The Elizabeth City State University Department of General Studies and the Division
of Student Affairs welcomed Angela Ray, an award-winning speaker, actress and author,
to the campus on August 28.
Ray is the author of a book of poetry, "Blackberry Whispers," and the forthcoming
books, "Rehearsing for the Leading Role: Secrets to Successful Leadership for College
Students" and "Crossing the Sands of Sisterhood." Last week, she greeted ECSU freshmen
with a motivational session urging them to maximize their opportunities in college.
Ray informed them it's not too early to think about their job hunt after college.
Ray encouraged the students to join college organizations that are related to their
major -- organizations in which they can develop skills relevant their chosen careers.
She also encouraged them to be mindful of key skills employers are seeking.
"Employers are looking for applicants who not only have a degree, but those who have
communication skills, problem-solving skills, leadership skills. Do you know how to
work in groups? That is important in many of today's jobs," Ray advised. "You should
secure internships while in college. The experience you gain on internships and the
contacts you make may well lead you to an interview with that company after you graduate."
Ray graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In
addition to her public speaking, she has appeared on television shows "One Tree Hill"
and "Dawson's Creek," and in the film "Louis," about musician Louie Armstrong, in
which she played the role of Armstrong's mother.
Derrick L. Wilkins, chairperson of the Department of General Studies, was confident
that freshmen departed more informed than when they entered the auditorium.
"Ms. Ray gave a timely presentation. She gave them practical insight on the steps
freshmen should take in order to be competitive in the future," Wilkins. "Our ultimate
goal is to prepare freshmen to begin thinking about their careers. It's too late when
you are a senior at the university to ask yourself if you selected the right academic
track and extracurricular activities for a chosen career. Those decisions should be
made at the freshman year."
Faculty within the Department of General Studies advise students during their first
two years and prepare them for admission to a degree-granting program. The department
also coordinates various support services which help students to enhance their skills,
become academically successful and clarify their personal and career goals.