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First-Year Student Stories

Goodnight Spotlight: Willamina Ingle

Willamina Ingle (Class of 2026) grew up loving nature and constantly finding ways to incorporate it into her life. She shares about the gender-related challenges she faced in her academic journey. Despite these obstacles, she overcomes them as she pursues her goal of becoming a doctor and finding a community within NCSU and Goodnight.

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Growing up in WNC, nature was always a huge part of my life. I have done my best to maintain this passion for the outdoors since moving to Raleigh and have found some fun places to spend time outside! I feel very intrinsically connected to the natural world around me and I love to spend time outside by running, hiking, biking, whitewater paddling, and just hanging out with friends or a good book.

What made you decide to major in Microbiology?

I was very observant of the world around me as a kid, which led me to develop a basic understanding of geological and ecological relationships. I was always trying to learn more about how the world works because I felt that I was missing a huge part of it. Once I reached high school and took my first chemistry class, I knew what it was: the molecular mechanisms that drive life. Since then, I have known that I wanted to study those mechanisms, and microbiology is a great way to do that!

Do you have any extracurricular activities or any you want to participate in?

I am on the waste reduction team of the Sustainability Stewards and I also volunteer at the WakeMed Cary hospital. I love being on the Sustainability Stewards because I love the team I work with and our projects make me feel like I am making a positive impact on campus. I am hoping to become more involved with VOLAR (Voluntarios Ahora en Raleigh) this semester to gain experience as a Spanish interpreter.

What are some hurdles you have faced within your field of study?

I want to become a primary care physician. The path to becoming a doctor in the US is very difficult and often feels as if it is built for a certain kind of person: someone from a socioeconomically privileged background who has doctors in their family. As someone who does not meet either of these criteria, the journey ahead of me seems daunting, and even impossible sometimes. However, I believe that I am capable of achieving my goals with hard work and preparation.

Have there been any gender-related challenges or biases in your academic experiences?

As a young woman in the world, I have experienced plenty of situations in which I did not feel as safe as I would have if I were a man. I am lucky that through most of my academic experience, I have felt welcomed by the people in power such as instructors and other staff. However, there have been times in my life when I was reluctant to go to school due to sexual harassment by some of my male peers. During these times, some other students and teachers made me feel welcomed and valued as a student and helped me remember why school is a priority for me. Education is far too important for me to be deterred by the behavior of my classmates. I am so much stronger and more motivated now due to the support I have received from classmates and mentors in my times of struggle.

How has the Goodnight Scholars program affected your time at NCSU?

The Goodnight Scholars program is hands-down the best part of my time at NCSU. I have met so many amazing people through the GSP and they have taught me so much about the world and my place in it. The support and love that I feel from the Goodnight community is so powerful and I would not trade it for any other experience that I could have had. I am so grateful every day that I can be a part of the Goodnight Scholars program. The people that I have met in the Goodnight community help renew my drive to achieve my goals every time I interact with them, which is pretty much daily. We push each other and support each other in a way that I have never experienced before and can only hope to experience again once my time at NCSU is complete.

What are your future career and life goals?

I want to become a doctor. I hope to build lasting relationships within my community and become someone with a reputation for kindness, dependability, and competence. The trust that is fostered through a positive relationship with a medical professional is essential, especially in our current society. I want to build that trust with my patients, much like my childhood pediatrician did with me. I know that the work I will put into achieving my goals will be worth it for the peace that I will feel once I can serve my community in this way. I cannot wait to become the doctor and the person that I know I can be.

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