Oh, The Places Wilkes Colonels Will Go!

by Web Services
These members of the Class of 2023 are on the move

Many of the members of the Wilkes University Class of 2023 will walk across the stage to receive diplomas, and then step right in to a new job or grad school. Here is just a sample of our graduates and where they are headed:

Kimberly Bailey ’23

Associate engineer at Exelon Corporation

  • Bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering (minor in sustainability management)
  • Hometown: Wilmington, Delaware

“It’s important to make friends within your major but also join clubs or sports teams to make friends outside of it too. Both are equally important.”

Jaycee Blair ’23

Associate engineer at Exelon Corporation

  • Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Business Administration (minor in chemistry)
  • Hometown: Toms River, New Jersey

“Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. My favorite memories at Wilkes are when I said ‘yes’ to situations that I normally would have avoided. Put yourself out there and you will have no regrets.”

Britney Cheskiewicz ’23

Walt Disney Company

  • Bachelor’s degrees in political science and musical theatre
  • Hometown: Wyoming, Pennsylvania

“I would like to thank Dr. Ben Toll for going above and beyond to help every student and for being an ’emotional support professor’ for all of us. I’m going to miss him the most!”

Brydee Derk ’23

Loss of learning specialist at the Shamokin Area School District

  • Bachelor’s degree in psychology
  • Hometown: Coal Township, Pa.

William Doron ’23

Junior sales consultant, Johnson and Johnson (DePuy Synthes)

  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing
  • Hometown: Wallenpaupack, Pennsylvania

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Find out for yourself and prove them wrong.”

Ryan Evans ’23

Master of Science in Communication at Northwestern University

  • Bachelor’s degree in communication studies, multimedia journalism
  • Hometown: Bear Creek Township, Pennsylvania

“College isn’t just about coursework, though always strive to do your best! It’s about finding your identity and growing, so take chances and seize opportunities. Don’t be afraid to fail gloriously on a large scale – that’s where the best lessons are.

Thank you to the communications department as a whole for encouraging me to apply to graduate school (and Dr. Evene Estwick for her letter of recommendation). And LTC Mark Kaster for his 32 years of military service, guidance and dedication to our student veterans, like myself. Transitioning from active duty to college life is strange, but Mark has been a rock for us all navigating our post-military lives.”

Natalie Everett ’23

Pharmacy Resident at the Boise VA Medical Center of Excellence in Primary Care Education in Boise, Idaho

  • Doctor of Pharmacy
  • Hometown: Mountain Top, Pennsylvania

“Take advantage of student government events! You will meet so many freshmen looking for new friends. Don’t be afraid to say no to new opportunities; pave the way for the future students. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is where the magic happens. Thank you, Dr. Jennifer Malinowski, Dr. Kimberly Ference and Dr. Nicole Pezzino.”

Dante Gazzola ’23

Financial advisor at Barrett Financial Solutions

  • Bachelor’s degree in financial investments
  • Hometown: Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Katarina Johnson ’23

Co-occurring case management at the Scranton Counseling Center

  • Bachelor’s degree in psychology (with a minor in criminology)
  • Hometown: Dickson City, Pennsylvania

“Don’t be afraid to try new things!”

Carly MacKenzie ’23

Second Lieutenant Combat Systems Officer in the United States Air Force

  • Bachelor’s degree in psychology (with a minor in aerospace studies)
  • Hometown: Woodbridge, New Jersey

Christina Mahama ’23

Operating room nurse at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center

  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing (minors in psychology and women’s and gender studies)
  • Hometown: Long Pond, Pennsylvania

“Thank you to Dr. Victor and Mrs. Hauze.”

Abigail McCabe ’23

Medical Science Liaison Immunology Fellow at Sanofi, Cambridge, Massachusetts

  • Doctor of Pharmacy
  • Hometown: Shavertown, Pa.

Elena Patestos ’23

Pharmacy Resident at Weis Markets

  • Doctor of Pharmacy, public health concentration (minor in music)
  • Hometown: Toms River, New Jersey

“Take advantage of every opportunity you can! Wilkes may seem like a small school but it has big impact and a million amazing opportunities. I have to thank everyone at the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy, staff, faculty and students for making my time at Wilkes amazing!”

Sarah Phillips ’23

Law student, Widener Commonwealth Law School 

  • Bachelor’s degree in political science (minor in international relations)
  • Hometown: Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania

“I would like to thank Dr. Benjamin Toll for helping me through my time at Wilkes. Over the last four years he has been an amazing teacher, and someone who really worked to understand me as a person and work to be as successful as I can. I would not have made it the last four years without him.”

Ariel Reed ’23

Multimedia journalist at KFDX in Wichita Falls, Texas

  • Bachelor’s degrees in communication studies and sports management (with a minor in economics)
  • Hometown: Woodbury, Pennsylvania

Read Ariel’s Story

Jesus Rios ’23

Bilingual legal assistant at Wilson Law Group

  • Bachelor’s degree in business management (minor in business analytics)
  • Hometown: Chiriqui, Panamá

“Keep a balance. Study hard, focus and also take breaks. Thank you to my advisor Dr. Tanya Pyke and many others who mentored me throughout my college journey.”

Quinn Rodefeld ’23

STEM Scholar with the Office of Environmental Management in the Department of Energy, Washington, D.C.

  • Bachelor’s degree in international relations (with minors in global cultures and political science)
  • Hometown: Blaine, Minnesota

“Know there’s always a community for you at Wilkes that will care for you. Regardless of who you are or where you are from, Wilkes University creates a campus community that truly cares for its members like family. I would like to thank everyone in the Political Science department, the History Department and the Global Cultures Department for helping me to become Wilkes University’s first-ever graduate majoring in international relations. I would not be where I am today without the support of so many faculty and staff members, who have truly gone out of their way to help me succeed while at Wilkes.”

Arianna Ryan ’23

Patient coordinator at Ai Orthodontics on her way to dental school

  • Bachelor’s degrees in biology and neuroscience  on pre-dental track (with minors in chemistry and psychology)
  • Hometown: Tamaqua, Pennsylvania

“Don’t give up on your dreams because of a hard class or homework/exam grade. Take on the challenges and see how far it gets you. Treat yourself on both your good and bad days. Before you know it, you’ll be wondering where all the time went. Value every moment.”

Christian Shubzda ’23

Master of Science in political science at Liberty University

  • Bachelor’s degree in political science (legal studies and music minors)
  • Hometown: Plains, Pennsylvania

“Work with your professors, do you best and your hard work will pay off in the end. I would like to thank all my professors of political science who have guided me along the way throughout my undergrad career. Without them, I wouldn’t be who I am today.”

Erika Wintersteen ’23

Air quality trainee at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

  • Bachelor’s degrees in environmental science and geology
  • Hometown: Dallas, Pennsylvania

“Go to all of the free events!!!!! Free food is fantastic!!!!”

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