By Brandon Fessey
An Inside Look at Last Year’s Graduates’ Progress
It’s been a year since the William Peace University graduates of 2016 walked the stage and accepted their diplomas. Since that moment, they have all faced the realities of life after college. For Caroline Womble, Zach Geller, Wes Dumford, Josh Clark, and Morgan Bryant, the road since that fateful day has been one of great excitement and new adventure.
Caroline Womble was a standout softball player at Peace just one year ago. She received All-Conference and All-Region honors for her play, and received a degree in communications. These days, Caroline is working as a sales representative at Lenovo, where she is charged with the task of managing accounts for buyers all throughout the west coast.
“I definitely miss playing softball,” said Womble, “but my new position at Lenovo has opened new doors for me in my professional life, which gives me the same thrill.”
Womble is living back in her hometown of Lillington, North Carolina, and does the daily one hour commute to her job every day of the week. She hopes to continue to work her way up the ladder of the business world, and even has a new puppy on the way.
Zach Geller was always a little unsure of where the road after life at Peace would take him. For a while, he was just a pitcher on the baseball team and a hopeful graduate. Zach majored in communications and did his internship at the MMI Institute in Raleigh. Today, Zach is working as a sales representative for a tractor company.
“I’m still looking for my career job, but I’m enjoying the experiences I’m getting in the process”, said Geller.
Zach would like to find a career as a public relations advisor for a professional sports team in the near future. Currently, he is living back in his hometown of Roxboro, North Carolina, although his current job does allow him to travel a little, sending to states such as South Carolina, Virginia, and Florida.
If you watched any baseball games last year, chances are you probably saw a tall, lanky, red-headed guy with a submarine pitching motion, masterfully placing the ball and getting strikeouts. That was Wes Dumford. Wes, an education major and 2016 graduate from Peace, was an interesting sight on the pitcher’s mound and an excellent student.
Now, Wes is happily married and has started his teaching career. He teaches the fourth grade class in his hometown Mooresville, North Carolina, and has embraced all of the challenges that come with the job.
“Sometimes it [teaching] is a challenge but I am learning and becoming a better teacher every day”, said Dumford.
Wes is looking to continue his career in teaching for the foreseeable future, and he and his lovely wife Meredith just recently purchased a house.
Josh Clark graduated from Peace last December, but qualified to walk at the graduation ceremony last May. Josh was a baseball player at Peace, and was there for the team’s inaugural season in 2012. After receiving his communications degree, Josh began his work as head of concessions for the Carolina Mudcats, a minor league baseball team located in Zebulon, NC.
“This job has been great for me because it allows me to stay close to the game I love, and I had the rare opportunity to stay at the same place where I did my internship”, said Clark.
These days, Clark is continuing his work with the Mudcats and is hoping to achieve his dream of becoming the General Manager for a major sports franchise. He and his girlfriend just recently moved into a new apartment in the Raleigh area.
Morgan Bryant, another former softball player at WPU, has had a big year since graduation. She was a biology major at Peace and has since found work at WakeMed hospital in Raleigh.
Aside from these accomplishments, Morgan also recently got engaged to current Peace student Phillip Peaden. Like many others who move on from Peace, Morgan attributes much of her success to her college alma mater.
“Peace has had a big impact on my life and helped shape into the person I am today,” said Bryant. “Not only did I get a great education that will help me throughout my life but I also made some great friends.”
Morgan and Phillip have not yet set a wedding date, but an announcement could come any day now. As for her professional life, Morgan would like to continue to work at WakeMed for a while, and would move on only if she were to find a better opportunity elsewhere.
Each of these students are now one year into their professional careers, and while some have things figured out already, a couple are still feeling things out. After all, one year isn’t very long in the grand scheme of things.
One thing they do all have in common is William Peace University, and each of them are proud to have been a part of the school. This year, new graduates are just days away from taking the plunge into the real world. For most of the 2016 graduates, it just doesn’t feel like it has already been a whole year.
Wes Dumford, in particular, has a hard time grasping the concept of time in his new, fast-paced world. “I can’t believe it’s already time for graduation again,” said Dumford. “It really seems like just yesterday I was throwing my rose in the fountain.”