On April 20, Women in Search of Excellence (WISE) held an end-of-year recognition ceremony for its first cohort of members at the Woodbridge Campus. WISE is a mentoring program that supports the educational success and leadership abilities of students. Several WISE members and NOVA faculty and staff were honored for their commitment and academic achievements.
The accomplishments of WISE members have made a significant impact at NOVA. In addition to 15 of the organization’s members obtaining a 3.0 or higher GPA, members have also achieved the following:
- Recipient of the 2017 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship
- NOVA’s Spring 2017 Commencement Speaker
- Four Presidential Scholars
- Two Dean’s List Scholars
- Five Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Members
- Three National Society of Collegiate Scholars Members
- Two SEAL Award Winners
- Year Up Academic Excellence Award Winner
- Capital One Internship Recipient
- Student Government Association (SGA) President
Five WISE mentees will graduate from NOVA this spring. They plan to attend George Mason University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University to pursue degrees in communications, neuroscience, foreign affairs, biology and psychology. Each graduate was presented with a graduation stole by Woodbridge Provost Sam Hill during the end-of-year recognition ceremony.
NOVA student Tamyka Mason received the mentee of the year award and Woodbridge Financial Aid Assistant Roma Shahid received the mentor of the year award for their dedication and commitment to WISE. NOVA President Scott Ralls, Institutional Effectiveness and Student Success Initiatives Vice President George Gabriel, Hill and Woodbridge Dean of Students Michael Turner all received honorary awards.
With support from 12 NOVA faculty and staff mentors and eight WISE leadership members, a total of 20 WISE students are able to establish academic, personal and career goals; learn how to make informed decisions; identify resources and pathways to successfully achieve their goals; cultivate strong relationships with women in business and academia; and develop leadership and self-improvement skills.
WISE Founder and Program Lead Tykesha Myrick conceptualized the idea of forming a mentoring program two years ago after observing a need to uplift Woodbridge Campus female students who were in pursuit of their education and career goals.
“This ceremony is a reminder that in life the recognitions and awards that matter most are not the certificates and trophies you collect, but all of the valuable lessons in life that have shaped and molded you to become who you are today,” said Myrick. “You serve as an inspiration for us to continue to develop a quality program for the upcoming fall 2017 class of WISE.”
The mission of WISE is to empower women through professional and academic enrichment while improving self-esteem and self-advocacy. WISE is open to any female enrolled at the Woodbridge Campus who is committed to the mission of the program.