietetics at the collegiate level or higher as a registered dietitian (RD). Randolph’s rigorous academics prepared me to be a diligent and competent student who is ready for a challenging graduate program.”


Alex Clem

Major: Physics

Hired as combat systems safety engineer at Dahlgren Military Base

“I will be a combat systems safety engineer at Dahlgren Military Base. In this position, I will primarily be doing hazard analysis of the communications of subsystems that make up the Ship Self Defense System (SSDS) aboard aircraft carriers and large amphibious assault ships for the Department of Defense.

Randolph College has helped me develop not only as a student looking to pursue a career, but as an influential member of society. As I developed, the Department of Physics and Engineering helped me perform at the caliber necessary to succeed in a professional environment during my internship, which has now become my career!”


Reilly Wren

Major: Biology (December 2018 graduate)

Attending Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine

“I’ve wanted to be a vet almost all my life. Growing up, my family was constantly fostering puppies or taming feral kittens and rehoming them. In addition, I have been riding horses competitively since I was eight. Combine all of that with a strong interest in biological science, and the career choice was very clear. As I gained experience in the field, I became fascinated with equine sports medicine and orthopedic surgery, which is what I want to specialize in.

I was very lucky to get into Texas A&M this year; they are ranked as the number one vet school in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), number four in the country, and number 10 in the world at the moment. The vet school is housed in the beautiful, new, Veterinary & Biomedical Education Complex, which is at the center of equine activity on campus. Considering my interest, I find it very exciting that I will be entering in the midst of their $80 million Equine Initiative. The DVM program also has a unique new curriculum which is designed to be more clinically relevant and provide more hands on experience than any other vet school in the country.

It was the wonderful faculty at Randolph who prepared me for vet school. My professors, especially those in the biology department, encouraged me to challenge myself and opened up the opportunities for me to graduate early, earn honors in my major, be a teaching assistant, and gave me many more experiences that set me apart in my application.”


Michaela Hockenberry

Major: Classics

Attending graduate school at Villanova University

“I am entering a two-year master’s program in the field of classics, continuing my undergrad degree. After earning the degree, I hope to go on for a doctorate eventually (possibly leading to a teaching position), but I am also seeking employment in the field of librarianship, so I may end up pursuing that type of field as well.

Randolph taught me everything I needed to prepare me for the master’s program, and I have had the honor of studying under Dr. [Amy] Cohen and Dr. [Susan] Stevens, who are phenomenal instructors. The opportunity to tutor and to work in the library (I am a circulation desk employee and did an internship last semester) have also prepared me for employment, even helping me attain an internship in the state House of Representatives Archives in my home state of Pennsylvania, which may lead to future opportunities.”


Alexandra Uzdavinis

Major: Business

Entering corporate manager trainee program for Sherwin-Williams

“I will be going through eight weeks of training in June. After that, I will be traveling around to the various automotive refinish locations throughout the country as part of their corporate management team. This opportunity came to me by networking with current Sherwin-Williams Corporate employees who had told me about what a great company Sherwin-Williams is to work for, so applying was something that I obviously could not pass up.  After going through the interview process, I realized that it was the perfect fit for me coming out of college.

Without my amazing professors and coaches over the past four years, I would not feel as ready as I do today to enter the ‘real world.’  From the classroom to the soccer field, Randolph has challenged me, helped me to grow as a person, and equipped me with so much more knowledge than I could have ever imagined. I feel so lucky to have been able to call this place home for the past four years.”


Quordel Carter

Major: Sport and exercise studies

Enlisting in the U.S. Navy as a naval hospital corpsman

“After naval boot camp, I will be enlisted as a petty officer (PO) as a naval hospital corpsman. This position is basically a medical specialist, where I will start out as an assistant while they put me through medical school in hopes of becoming specialized in physical therapy in the future. I decided I wanted to go the naval route over the summer due to the sense of travel and wanting to help veterans who have been injured serving our country.

Attending Randolph College has prepared me for the future thanks to the sense of a family atmosphere. Being able to make personal connections with those around will transition into my future and be beneficial to my career as a physical therapist in the navy.”


Marie Abowd

Major: Environmental studies

Hired for paid internship as diversity outreach intern with the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Division of Soil and Water Conservation

“I will be researching what other states, and potentially other countries, do with respect to environmental requirements and incentives, for properties with horses, especially on small lots. This work will help to inform the Agricultural Best Management Practice Technical Advisory Committee in developing proposed qualifications for a financial incentive program for small lot horse owners as well as best management practice specifications, designed for horses, to control soil erosion, manage horse manure, protect surface waters, and sustain vegetative cover.

My minor in equine studies made me a ‘number one choice’ for the equine conservation summer research project. My major in environmental studies, my senior research on wild herd management (thanks to the RISE grant), and my minor in biology made me a strong candidate for this position and further bolstered my knowledge of ecological impacts. My grant writing and reporting skills for the RISE program and my work on the Randolph College Rummage Room (grant from PepsiCo) also gave me a leg up in the field of applicants. Obviously a great liberal arts education also molded me to be a well-rounded graduate.”


Mengjin Sun

Major: Mathematics

Attending graduate school at Lehigh University

“I will go to Lehigh University for the Applied Mathematics Ph.D. Program. I will mainly study statistics and applied probability. In the future, I hope I can do work related to data analysis and programming. As a studio art minor, I also wish I could work in gaming or filming companies and get hands-on experience in character designing and be able to combine my abilities in science and art.

Randolph College has given me opportunities to work closely with professors. For instance, I did Summer Research with Dr. [Jasmine] Wan, a programming internship in the IT department, and worked with other professors and students as a tutor. These experiences really built up my confidence and skills as well. The diversity of experiences you can get from Randolph College are incredibly helpful and excellent.”


Tyrah Cobb-Davis

Major: Environmental science

Hired for six-month paid internship with Oak Spring Garden Foundation

“I have been offered the position of landscape management and administration intern. Some of the tasks include:

  • interacting with the landscape and trees team to develop an understanding of broader landscape management in the context of ecological zones, wildlife, and historical development of the Oak Spring property
  • hands-on invasive species removal and native tree plantings
  • water quality monitoring and sampling
  • writing, editing, designing, and preparing written material for the Foundation and public outreach
  • serving as a host or tour guide for guests

Randolph fosters an environment that allows students to take advantage of many different opportunities. I have had the chance to take on many leadership roles in addition to taking advantage of research and internship experiences. These experiences have allowed me to gain hands-on experience and made me feel confident in my abilities to work independently, collaboratively, and effectively. I am thankful for the interpersonal and transferable skills that I have gained during my four years and feel well equipped to take on any position in the future.”


Sherri Arthur

Major: Communication studies

Hired as a communications and marketing associate for the YMCA of Central Virginia

“I can’t thank Randolph enough. The communications studies department prepared me for the real world and to lead with confidence in anything I do. The Career Development Center really prepared me and encouraged the importance of internships turning into a job opportunity. Thanks to them, I will always encourage the importance of them too!”


Stephanie Quirk

Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.)

Hired as a special education teacher at Elon Elementary School

“I will be working with students in small groups, with push in and pull out services, to assist students with reaching their IEP goals and objectives.
My practicums and student teaching placements in undergrad as well as in Randolph’s M.A.T. program allowed me to explore a wide range of grade levels and subject areas, giving me the confidence that I can succeed in any content area I come across in my teaching career. My professors are very knowledgable and were always willing to work outside of class to help each of us succeed.
Randolph’s M.A.T. program is fast and flexible! You are able to work at your own pace if that means finishing in one year or even two years, and the professors are willing to work around your schedule. Each professor shares excitement about teaching and learning, which carries over to the M.A.T. candidates and their classrooms.”
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