Two NCWU Students to Intern at Pfizer


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan University and Pfizer recently formed a partnership that will provide hands-on learning opportunities to NCWU students majoring in science. Through the work of Dr. Daniel Elias, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science, and Dr. Molly Wyatt, Associate Provost, Pfizer will establish a new student fellowship program beginning in the spring 2023 semester.

“Pfizer’s purpose – ‘Breakthroughs that change patients’ lives’ – is best reflected in the people whom we serve. Our success in achieving our purpose can be accomplished only by finding and cultivating the best talent. Pfizer’s collaboration with NCWU demonstrates both our commitment to our purpose and to community outreach,” stated Kara Price, Ph.D., Vice President, Rocky Mount Site Lead. “NCWU students gain real-world experience, while Pfizer can continue to source excellent talent. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

NCWU students, Rheanna Wilder and Mauro Infante, will be the first two student fellows at Pfizer through this partnership. Rheanna is a senior, women’s soccer player majoring in Biology and Environmental Science. Mauro, a sophomore from Uruguay, is also a student-athlete on the men’s soccer team majoring in Chemistry and Mathematics.

Centered: Rheanna Wilder (L) and Mauro Infante (R) stand with representatives from NC Wesleyan and Pfizer in NCWU’s Pfizer Lab on Monday, November 21.

Dr. Joe Lane, NCWU Provost, noted that “This partnership with Pfizer demonstrates the power of Wesleyan’s personal, practical and purpose-driven education. Wesleyan students will have the opportunity to take what they have learned in our lecture halls and labs and apply it to real-world problems with Pfizer’s professionals. We know that Rheanna and Mauro will be the first of many Wesleyan students to build their network and resumés at Pfizer. They will do great work and we look forward to highlighting their experiences.” 

During their time at Pfizer, both students will have the opportunity to gain experience in multiple areas. This includes regulatory compliance related activities, Lean/IMEx projects, training and instructional design, science-related laboratory activities, employee performance improvement projects and operational excellence support.

About Pfizer: Breakthroughs That Change Patients’ Lives

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 170 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at www.pfizer.com. In addition, to learn more, please visit us on and follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer News, LinkedIn, YouTube and like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Pfizer.

About North Carolina Wesleyan University

North Carolina Wesleyan University (NCWU) is a small, private Methodist-affiliated institution with a liberal arts-based core curriculum that prepares students for professional advancement, life-long learning and responsible participation in their communities. NCWU offers liberal arts, professional and graduate degree programs for traditional, transfer and working-adult students. The skills cultivated by faculty and built into the curriculum include critical thinking and reflection, communication, collaboration, and information technology. North Carolina Wesleyan University delivers education that is personal, practical and purpose-driven. Personal…through mentoring and the connections that are provided. Practical…by helping students develop lifelong skills. Purpose-driven…by helping them fulfill their purpose in life. With students from all over the United States and more than 40 different countries, the University has immense cultural diversity. To learn more, visit ncwc.edu and follow on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok and Instagram.

NC Wesleyan Honors Program Receives Donation for Upgrades


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – The Taylor and Crocker families recently provided funds to refurnish the Taylor-Crocker Honors Program Lounge at NC Wesleyan University and purchased Honors Jackets for all 50 students in the Program. The lounge was relocated to a larger space on campus and received new carpet, paint and furniture, along with cupboards that are stocked with snacks and drinks for students to enjoy.

“The recent changes and updates to the Honors Lounge are simply amazing! On behalf of the program, I personally want to express my sincerest thanks to the Taylors and Crockers. Their efforts will ensure the lounge is a special place for Honors Program students now and for years to come,” stated Dr. Bill Yankosky, Director of the Taylor-Crocker Honors Program. “We are very appreciative of the support these two families have given to the program and look forward to strengthening that relationship in the years to come.”

Originally established in 1988 under the leadership of former English Professor, Dr. Steve Ferebee, the Program was renamed in 2009 when Roger G. Taylor, class of 1970, and his wife, Gaile, met with former President James A. Gray III. The funding that was provided for The Roger G. and Gaile Davenport Taylor Honors Program covered memberships and attendance to Honors Association Conferences, Honors Project supplies and thesis binding, guest speakers, social events for team building, professional development, Honors symposiums and travel.

In 2014, NCWU Board Chair, Dr. Dan Crocker and wife Brenda, came alongside the Taylors to support the initiative and a $100,000 pledge was made to fund the Taylor-Crocker Honors Program. The Crockers also established the Dr. James Durant Melton Outward Bound Scholarship that supports Honors Students who participate in the NC Outward Bound Program which offers challenging outdoor adventure programs. 

“The Taylors and Crockers have been avid supporters of North Carolina Wesleyan University and their investment in the Honors Program has definitely been impactful for our students,” stated Tammy Robinson, Director of Donor Engagement. “The newly furnished Honors Lounge is a beautiful and welcoming space for our Honors students. It’s a comfortable, dedicated space just for them, equipped with snacks to relax, study, read or socialize. We are so grateful for the generosity of the Taylors, the Crockers and all those who have given to the Honors Program.”

Incoming students with a combined score of at least 1170 on the Critical Reading and Mathematics sections of the SAT (or equivalent ACT scores) and a high school GPA of 3.5 or higher are invited to apply to the Taylor-Crocker Honors Program. Freshmen enrolled in the Program take special freshman courses in English and Humanities. Honors Program students then take one honors course each semester during their sophomore and junior years. During senior year, these students design and complete a supervised, interdisciplinary project consisting of a written and oral component. The project gives honors students the unique opportunity to work on an individual basis with a faculty member.

About North Carolina Wesleyan University

North Carolina Wesleyan University (NCWU) is a small, private Methodist-affiliated institution with a liberal arts-based core curriculum that prepares students for professional advancement, life-long learning and responsible participation in their communities. NCWU offers liberal arts, professional and graduate degree programs for traditional, transfer and working-adult students. The skills cultivated by faculty and built into the curriculum include critical thinking and reflection, communication, collaboration, and information technology. North Carolina Wesleyan University delivers education that is personal, practical and purpose-driven. Personal…through mentoring and the connections that are provided. Practical…by helping students develop lifelong skills. Purpose-driven…by helping them fulfill their purpose in life. With students from all over the United States and more than 40 different countries, the University has immense cultural diversity. To learn more, visit ncwc.edu and follow on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok and Instagram.

North Carolina Wesleyan University to Become University


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – On Friday, April 22 in a historic move, the North Carolina Wesleyan University Board of Trustees announced plans for the College to become North Carolina Wesleyan University. Since 2015, the College has been moving in this direction with the addition of its first two master’s programs, a key component of being considered a university.

“The evolution of NC Wesleyan from a college to a university represents the culmination of the excellent work of many dedicated people over previous years and the commitment of the current administration, faculty, staff and Board of Trustees in expanding the institutional offerings to its students for research, as well as career development,” stated Dr. Dan Crocker, Chairman of the NC Wesleyan Board of Trustees. “The impact of this effort on the students and the area will be tremendous.”

Some of the criteria that were considered when changing the name to “university” included: serving adult students, offering professional programs, offering graduate programs, serving a large percentage of international students and having multiple instructional locations. Despite this update to Wesleyan’s name, its values will remain the same:

  • To provide one-on-one mentoring opportunities for students with faculty and staff to align their passions with their future career and life aspirations.
  • To provide career and research opportunities to all students to enhance their marketability and skills beyond college.
  • To create world citizens with vast educational and hands-on experiences to be competent, intelligent, and competitive in a changing world.
  • To provide adult students with applied learning assignments and flexible instructional formats to advance their career and life goals

“Becoming a university demonstrates the evaluation of our impact on students and the community over the last 65 years. We are moving in a direction to offer additional academic offerings for a more diverse community of students,” stated Dr. Evan D. Duff. “Our foundation in becoming North Carolina Wesleyan University started over 45 years ago when we began offering various modes of instruction to working adult students. With this change, we will continue to be committed to one-on-one mentoring opportunities, hands-on experiences with faculty, research opportunities for undergraduate students, career exploration from day one and remain a teaching-focused institution.”

This announcement comes toward the conclusion of Wesleyan’s 65th anniversary. Over the next several months, North Carolina Wesleyan will transition to its new identity, working with the state and its regional accreditor to finalize this change. Rebranding of its website, social media, campus signage, literature, advertising, and much more will occur during this time as well.

NCWC Students Job Shadow at Grover Gaming in Greenville, NC


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – While many college students spend their spring breaks traveling or visiting their favorite beach, several students at NC Wesleyan took the time to learn about career development. The College’s Office of Career Development & Leadership organized an opportunity for a small group of NCWC juniors to visit Grover Gaming in Greenville, NC. On Tuesday, March 8 and Wednesday, March 9, these students were exposed to many aspects of the organization’s business, including their game development studio. Grover Gaming’s Greenville location is home to game developers, 3D artists, release QA testers, research and development engineers, and several other teams.

(L-R) Jessie Langley, Associate Dean of Career Development & Leadership; Naomi Pilapil, NCWC Student; Ki Vera Pardillo, NCWC student; Mohamet-Faye, NCWC Student.

All students who participated are Computer Information Systems majors. They were able to learn about the mission, vision and values within the company, benefits of full-time positions and the intersection of various departments. As an added bonus, each student received a professional headshot taken by Grover Gaming.

“When I heard Grover’s president, Garrett Blackwelder, discuss the meaning behind the company name being rooted in the concept of growth, I knew I had brought our students to a great place for a developmental experience. Mr. Blackwelder genuinely explained that “Grover” was selected to reflect his vision for the organization to “grow over and over” in the game development industry and also for his entire team to continually grow professionally and personally,” stated Jessie Langley, Associate Dean of Career Development & Leadership at NC Wesleyan. “Our visit confirmed this as I found the Grover culture to be intoxicatingly warm while also laser-focused on the company’s goals.”

Ki Vera Pardillo, one of the NCWC students who took part in this opportunity, witnessed how her training in the classroom could apply to a full-time career after college. She states: “I got to see a real-life setting for the development processes of gaming software ranging from graphic design to the deployment of their products. I was also able to ask software developers and programmers which methods and development tools they use to create the programs, as well as how they improve their products to have a competitive advantage.”

Langley hopes to continue facilitating future visits to Grover Gaming so that additional students can learn specifically about the game development side of the business.

About Grover Gaming

Founded in Greenville, NC, Grover Gaming is a software development and design company with offices and distribution facilities in 9 different states that specializes in electronic gaming throughout the US and Canada. Grover Gaming has evolved from a small gaming route started by founder Garrett Blackwelder in 2003, to a company of over 350 talented employees, focused on building a strong foundation of humble, passionate people, effective processes, and superior products. That vision continues, thanks to our growing team of dedicated employees and their desire to create innovative and entertaining gaming experiences for an ever-changing industry.  Grover Gaming is a multiyear recipient of Inc Magazine’s prestigious Inc 5000 award, ranking #194 in 2020. 

Esports Thrives at NC Wesleyan University


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – The Bishop Gaming Association (BGA) is North Carolina Wesleyan University’s co-ed Esports Program. Established in September 2019, the BGA has quickly become the College’s largest student club with 89 current members. The Program is categorized into three different entities: the Elite Team, Productions and the Club.

Hartness Center interior

The Elite Team is for students who are looking to compete in leagues or tournaments on a collegiate level. Students can compete on both PC and console platforms in multiple games, including Call of Duty, Overwatch, Fortnite, Super Smash Bros and many more. BGA Elite Team members are part of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and the Collegiate Star League (CSL). Since its inception, the team has participated in several third-party tournaments. To become a BGA Elite Team member, students must: complete a questionnaire; submit a highlight reel via Twitch, Facebook or YouTube; participate in live tryouts; and play a game with current members to exhibit their communication and skills in a team environment.

Productions is targeted toward students interested in video editing, content creation, graphic design, journalism, TV shows, podcasting and on-air hosting. The BGA Production room allows students to explore their creative ideas and consists of an iMac computer, an Alienware computer and Elgato products for graphic design, podcasting, editing and streaming. Students within BGA Productions shoot, edit and produce a bi-weekly segment called “BGA News,” which is broadcast on televisions throughout campus and shared on The BGA’s social media accounts. 

The Fortress esports room

Those who are casual gamers or spectators interested in gaming as an extracurricular activity are able to join the BGA Club. The Club allows casual gamers to participate in various BGA-sponsored gaming events and activities. Those interested in the Club are able to develop their gaming skills, as well as receive education and various perspectives into the development of video games.

Video game tournaments – known as Esports – are quickly becoming a must-have on many college and university campuses. The National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), says that there are currently more than 170 active collegiate varsity Esports teams with over 5,000 student-athletes.

“I am excited to return back to North Carolina Wesleyan University to help promote the culture of gaming, media and entertainment in our community. My goal is to provide students with awareness, resources, advice and experience in the gaming industry,” stated Chantoni Grant, Director of Bishop Gaming Association.

The Bishop Gaming Association has developed positive relationships with faculty, staff, students and media outlets while interacting successfully with the College community. It provides students with knowledge to enter the Esports field from any angle. The BGA offers connections, internship programs and desired career opportunities within the Esports and production industry. Students develop skills in community building, team chemistry, managing and organizing teams, planning and organizing events, and creating innovative and unique strategies. The College’s state-of-the-art, glass-enclosed Esports gaming room, The Fortress, opened in January 2021 in The Hartness Center and is equipped with the some of the best equipment in the gaming industry. The room features a row of Alienware computers, multiple flat screen TVs, a small console area and an Esports art wall created by students.

Grant, Community Partnerships Allow for Food Pantry at NC Wesleyan


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – A long-term study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that food insecurity among college students is associated with decreased college graduation rates and lower chances of obtaining a bachelor’s or advanced degree. North Carolina Wesleyan University is working to change these statistics. Thanks to a grant of more than $10,000 from Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) Foundation, the College’s Department of Education partner, NCWC has established a new food pantry on campus.

ECMC Foundation is a nonprofit, national foundation working to improve postsecondary outcomes for students from underserved backgrounds. Thanks to the work of Dr. Molly Wyatt, Interim Provost, and Dr. Jason Modlin, Dean of Students, ECMC Foundation accepted the College’s proposal to address food insecurity by issuing two grants. Food insecurity can take on different meanings for different people—struggling to afford food, eating less, not eating as healthy or going hungry.

The College’s new food pantry is located in the Leon Russel Chapel on campus and is open to all members of the Wesleyan community. The ECMC Foundation grant allowed for the purchase of commercial refrigerators and freezers so that both perishable and non-perishable food can be offered.

“Going without food is something that no one should ever have to face. Through the generosity of several organizations, we are fortunate to be able to offer healthy food options for our students so that they can concentrate on excelling in the classroom,” stated Campus Chaplain, Rev. Edwin M. Ferguson.

In addition to the grant from ECMC Foundation, NCWC has partnered with several community organizations, including Ripe Revival Market and The Mercer Foundation, Inc., to provide the pantry with fresh produce and food items. Ripe Revival Market is a local company that delivers product and grocery boxes directly to the homes of its customers. They are committed to helping in the fight against hunger, providing healthy foods to those in need. Ripe Revival supports family farms by finding homes for their excess produce. For every purchase of their goods, they donate back to make a difference for those who are hungry. The Mercer Foundation, Inc., founded by NC Wesleyan’s Director of Military Studies, Lt. Col. (Ret) James Mercer, seeks to create healthy opportunities for children and provide assistance to disabled veterans. The major goal of the organization is to transform lives. They equip disabled veterans with necessary tools, education and vocational training, and provide balanced meals for children in high-risk environments.

Dr. Modlin and Rev. Edwin M. Ferguson, the College’s Chaplain, are exploring options for long-term sustainability of the food pantry, including a continued partnership with Ripe Revival Market. This partnership would consist of Ripe Revival Market donating a box back to the pantry for every box that is purchased by NC Wesleyan employees. The NCWC Alumni Board is also working with NC Wesleyan’s Office of Advancement to establish a pathway for raising funds to expand the pantry. Those who are interested in partnering with the College to support its new food pantry can contact Rev. Edwin M. Ferguson, at 252.985.5575 or chaplain@ncwc.edu.

NC Wesleyan Named One of the Best Colleges in North Carolina by Intelligent.com


Higher education resource guide releases the best institution programs for 2022

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – Intelligent.com, a trusted resource for online/on-campus program rankings and higher education planning, has included North Carolina Wesleyan University to its list of the Best Colleges in North Carolina in 2022. The research identifies 49 top programs in the state based on flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost and reputation.

Best Colleges in North Carolina Badge

North Carolina Wesleyan University was awarded Best First-Year Experience on the final list. Intelligent.com implemented a unique methodology that ranks each program on a scale from 0 to 100 across five categories. The scoring system compares each college or university according to program strength, student readiness, return on investment, cost and student engagement. Researchers compared 293 programs from 197 colleges in the state of North Carolina. 

North Carolina Wesleyan University offers flexible distance learning that appeals to busy adults or hybrid models that include on-campus and online formats. Experts at Intelligent.com assessed programs in Best Colleges in North Carolina that help students enhance and develop advanced skills for a variety of in-demand positions.

Studies show that obtaining a degree increases income substantially, with degree holders earning 84% more than those with only high school diplomas or those without a completed GED. The percentage difference in earnings continues to grow with higher learning degrees such as masters, doctoral or professional degrees, with the unemployment rate decreasing to as much as 1.1% for those with a doctorate. To access the complete ranking, please visit intelligent.com/best-colleges-and-universities/north-carolina/.

ABOUT INTELLIGENT.COM

Intelligent.com provides unbiased research to help students make informed decisions about higher education programs. The website offers curated guides that include the best degree programs as well as information about financial aid, internships, and even study strategies. With comprehensive, user-friendly guides and hundreds of program rankings, Intelligent.com is a trusted source among students and prospective students. To learn more, please visit Intelligent.com.

Corporate Adoption Program to Enhance NCWC Career Readiness


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan University has developed a new Corporate Adoption Program (CAP) to enhance the career readiness skills of NCWC students. This program will provide students with direct exposure to professional work settings and contacts. Envolve Benefit Options, which has a corporate office at the Rocky Mount Mills campus, was chosen as the College’s first partner.

Five Wesleyan students were selected to participate in the inaugural program with Envolve. A meeting was held at NCWC with students and representatives from the company in September and students engaged in a full-day learning experience in early October on the Rocky Mount Mills campus.

“Envolve Benefit Options vision operations started in Rocky Mount over 25 years ago and are proud to call Rocky Mount home. This partnership with NCWC allows Envolve to contribute more in community development with hopes that North Carolina Wesleyan students gain experience to become part of Rocky Mount’s growth,” stated Envolve Benefit Options Chief Operations Officer, Michael Grover.

Eligible students are juniors and seniors with a 2.5 GPA or higher and a major applicable to the partner’s industry and project at hand. Those accepted are assigned to a CAP team that includes five-to-ten students, one faculty mentor and one corporate partner. The Envolve partnership consist of students majoring in Accounting, Business, Communications, Computer Information Systems or Marketing.

When students apply to be a part of CAP, they are making a commitment to participate in the following:

  • Intentional growth in career readiness skills 
  • Monthly group meetings for the entire academic year
  • Meetings with their assigned CAP group and Faculty Advisor as needed
  • Job-shadowing/mentoring on-site with the Corporate Partner for at least one day during Fall Break and a minimum of two days during Spring Break 
  • Participating and presenting on a assigned corporate project with their CAP team during the spring semester

“It has been a joy seeing Envolve fully embrace our students and expose them to many aspects of their operations. I look forward to witnessing the learning outcomes through the corporate project these students will address in the coming months,” stated Jessie Langley, Associate Dean of Career Development & Leadership at NC Wesleyan. “As we continue to grow our Corporate Adoption Program, I expect it will be a significant highlight for our students when they later reflect on their college experience.”  

Rocky Mount-based corporations for future CAP partnerships will be selected based on the organizations’ expressed genuine interest in investing in the growth and development of a team of NCWC students and willingness to designate an internal CAP program manager. The CAP program manager will host workshops and meetings led by corporate speakers, while also maintaining ongoing communication with CAP students, faculty and staff. In addition, CAP partners are encouraged to offer paid summer internships to NCWC students in the program. Local organizations that are interested in partnering with North Carolina Wesleyan University’s CAP program can contact Jessie Langley at jlangley@ncwc.edu or 252.985.5177.

NC Wesleyan Partners with Local Packaging Solutions Company


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – The Office of Career Development & Leadership at North Carolina Wesleyan University has established a new partnership with Ossid, a local corporation headquartered in Battleboro, to provide several job shadowing opportunities for its students. Ossid manufactures and sells machinery to a variety of businesses in need of wrapping, labeling and sealing equipment to package their products.

This unique learning opportunity was presented to all NC Wesleyan juniors and seniors with a major or minor in Marketing or Communications. Ossid’s Senior Marketing Specialist, Stacie Eberly, typically works out of Charlotte, but travels to the Battleboro location on a monthly basis. During her visit the week of September 13, she hosted a group of NC Wesleyan students to work on trade show preparations, digital marketing, blog content and meeting with other executives.

“It was a pleasure opening our doors to NC Wesleyan University students. They were engaged, asked great questions and provided support across multiple marketing projects. I look forward to continuing this partnership with Wesleyan,” stated Eberly.

Bijou Patel, a North Carolina Wesleyan senior majoring in Marketing, was able to shadow Eberly on Tuesday, September 14. During her time there, she participated in a business meeting, toured the facility and learned about the machinery and how it’s marketed. Patel had the opportunity to witness what she’s learned in the classroom in a real-world setting, stating “I got to see a lot of the things I learned in my classes implemented and thoroughly explained. I even got to provide input, which was heard and applied.”

This partnership came to fruition when Jessie Langley, Associate Dean of Career Development and Leadership at NC Wesleyan, met with Eberly to tour Ossid’s local facility. After learning more about Eberly’s role, Langley explored ways in which NCWC students could gain knowledge within the field.

“I can’t think Ms. Eberly enough for investing time in our students. I look forward to continuing to send students to shadow with her on a monthly basis. This model sets a precedent for other area businesses to consider. Structured job shadowing is one ideal way to invest in our students’ career development,” stated Langley.

About Ossid

Ossid is the industry leader for leak-resistant tray sealing for case-ready products, flexible packaging for healthcare, horizontal thermoform, fill and seal equipment, weigh/price labeling equipment, flow wrappers and case scales. Catering to customers of all sizes around the world, Ossid’s packaging solutions are ideal for fresh and processed meats, produce, convenience foods, consumer goods, and medical devices. Ossid is a product brand of ProMach, a global leader in packaging line solutions. As part of the ProMach Flexibles & Trays business line, Ossid helps our packaging customers protect their reputation and grow the trust of their consumers. ProMach is performance, and the proof is in every package. Learn more about Ossid at Ossid.com

Local Author & Entrepreneur Set to Speak at NCWC Convocations


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan University will hold its 65th annual New Student Convocation on Tuesday, August 24 at The Dunn Center. Keynote Speaker for this year’s event will be Etaf Rum, local author and entrepreneur.

Rum is the author of A Woman Is No Man, which became a New York Times bestseller, hit the ninth spot on Amazon’s Bestseller List and was selected by Jenna Bush Hager as her book club’s May 2019 read. Rum is also part-owner of two local businesses in Rocky Mount—Barley & Burger, a bold and refined kitchen and bar, and Tipsy Tomato, a premier Italian pizza restaurant. Her newest venture, Books and Beans, centers around two of Rum’s favorite things: writing and coffee. Outfitted with a counter and handful of tables, Books and Beans serves breakfast, lunch and coffee from a North Carolina roaster.

When asked how she plans to motivate Wesleyan’s students, Rum stated she would “share with them tips to encourage discipline and goal-setting throughout their college experience; learning how to overcome adversity for success, transform through suffering and develop the mindset of a winner.”

“New Student Convocation is an important part of the orientation experience at NC Wesleyan,” stated Taylor Stone, Director of Student Success. “This ceremony is a chance for our new students to come together, while being encouraged and challenged as they move forward on their journey as a Bishop. Etaf Rum’s message will help educate our students and motivate them to be agents of change.” 

In addition to welcoming NC Wesleyan’s Class of 2025, Rum will also address the College’s professors at their Faculty Convocation on Tuesday, August 17. This event is used to give faculty a fresh perspective on issues in higher education, as well as provide them with exposure to a work, such as Rum’s book, that will give additional perspective to students the College serves. Rum grew up in a Palestinian-American household as the oldest of nine children in Brooklyn, New York. While raising her two children, she enrolled at North Carolina State University, where she earned a B.A. in English Language and Literature, a B.S. in Philosophy and an M.A. in American and British Literature and Philosophy.