Brand Stories 2020-2021


Abigail Knight - UNCG

Abigail Knight didn’t have to choose between her love of history and medicine. At UNC Greensboro, she gets hands-on experience in both.

With support from the School of Nursing and Lloyd International Honors College, Abigail conducted archival research on how the medical field has evolved over time. The research experience – paired with her coursework and clinical work – has given her the confidence to pursue her dream of completing a doctorate in nursing and researching ways to improve how neonatal intensive care units operate. And, of course, to save as many babies as possible.

– Abigail Knight, Nursing

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Brand ad Islam Hassan

“I’m a transfer student, and now that I’m at UNC Greensboro, it’s the best semester of my entire college experience. I immediately felt welcomed. People are caring, and the faculty really help you become successful. Education has always led me to grow, but at UNCG, my growth is happening at a faster pace. When you’re with good people, you’re going to achieve more and find success. Opportunities are opening up for me.”

– Islam Hassan, International Business

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Brand ad Eric Laws

Eric Laws, a PhD student at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, studies bacterial cells and data storage. His mentors at UNC Greensboro have been role models in both teaching and research, encouraging him to embrace each academic challenge and to always keep moving forward. They’ve inspired him to pursue his greatest passion: communicating scientific ideas through teaching.

“To see that little bulb that comes on in people’s eyes when they understand something is pretty cool,” he says. “I want to be a teacher that students come to, and then leave with more knowledge and less stress.”

– Eric Laws, Nanoscience

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Brand ad Selina Laws

Selina Laws would someday like to have her own lab and teach at a university or hold a government research position. The self-described “lab rat” says studying in the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering to earn her PhD has been an intimidating challenge, but her mentors there have provided her with all the tools she needs to be successful and take her research to the highest level.

“I want to be able to help as many people as possible,” she says. “If I can create a material to be able to do that, then I can have a great impact, whether that’s for human lives or for the environment.”

– Selina Laws, Nanoscience

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Brand ad Magnolia Long

Magnolia Long was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was six months old and was given a life expectancy of 34 years. When applying for college, she wondered if she would be able to succeed despite all of her health challenges. Four years and a life-changing surgery later, she has the degree to prove that she did more than just survive – she thrived thanks to UNC Greensboro’s flexibility and support.

“I have so much life to live and so much to offer, and UNCG has given me the opportunities to do things I’ve always wanted to do and become the person I’ve always dreamt of becoming.”

– Magnolia Long, Political Science

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Triston Broadway - UNCG

Triston Broadway has big plans. In his future, the Miami native sees collaboration – with educators and entertainment industry professionals – to write classical music that’s both exciting and accessible to everyone, regardless of social or economic background. That means being open to new possibilities, as an educator and an artist. Mixing the traditional with the experimental, the UNC Greensboro College of Visual and Performing Arts student approaches each project with new sounds and new enthusiasm.

– Triston Broadway, Music Composition

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Abdullah Oguz - UNCG

When Abdullah Oguz’s scooter battery failed on campus, his fellow UNC Greensboro graduate students pushed him to where he needed to go. The Turkey native values such teamwork, in-person and online. He is a doctoral student researching social behavior and business performance in the global virtual workplace. The future professor seeks ways to discourage and prevent cyberbullying, which enhance the ability of global virtual teams to work together to reach their final destination.

– Abdullah Oguz, PhD Student, Information Systems

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Rachel Rouse

Fourth. Rachel Rouse is the fourth generation UNC Greensboro Spartan in her family. The UNCG Bryan School of Business and Economics student is following in her father’s accounting footsteps; and she’s lived in the same residence hall that her grandmother and great grandmother did years ago. The Greensboro native is making college memories all her own; blazing her own path on the soccer field; coordinating academic tutoring sessions for elementary and middle school students with her teammates; and scoring valuable business connections at leadership conferences with the goal of one day serving her community and country. Go Rachel!

– Rachel Rouse, Economics

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Travis Barber - UNCG

Travis Barber has always wanted to teach. After working as a machinist, the U.S. Army Veteran pivoted to pursue his dream at UNC Greensboro. Enrolled within the School of Education’s Haggai Academy and supported by the campus’ Military- Affiliated Services office, Travis will be the first man in his family of farmers to graduate from a four-year college. Upon graduation, he plans to teach middle- schoolers, where he believes he can make the most impact as an educator.

– Travis Barber, Education

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Brand ad Kiara Hickman

That’s the advice UNC Greensboro social work major Kiara Hickman gives to incoming freshmen. As a first-generation student, navigating college was intimidating at first. But she credits the wide array of campus organizations for helping her find her place at UNCG. Now, she helps others do the same as an RA and as president of 1st G – a campus group for other first-gen students.

What’s next for the School of Health and Human Sciences student? Kiara plans to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and become a school social worker to advocate for people who may not have the resources to advocate for themselves.

– Kiara Hickman, Social Work

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Vickie Whitt - UNCG

Vickie Whitt is a breast cancer survivor, a mother, and a grandmother. And at the age of 56, she was crowned UNCG Homecoming Royalty.

After beating cancer in 2015, Vickie decided to go back to school. The communication studies major took full advantage of the college experience – she got involved in student groups, worked on campus, and cheered on Spartan sports teams. Along the way, she shared her story, fought for a cure, and inspired others – and she has the crown to prove it.

What’s next for the recent grad? She hopes to return to UNCG as a master’s student, while helping other adult students find their way.

– Vickie Whitt, Communication Studies

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