For senior Alexandra Hollifield, her love for the university started when she first arrived on campus for accepted students day.
“When I first arrived at Wake Forest for campus day it was filled with so much community and warmth from everyone, “ Hollifield said. “I knew I had found the place for me.”
Author: Aaron Colston/Old Gold & Black
As a resident advisor and Student Government legislator, she has contributed to that sense of community. To her, “Wake Forest is like summer camp, except everyday of your life, going to class together, living together and doing philanthropy together all with people who you consider your best friend,” Hollifield said.
As a political science and women’s and gender studies double major her interest in these fields started when she first arrived on campus.
“Mary Deshazer’s Mothers and Daughters (WGS 358) was the first course I took freshman year and it really pushed me,” Hollifield said. “Taking a 300 level WGS course my freshman year was very daring of me but it definitely paid off in the long run.”
“Alex Hollifield is widely regarded as one of the finest women’s and gender studies students at Wake Forest,” Deshazer said. “Having taught her in five classes and attended a national conference with, I can proudly say that I consider her a lively friend as well as a stellar student.”
Hollifield’s commitment to excellence extends outside the classroom setting as well. During the summer of 2011, she studied capacity building and human rights in Arusha, Tanzania. She also conducted research on female circumcision. She presented this research at the Wake Forest Gender and Sexuality Symposium as well as the National Women’s and Gender Studies Association Conference in Oakland, Calif.
Hailing from Shelby, N.C., Hollifield will continue her educational journey to Vanderbilt University. She is enrolling in the Community Development and Action program in the Peabody College of Education and Human Development.
Although she is continuing her education elsewhere, her times at the university will be missed. “I am going to miss the great people I have met on this campus,” Hollifield said. “My friends, classmates and professors here at the university have all made my Wake Forest experience great.”
Her professors will also remember Alex’s four years at Wake fondly. “Alex’s intelligence, compassion and leadership skills have impressed me over the past four years,” Deshazer said.
To the incoming class of 2017, Hollifield’s best piece of advice would be to push yourself. “Don’t be afraid to take advantage of absolutely every opportunity that Wake has to offer. Don’t be afraid to take chances,” Hollifield said. “Secondly, don’t be afraid of failing. We often think of failing as bad, but there is such a thing as good failures. You learn from them and you realize later that those failures happen for a reason — they are growing experiences to prepare you for the world after college.”
She thinks of Wake as a place of self-discovery. “We are constantly loosing and finding ourselves in the endless circle of understanding.” As she continues her journey she will take those life lessons of understanding with her, advancing the ideals of Pro Humanitate.