Meet Tiffany Newsome
Minor: Education and American Ethnic Studies
Hometown: Kelford, NC
What makes Wake Forest special? “The willingness to serve one another in love and in professionalism helps unite this campus,” says Tiffany Newsome. This fall, Tiffany will be teaching high school English at the new Rolesville High School in Rolesville, N.C.
Q: How have you changed over your four years at Wake Forest?
A: I have grown tremendously during my time here. I have learned to like challenges and see how far those challenges will stretch me. My career at Wake Forest has not been easy, but it has certainly been worth the fight, the long work hours, and my commitment and dedication. Surprisingly, I have been able to immerse myself in various types of groups, which was a deep fear for me at first. I thought I knew what to expect in college, but deep down inside, I must confess that I often wondered what in the world I was doing? Thus, to see how much I have been able to grow and impact this university has been rewarding.
Q: Did you conduct research?
A: I conducted research under the supervision of education professor Ann Cunningham in Auckland, New Zealand. My experience gave me insight into how other people in the world deal with adversity. I worked in a very rural community in which families didn’t have much, and my research dealt with how these communities try to keep kids in school. I studied how schools use the community and culture to motivate students. Before conducting research, I did not know the impact exposing students to different cultures had on keeping them in school, but my research found the impact to be great.
Q: Did you study abroad?
A: I studied abroad in Vienna, Austria, at Wake Forest’s Flow House. Beyond learning new course material, studying abroad brought about opportunities for me to explore who I am as a person. I think that when a person is far away from his or her comfort zone, the individual always ends up finding out who he or she really is, and I did just that. I was exposed to new mindsets and ways of thinking, which have helped to facilitate tremendous growth.
Q: Tell us about your singing.
A: I have thoroughly enjoyed directing the Wake Forest University Gospel Choir. When I first became director, I didn’t think that I was capable of leading a choir because I was use to singing, not directing. However, this leadership opportunity helped me realize other key strengths that help to make me who I am. There were times that I felt so much stress and pressure because of the expectations of being a leader, but I am thankful for faith and perseverance. I am humbled by those who deemed me great enough to serve them in this capacity.
Q: Who would you most like to thank and why?
A: I would personally thank Dr. Alan Brown for pushing me to follow my heart in education. He has helped me to develop as a teacher for the last year by taking me to conferences, inspiring me to do research, and helping me to figure out my next steps. He accommodated me even when I had an impossible schedule. His willingness to stay late hours and debate with me about my ideas (however opinionated they might be) has really meant a lot to me.
Q: Best advice you were given during your four years at Wake Forest.
A: Enjoy each step as you take it. Sometimes we can become so focused on the future that we lose ourselves in the process. This advice has helped me to slow down and enjoy where I am right now. With each new chapter of life comes new responsibilities, and to whom much is given, much is also required. I have learned to take one day at a time and enjoy every moment like it is my last.
Q: Where is the one place on campus you will miss most and why?
A: I enjoyed going to visit professors during every break that I had to spare. I’ll miss going to my professors’ offices and having hour-long chats with them about school, class and work, as well as my family, my goals and my passions. Wake Forest has some of the best professors, and I am convinced that developing professional relationships with them has been one of my major accomplishments.
Q: Your best advice for an incoming first-year student?
A: Make the best of your time here. Don’t limit yourself just because you think that something is out of your league or nearly impossible. Instead, use your fears and skepticism as a springboard to propel you to the next level.