Mosby-Jones leaves a memorable impression.
Hundreds of students crowded into the Givens Performing Arts Center on Wednesday morning to take part in the “official” start of the academic year: Convocation.
Most students, judging by the dozens of photocopied checklists and the waving down of instructors to prove that they were at the event, were attending Convocation for the requisite Freshman Seminar class.
As the processional began, the familiar faces of professors on campus emerged from the lobby and into the auditorium draped in billowing robes and hoods of various colors. Guest speaker Andrea Mosby-Jones was seated on stage, her hair flowing beneath her cap.
Mosby-Jones, engaging the audience with a clear, distinct voice and commanded attention at the podium, proceeded to describe many of the lessons that she had learned throughout her life thus far.
One of the greatest lessons developed shortly after the discovery that she was pregnant at the age of 16. Determined not to become a statistic, Mosby-Jones finished college and earned a degree in Business, as well as a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning.
Mosby-Jones appeared very comfortable as she moved about the stage, microphone in hand. In one humorous moment, she removed her cap from her head because it kept slipping off during her speech.
Mosby-Jones focused on what many of the younger students in the audience were feeling as they started their first day of college a few days ago. “Fear is real, but fear is not your reality.” she said. “Most people speak through their fears and not their dreams.”
Mosby-Jones also encouraged the students to reach their full potential. “We live in a nation where mediocrity is accepted,” she said. “American can’t afford to be mediocre anymore.”
Mosby-Jones left the attendees with a few other words of advice. “Let the past stay in the past,” she said. This was met with several nods of approval from many of the students.
Mosby-Jones was met with enthusiastic applause after her speech, a clear sign that she had left a mark on her young audience.
Journalism student has high hopes for the future.
Journalism major Michele Johnson is hoping to make the transition from Girl Scout to head honcho at any one of the most popular publications to hit the newsstands.
Johnson is one of the many talented and diverse students on the campus of UNC-Pembroke, and has big goals for the journey after graduation.
She chose UNCP because it was “close to home and I really didn’t want to go to UNCW”. Johnson, who is 21 years old, is also the current photo editor for the UNCP’s campus newspaper, The Pine Needle. “I love photography because a photo can tell the story more than the article can.” Johnson said. “I’ve always wanted to be a journalist, ever since I was in high school. I did the school paper and yearbook in high school.”
Johnson has a plethora of extracurricular activities to keep herself busy when she’s not in the classroom. “I’m a Girl Scout, and have been one for ten years.” she said. She was also the recipient of the Girl Scout Gold Award, which is equivalent to the Eagle Scout Award in Boy Scouts.
In addition to being a lifeguard for the Girl Scouts of the Coastal Pines, Johnson loves to canoe, and teaches canoeing in Girl Scouts, which is how she earned her Gold Award. “I did my project on boating and water safety. I got my certification to teach small craft boats.”
Johnson is also a founding member of Sigma Sigma Rho Female Asian Sorority on UNCP’s campus. The organization is simply an interest group for the time being, but Johnson said “It will be chartered in April 2009.”
“Last year I got interested in sports,” she said. “This year I’m trying to get into sports photography”. The return of UNCP’s football team may have fueled Johnson’s desire for sports. “I went to every home game, “she said.
Johnson is expected to graduate in May 2010, and wishes to pursue a job with a prominent magazine outside of North Carolina. “I’m leaving my options open because there are so many different magazines I want to work for.” For the time being however, Johnson says that “I just want to survive and do good in school.”
The ground was still soggy from Tuesday night’s rainstorm, but that didn’t stop several area businesses from mingling with the students, faculty and staff at UNCP’s annual Pembroke Day.
One such business is First Bank of Pembroke, which is situated a few minutes away from the campus in Pembroke. First Bank had several people lining up waiting for their turn to win a prize.
“It’s Wheel of Fortune. They get to choose a number on the board and if they win they get a t-shirt.” said branch manager Peggy Hunt. “This is the second year we’ve had it, and it draws a lot of attention to the table.”
Another First Bank employee Angela Chavis adds that First Bank has been coming to Pembroke Day for “four or five years.”
“We mingle with the different businesses, and we also like giving back and supporting the community as well.” said Hunt.
First Bank also tries to promote some of their products to students who stop by. “We offer free student checking, and the first box of checks that they order is free,” said Hunt.
Pembroke Day is not the only function in which First Bank shows support to the campus.
“We came out during freshman orientation; we have sponsorship at Givens Performing Arts Center, and have also sponsored the Chancellor’s Box at the football stadium.”
In addition, Hunt also added that the local branch and its staff came out and spent the night in April 2008 in support of the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of UNCP, an overnight fundraising event to help raise awareness and funds for cancer research.