Recent Final Projects

Our students are as unique as the diverse programs they create. Below are a few of our students and alumni, who each used their self-designed plan of study to explore topics of interest to them. Read their stories to see their final projects and how they benefited from the MALS Program.


  • Tia Bell 

Tia Bell became familiar with the struggles of at-risk youth early in life as the oldest child of an adolescent mother in inner-city Washington, D.C.

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  • Shawn E. Colvin

Shawn Colvin is a North Carolina native and HBCU graduate of Winston-Salem State University where he was a student-athlete majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in Radio/ Television.  

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  • Jennifer M. Cowley

Jen graduated with her undergraduate degree from NC State in 2012 with a major in Criminology and three minors in Psychology, Forensic Science and Spanish. She has always had a passion for the criminal justice system and has completed her Master's degree while working full time at the Wake County District Attorney's office. 

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  • Cristian Mihai Maris

He obtained his Bachelors of Science in Financial Management from Babes-Bolyai Uni- versity, in his native Romania. Cristian has been married to his wonderful wife Alina for three years, and together they have a daughter Eliza.  

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  • David Merles

David is a native of Cleveland, OH and Atlanta, GA. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1996 and commissioned in 2002. He has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration from the Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. 

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  • Younghee Overly

Seven years ago, my husband and I decided to take a break from our stressful careers in management and took a six months leave of absence from our jobs to travel to Asia and Europe with our son.  When we returned, I decided to dedicate more of myself for a cause I care about and started the North Carolina Chapter of US National Committee for UN Women.   

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  • Bria Sledge

Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, Bria Sledge had a desire to understand the development of children and the role families play in their growth and devel- opment. To pursue this interest she enrolled and obtained her undergradu- ate degree in Child Development at North Carolina Agricultural and Tech- nical State University. 

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  • Isabel Velasco Trujillo

Isabel Adriana Velasco Trujillo is an enthusiastic Language teacher who graduated in 2013 with a Master degree in Spanish and Litera- ture from North Carolina State Univer- sity. The time dedicated to this second Master degree in Liberal Studies has strengthened her academic passions. She is above all, the caring mother of Isabella and her pet Luna. 

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  • Gale Mckoy Wilkins

Gale McKoy Wilkins serves as the Executive Director of the NC Council for Women. Gale has extensive experience in leading non-profit organizations and serving as a professional advocate for a variety of interests and groups. She also has a rich volunteer and board background.  

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  • Charlena Michelle Wynn

Charlena, a North Carolina native, holds BA in Studio Art from the University of North Carolina Greensboro and has participated in the Raeigh-Durham arts scene upon her time at NC State since fall 2014.

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