Honors Program’s Geek Week brings students together at Livingstone

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 3, 2022

Livingstone News Service

SALISBURY — Livingstone College students with a record of academic achievement host an annual week of fun-filled activities undergirded with scholarship and civic engagement.

This year, from Oct. 24-28, the Honors Program’s Geek Week activities reflected the power of collectivism with several campus and community organizations.

The week began with leadership from the President’s Office as the campus community gathered at the Bear for prayer, an event students have now named, “Prayer Bear” time. The event followed with critical conversations about public safety on campus in a “Where do we go from here?” town hall meeting, facilitated by the Student Government Association president, Michael Gilyard and  criminal justice professionals retained by President Anthony J. Davis. The activity included research presentations by 12 students. Senior Emile Dogbe-Gakpetor of Accra, Ghana, was awarded top prize for his research on the Impact of COVID-19 on Small HBCUs.

Tuesday was all about Toshiba. Representatives from the company visited Livingstone to discuss social media profiles, personal branding, job search strategies and internship and job opportunities. Moderated by alumnus William Mondale Robinson, who currently serves as mayor of Enfield, North Carolina, Tuesday’s evening activity, “Candidates and Quesos” led students to the cafeteria to engage in a forum featuring Rowan County candidates.  This event was in partnership with the Office of Student Affairs and with support from Students Learn Students Vote, Interfaith America and Black Voters Matter.

Wednesday morning was “Party with the Prez” as the campus met in a pep rally style gathering in an effort to energize and mobilize the vote. Joining the Livingstone College family were Salisbury NAACP President Gemale Black and Power 98 radio personality host No Limit Larry, who too shared sentiments on the power and importance of voting. Faculty, staff and students present caravaned to the Board of Elections from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in efforts of early voting. Wednesday evening activities included presentations by Livingstone faculty Dr. Da’Tarvia Parrish, who presented AAUW Start Smart Salary Negotiation and alumna Chanel Quick of Thurgood Marshall College Fund, who shared best practices in scholarship application.

Society of Financial Education and Professional Development led Thursday morning with financial literacy. Facilitated by Dwayne Hall, the “Mind Over Money Skills” presentation included steps to prepare 21st century learners to be financially literate and navigate credit and student loan debt. The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Quiz Bowl team rounded out the evening activities with a campus tournament. Tournament champions, team “Never Stop” included sophomore Jacob Adkins of King, North Carolina, junior Christian Bussey of Pensacola, Florida, and freshman Darren Wharton of Winston-Salem.

Friday morning encouraged early voting efforts to those unable to cast their ballots on Wednesday; and as Geek Week culminated with voting, much support from Mission House, Rowan Concerned Citizens, Black Voters Matter, Interfaith America and Students Learn Students Vote, poured in to fund Geek Week’s final event, LitMic. An open arts and talent showcase, LitMic featured Livingstone College students who displayed a variety of gifts and encouraged their peers to vote with personal testimonies on the significance of exercising their constitutional right.

The Black Voters Matter themed event was hosted by students junior Jalen Robinson of Hempstead, New York and senior Samari Gorman of Charlotte.  The first place winner was freshman culinary arts major Kendrid Briscoe of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, second place was freshman voice major Mia Mason of Salisbury and third place went to freshman music major Kaiyon Courtney of Charlotte.

Student Government Association president Michael Gilyard said, “Geek Week is always carefully planned with essential programming that speaks to the needs of college students. I look forward to it every year. In fact, it’s just as important as homecoming.”