After graduation, Robyn Lessans will be the chief operating officer at Take the Fight, a non-profit she has worked closely with for more than two years. The vision is to be the next Teach for America, but for healthcare. Robyn is looking forward to being in a position where she can help people.
Q: Tell us about your research.
A: I did a semester long independent study under Angela Kocze in the women, gender and sexuality studies department. My topic was the sexualization of Romani women in western pop culture. I learned so much about a group of people whom I previously did not even know existed. Professor Kocze was also an amazing mentor and adviser.
Q: Where is the one place on campus you will miss most and why?
A: The philosophy library was my home away from home and I will miss it dearly. I had many thought-provoking discussions in that room. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by a supportive faculty and a group of like-minded individuals with whom I could spend hours engaged in philosophical arguments. It was certainly the good life.
Q: What extracurricular activity did you enjoy most and why?
A: I volunteered for two years for a non-profit called Take the Fight. This organization pairs undergraduate students with cancer patients to act as an advocate and support system to people going through the toughest battle of their lives. I was paired with an amazing woman who was diagnosed with a rare and fatal form of brain cancer. Her faith was inspiring. She taught me how to find joy in even the most horrible situations. She passed away this past December, but I cherish the time I spent with her and the relationship we had. I believe the organization brought us together for a reason.
Q: Best advice you were given and how you plan to use it?
A: I was told to try new things and grab opportunities as they come to you. I jumped around from major to major, I opened myself up to so many different classes before I found the major that felt right. That experience enriched me with a broader understanding of the world we inhabit and the ways we can choose to operate within it.
Q: What shared values do you feel unite the Wake Forest community?
A: I think we are a compassionate community. In moments of trauma, I have seen such incredible solidarity. It was in those moments that I was most proud to call myself a Demon Deacon.
Q: What is the best advice you can give an incoming first-year student?
A: Open your hearts and minds to this experience. Do not believe you have it all figured out. You don’t, and you won’t even when you graduate. But if you let this place work on you, and work through you, you will reap incredible rewards because you will come to know your genuine self.