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2021-2022 Graduate Student Ambassadors- Wanya Ward

Program Area of Study

M.Ed., Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development (ELPHD), Higher Education Administration


Wanya Ward attended UNC-Pembroke where he majored in Biology and did extracurriculars focused on leadership development, pedagogy, and advancing equity and diversity. His goals in higher education are to continue to do work in advancing equity and inclusivity, and promoting civic engagement. His research interests include systemic oppression effects on marginalized students and voter suppression among students. Some of his hobbies include video games such as SSBU, poetry, and tutoring. 

Why NC State?

I chose to pursue graduate education here at NC State because I see a need to create systemic change in education for students across the country and being at NC State will give me the opportunity to connect with a large variety of both students and professionals that also share the goal of wanting to improve the lives of others. NC State is a vital part of the community in the surrounding RDU area and being here gives me the chance to serve that community in a variety of ways that are also extremely relevant to my career. 

One insight gained so far…

One important thing that I’ve learned during my time at NC State is that everyone has their own lived experiences that are completely valid to them and influences how they interact with the world around them. More likely than not, most people are just trying to make it in life, and it doesn’t do any good to assume anything about them or their character based on presumptions you might have. As a society, we can’t create equitable practices and interactions without bridging the gap between diverse populations and effectively communicating what we want and need. It’s a lot harder to put into practice than it is to say it, but the work is worthwhile. Actively trying to create inclusive and equitable spaces serve to not only educate students who may not know how to do that but can also serve to change lives.