SPEAKERS: FALL 2022
Khushi Arya is a senior majoring in Economics and minoring in Communication. When she is not listening to Taylor Swift, you can find her playing tennis, dancing, working at the library, or hosting a party. She likes to challenge herself frequently so she can grow in meaningful ways. Traveling is one of her favorite ways to switch up her routine. Her Wake Speaks story is about a travel experience that shed light on some tough realities of life.
Elizabeth MacDonald is a senior at Wake Forest majoring in mathematical statistics and minoring in politics and Chinese. She enjoys staying involved with the Wake Forest community in a variety of capacities, including as a president's aide, member of ballroom dance club, and student peer adviser. After graduation, she will begin working as a business analyst for a government consulting firm in the Washington, DC area. Her Wake Speaks speech will advocate for colleges/universities to provide gatekeeper training for suicide prevention to incoming undergraduate students.
Vir Gupta is a sophomore from Bengaluru, India, who is majoring in Critical Creative Media and Economics with minors in Theater and Journalism. He serves as the Treasurer for the Anthony Aston Players and The Howler. Vir is also an Intramural Sports Official and is an active member of Wake Radio.
Elizabeth O'Shea is a sophomore from Los Angeles, Can. She is an intended Economics major with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Her speech is about the importance of sleep for college age and high school students.
Grace Ayzanoa is a sophomore from Belleville, NJ. She intends to double major in Politics & International Affairs and English and to minor in Latin-American and Latino Studies. She is a resident adviser on campus, president of the Rowing Club, and Director of Alumnae Engagement in the Alpha Delta Pi Eta Upsilon chapter. Even with her active involvement in many groups on campus, Grace also enjoys her personal moments. She has become interested in the stigma that surrounds being "alone" as it relates to active engagement in group settings. Her speech dives into the idea of losing such stigma and accepting that being alone can actually benefit one's personal wellbeing.
Charlotte Murray is on track to be a Business and Enterprise Management (BEM) major with a minor in communication. She is from Los Angeles California. Her family has always been very passionate about animals and their well-being so the abuse regarding horse drawn carriages in New York City has always been something that she and her mom want to stop. Her speech is about why horse drawn carriages are abusive and some solutions to combat the problem.
My name is George Siemion and I am a junior at Wake Forest University studying Communication and Entrepreneurship. As a member of numerous organizations on campus including Alpha Kappa Psi, I focus on community engagement and sustainability strategies while pursuing a career in the field of marketing and communications. My speech is about Alternative Energy and Climate Change; it dives into the nuanced ideas of biodiesel as an alternative, renewable energy source that often goes overlooked during climate change discussions in today's society.
Michal Moore is a senior from Jefferson, GA. She is a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Major, and a Music minor. Michal is heavily involved in the music department, playing french horn in wind ensemble, orchestra, and various chamber groups as well as Euphonium in the Spirit of the Old Gold and Black Marching Band. In addition to this, Michal is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, an honorary band service fraternity and is serving as the treasurer of the Kappa Zeta chapter for the 2022-23 school year. Her speech, It's Time for Nuclear Energy to Make a Come Back, is about utilizing nuclear energy as a source of clean energy as the United States and the world move away from fossil fuels.
SPEAKERS: SPRING 2022
Will Harnice: As a representative from an agriculture community, I am going to provide personal examples as well as academic studies that will provide evidence as to why the average American farmer is going extinct. The trends of racial discrimination as well as abuse of federal subsidies by large corporate farmers could surmise the end of the prized family farms that help support hundreds of rural communities throughout the US.
SPEAKERS: FALL 2021
Cole Nikas is a Junior from Philadelphia, PA. He is an anthropology major with minors in communication, music, and classical studies. Cole is planning on entering the marketing field with a unique anthropological approach. He loves playing music, and is involved in 8 different musical ensembles around campus. He is a member of the marching band and loves the Wake Forest Football Program. He is going to deliver a motivational speech about finding your own worth in small moments of brilliance, as told through a story about sports.
SPEAKERS: FALL 2019
Emilia Migliaccio is a junior from Cary, North Carolina and is a student-athlete on the Women's Golf Team. She will be speaking about an unexpected situation where she gained a lot of growth. In her free time Emilia loves to spend extra hours on the golf course, but she also enjoys reading and writing, publishing her first novel Just an Illusion in September of 2018.
Nicole Phillips is a sophomore from Boca Raton, FL. She is an intended Business and Enterprise Management major with a minor in Communication. She will share an analysis of a speech made by Emma Gonzalez at March For Our Lives in Washington, DC. Nicole is currently analyzing this speech in her Rhetoric class. As someone who lives close to Parkland, Nicole was strongly affected by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School; after the shooting, Nicole became a passionately involved activist for gun violence prevention.
Chase Kassel is a senior Communication major from Los Angeles, California who has a passion for public speaking and presenting. He discovered this passion through Hip-Hop and Breakdance and over time became more and more comfortable being in front of people and presenting himself. This led to a zeal for engaging audiences, which was fostered in a Public Speaking course. Chase has used his skills to give presentations in Los Angeles, Winston-Salem and Barcelona, Spain. He enjoys teaching his peers the core tenants of what it means to be a good public speaker and presenter.
Miranda Wells is a Sophomore at Wake Forest pursuing a Communication and Psychology double major. She hopes to pursue a career in marketing/public relations. She is from Rose Hill, NC and enjoys baking, playing with her dog dakota, and being involved with her church. She will be speaking on her experience in on a mission trip to Costa Rica and how that helped her grow in self-awareness.
Chandler Stearns is a current sophomore from Chicago, IL. She is planning on majoring in Communication with a double minor in English and Entrepreneurship. She will be sharing her experience transferring high schools, and how this decision turned her into an extrovert. Additionally, she will relate that experience to her current project for her Rhetoric class on Halas and Batchelor’s 1954 film Animal Farm.
Will Hornbeck is Senior double major in History and Communication with a minor in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies. From the sunny city of Orlando, his passions include historic preservation and storytelling. He will be talking about the unlikely areas, and unlikely times we can find growth.
My name is Laura Acosta. I’m a Honduran citizen who moved to Costa Rica at the beginning of 9th grade. My hobbies are soccer, rock climbing, and film. I am pursuing a double major in Communication and Philosophy. I’ve backpacked across countries in Oceania, Southeast Asia, and Africa. In the future, I hope my work will allow me to see more of the world.
Tao Long is a sophomore from Shenzhen, China, and he is double majoring in Computer Science and Communication. He really enjoys intercultural communication and how different opinions function within the world and is really looking forward to working in an international Internet company after graduation. He loves doing KPOP dance, traveling, and cooking during his free time.
Click here for Wake Speaks 2019 Event Program.
Speakers: Spring 2019
Mareesa is a sophomore from Harlan, Kentucky. She is a Communication major with a minor in Entrepreneurship & Social Enterprise. She will be speaking about Kids Can Cook, which is a program she started in 2014. Mareesa has always had a passion for cooking from a young age. As she grew older and realized the growing epidemic of childhood obesity, she wanted to do something to help. She started Kids Can Cook in an effort to change the eating habits of young adults at a grass-roots level and promote a life long change of good health and nutrition. Mareesa loves sharing her joy and passion for cooking with interested children through these one-on-one cooking lessons. Her dream is to grow and expand Kids Can Cook on a larger scale so that she is able to teach more children the benefits that come with healthy cooking.
Morgan is a freshman from Perry, New York with an interest in majoring in History. She will be speaking about Tidal Tee’s, a company that one of her best friends from high school, Sydney Bell, owns and designs clothes for. All profits from Tidal Tee’s are donated to ocean conservation. In her free time, Morgan loves to read, especially "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban."
Lilian is a sophomore from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She is a double major in English and Communication with a minor in Journalism. She will be speaking about the Wake Forest sponsored sustainability program “CINCIA.” CINCIA is a multi-million dollar forestation project in the Peruvian Amazon that aims to counteract the detrimental effects of deforestation via illegal gold-mining. Lilian chose this topic because she hopes to participate in the Peru study abroad program that travels to CINCIA cites, where she will learn about environmental journalism.
Robin is a freshman from West Hampstead, New York. She is a double major in Communication and Internal Relations with a minor in Journalism. She will be delivering her Elevator Pitch at Wake Speaks 2019, which is related to the overall “Interconnected” theme. A fun fact about Robin is that she can recite every word of the “Spongebob: I’m a Kid” speech.
Emily is a sophomore from New York City. She is a Communication major with a minor in Computer Science. Emily will be speaking about UCapture, which is a company that works with businesses to donate portions of purchases to reducing the carbon footprint. Emily is passionate about UCampus because she is a Wake Forest Ambassador! One fun fact about Emily is that she can play the drums!
Rebecca is a freshman from Charlotte, NC. She is an Accounting major with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Rebecca will be pitching an idea regarding the intersection of people, planet, and profit through clothing specialized for the performing arts. She came up with this idea as a way to promote sustainability to a world consuming resources at alarmingly fast rates. Rebecca hopes her idea will be a step in the right direction for our environmental future! Rebecca also engages in cultural exploration through Liturgical, Latin, and African dance.
Elena is a freshman from Arlington, Virginia. She is currently a student in Dr. Rowie’s Communication 110 Public Speaking class. She is excited to be participating at Wake Speaks this year as she has a passion for ecology and environmental advocacy. She will therefore be speaking about the importance of educating the youth about protecting honey bees.
Sara is a freshman from Princeton, New Jersey. She is interested in majoring in Communication and minoring in Psychology and Entrepreneurship. She will be speaking about the importance of gardening programs in primary schools. In her free time, she enjoys playing volleyball on the Wake Forest Club Volleyball team and with friends!
Emmy is a sophomore from Lexington, NC. She is a Political Science major and a Communication minor. Emmy will be speaking about sustainable silicone straws. Though Emmy is a big fan of plastic straws, she “doesn’t want to contribute to the increasing amounts of pollution and plastic in oceans today.” Silicone straws therefore provide an equivalent, environmentally friendly solution to plastic straws, and Emmy has been fascinated by the product ever since she heard about them from a friend. One fun fact about Emmy is that her favorite type of food is breakfast food!
Marie is a sophomore from Des Moines, Iowa with majors in Communications and Psychology with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise. She is looking forward to pitching her idea at Wake Speaks for a revolutionary app that will inform users of the social, environmental and economical cost of various products.
Rebeccah is a Community Speaker from the Olio Glassblowing Studio. She is a talented glassblower and also works with the WFU Center for Entrepreneurship. Rebeccah has a BFA in Crafts/Glass from the University of Illinois. She will be speaking at Wake Speaks about Social Entrepreneurship. In addition to being a glassblower, Rebeccah wears a size 12 shoe, both of which are “not that common for women.”
Allegra is a senior from Rye, New York. She is a Psychology and Communication double major with a minor in Entrepreneurship. She will be speaking about the importance of switching from using plastic straws to straws made from alternative materials, such as paper or metal, or better yet, eliminating straw usage from your life altogether! Allegra was inspired to choose this topic because she saw an increasing number of restaurants and companies working to limit plastic straw consumption. It's a small but easy (and relatively free!) fix to a big problem that we are facing right now. One fun fact about Allegra is that she is fluent in French!
Sean is a sophomore from Charlotte, North Carolina. He is a Communication and Anthropology double major. Sean will be speaking about the flu and was inspired to choose this topic after seeing how many Wake Forest students were diagnosed with the flu this year. A fun fact about Sean is that he is a huge Marvel fan!
- Miranda Wells
- Kate Hampton
- Ignacio Evans
Click here for the Fall 2018 Wake Speaks program.
SPEAKERS: Fall 2018
Kengo is a sophomore on the Wake Forest Men’s golf team. He was born in Tokyo, Japan but also grew up in Hawaii and California. His favorite part about public speaking is when he delivers his speech and sees all of his preparation pay off. Kengo will be speaking about an organization that will help break the barrier between athletes and non-athletes on Wake Forest's campus.
Josh is a sophomore at Wake Forest from Chappaqua, NY. He has a deep passion for the gaming and e-sports industry and is always striving to learn more and adapt with this ever-changing and growing scene. He hopes to help foster this interest in other students on Wake’s campus. Josh will be pitching for an e-sports facility to be built at Wake Forest in order for Wake to adapt to the future of collegiate athletics.
Colman is a sophomore from Lagrangeville, NY. He is planning on declaring a Communication major this spring with a Film and Media concentration. Colman says that he loves to workout so that he can eat a lot of food, and he is a certified cycle instructor! He is very happy to have Dr. Rowie for two classes this semester! Colman will be pitching a product called "Lock Link."
Lex is a senior at Wake Forest. She is an English major and Communication minor. She was born and raised and Delaware, but she has lived in Durham, NC for the past five years. She is involved in Concert Choir, Wake Radio, and the English Honors Society here on campus. She is excited to talk about how reduced-cost or free CPR classes could impact the Wake Forest and greater Winston-Salem community!
Chloe & Casey Williams
Chloe and Casey are sophomore twin sisters at Wake Forest University from Rocky Mount, NC. They recognize the need for people to have a sense of community and want to raise awareness about the importance of relationships between different racial and social statuses. They will be pitching a program that connects people of different racial and social backgrounds within the Winston-Salem community.
Maude is a sophomore Communication major and Journalism minor at Wake Forest University from Atherton, CA. She is an instructor at Cyclebar Winston-Salem in downtown Winston-Salem. She is excited to speak about the impact of the fitness community on Winston-Salem and how being a part of the Cyclebar family can change your health, body, and mind.
Eric is a sophomore from Atlanta, GA. He is a Communication and Spanish double major with a Latino-American Studies minor. His family's roots come from the Southern Cone of South America, and he was spent a lot of time there, which provided him the inspiration for his speech. He will be speaking about how an original program can transform the education development in the countries of the Southern Cone, including: Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Kaley is a sophomore from Jacksonville, Florida and is a Communication major with a double minor in Journalism and Politics. She will be speaking about the importance of restoring voting rights to formerly incarcerated people. Up until the recent midterms, Florida had the largest number of formerly incarcerated individuals who were disenfranchised, which is what inspired Kaley for her speech.
Audrey is a sophomore from Winston-Salem. She intends to double-major in English and Communication and minor in Psychology. She is also a Student Advisor and a tour guide on campus! Audrey is excited for the opportunity to speak about the burdens that homeless women face.
Jenny is a sophomore from Walnut Cove, North Carolina. She is on the pre-med track with an intended major in Biology and an undecided minor. She enjoys spending her free time exercising and relaxing with friends and family. She is honored to be a speaker representing Wake Forest. She will discuss how changing the way that one food shops can be helpful for both health reasons and the environment!
Abby is a sophomore from Lexington, Kentucky. She intends to major in Communication and double-minor in Entrepreneurship and English. She is involved with YoungLife and Greek life on campus. She is excited to have the opportunity to speak at Wake Speaks and inform the audience about the misconceptions surrounding "morning people."
Andrew is a sophomore Mathematical Economics major from Atlanta, Georgia. On campus, he is involved with the Federal Reserve Challenge Team and the Braswell Philosophy Society. He loves government policy questions and thinking of solutions to them, so he is thrilled to have the opportunity to share one with the audience!
Nana is a sophomore majoring in English and minoring in Japanese. She was born and raised in Zushi, Japan, and has since lived in Virginia, Guam, and now North Carolina. She is an executive member of ASIA and a member of SASA. For her speech, she will be talking about William Faulkner’s concerns for the future of literature.
Kellyn Jamison is a sophomore from Youngstown, Ohio. She is a Communication major with minors in Entrepreneurship and Global Trade & Commerce. She will be speaking about a temporary clothing alterations innovation called "Snap it".
Speakers: Spring 2018
Camilla Zanini is a sophomore at Wake Forest. Camilla is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and is a double major in Psychology and Communications with a minor in Entrepreneurship. At Wake Speaks, Camilla will be speaking about volunteering.
Erik Schultz is a sophomore Communication major with an Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise minor. On campus, he is involved in Wake Radio as the host of the sports show "The Danger Zone." Additionally, he is a member of Wake Forest University Bands and a brother of Kappa Kappa Psi, the National Honorary Band Fraternity. He is someone that loves to joke around, watch Game of Thrones and Gordon Ramsey, and discover new technologies. Erik will be speaking about "3D Printing" at the Wake Speaks Showcase.
Walker Jackson is a sophomore from Laurinburg, North Carolina. He is a Politics and International Affairs major with a strong interest in U.S. foreign policy. Walker will be speaking about "Automation and Artificial Intelligence" at the Wake Speaks Showcase.
Kylie DiCarolis is a freshman at Wake Forest from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Her dog, Leo, is from the Guide Dog Foundation. Their mission is “to improve the quality of life for people who are blind, have low vision, or have other special needs.” Kylie is his puppy raiser, which means that she is tasked with teaching him basic obedience, along with a set of specific tricks and tasks that will aid him in his future work. She also socializes him and exposes him to as many environments as possible. He will stay with Kylie until he is 12-18 months of age. Kylie will be speaking about "Service Dogs" at the Wake Speaks Showcase.
Kaya West-Uzoigwe is a freshman from New York City. She plans to major in Communication with a minor in Journalism or Creative Writing. After college, she hopes to work in advertising or Public Relations. Kaya will be speaking about "Helen Keller" at the Wake Speaks Showcase.
Mikayla is a sophomore Sociology major with a concentration in Health and Wellbeing. You can find her on campus working in the Title IX Office, playing music for the Spirit of the Old Gold and Black, or advocating gender equity through L.E.A.V.E.S.. You will hear Mikayla discussing a particular issue among families of low socioeconomic status, which is what inspired her to study sociology. Mikayla will be speaking about "Restructuring SNAP" at the Wake Speaks Showcase.
Ayo is a sophomore from Winston-Salem. He is an Accounting major with an interest in Communication. Ayo will be speaking about "Requiring Swim Tests/Training on College Campuses" at the Wake Speaks Showcase.
Izzy is a freshman from the Washington, DC area. Izzy took Public Speaking this semester to work on her presentation skills and try to improve her storytelling ability. She hopes to major in Political Science and minor in History. Izzy will be speaking about "Master Species" at the Wake Speaks Showcase.
Samantha is a sophomore at Wake Forest with a major in Communication and a minor in Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise. She is involved in Ambassadors in Admissions and is a proud member of Kappa Kappa Gamma on campus. Samantha will be speaking on "Why More Colleges and Universities Should Deemphasize Standardized Testing" at the Wake Speaks Showcase.