Congrats, Class of 2017! Guilford College

Every year, Guilford has the pleasure of sending well-educated, compassionate graduates into the world. These students have the skills and learning experiences to thrive and make a difference in their communities and beyond. Below, meet some of these remarkable graduates. They join an impressive legacy of Guilfordians who distinguish themselves in how they live out the College’s mission in inspiring ways.

Mara Stern

Career Plans: Children’s Defense Fund

Mara Stern ’17 is a Political Science major and a Philosophy minor from Austin, Texas, who has her mind and heart set on sticking up for kids. As an intern for the Children’s Defense Fund, she’s found the intersection of passion and study in activism and policy. And at Guilford, she’s also found out what it’s like to experience seasons. “I remember my first year at Guilford — I was so in awe of the beauty of the campus in the fall,” she says.

Gerardo Cruz Garza

Career Plans: Pediatric Surgeon

Gerardo Cruz Garza ’17, a Biology major with a minor in Integrated Sciences, spent many a late night in the Frank Family Science Center, learning from the “brilliant minds” that traverse the space, challenging and being challenged by his professors and peers. It’s no surprise he was inducted into the Beta Beta Beta and Omicron Delta Kappa honors societies.

Ayellor Karbah

Career Plans: New Jersey State Police

Ayellor Karbah ’17 is something of a Renaissance Man. When asked about the things that take up his free time, he mentions soccer, track and field, volunteering, juggling, listening to music, sketching, staying up to date on the news and meeting new people — just to name a few! A Criminal Justice major with a minor in Community Studies, Ayellor called Monrovia, Liberia, home before coming to Guilford.

Jennifer Urdaneta

Career Plans: Police Dispatcher

One look at her resume, and you’d think she never sleeps! Jennifer Urdaneta ’17 has packed a lot into her time at Guilford: a double major in Criminal Justice and Community and Justice Studies; member of the Swim Team; senior Bonner Scholars intern; resident assistant; secretary for Hispanos Unidos de Guilford; two years as tenor sax in the jazz ensemble — and she’s not done yet.

Ava Nadel

Career Plans: AmeriCorps VISTA

Track and cross-country runner Ava Nadel ’17 is definitely fast — yet she also knows how to take it slow. A yoga lover and photographer, she has the patience to find peace in a pose and catch the perfect picture. She served as a photographer for The Guilfordian and her work-study assignment was in sports photography. When asked about what she notices most about Guilford’s campus, though, she’s all about the trees. “The woods and trails are so peaceful here!” she says.

Zachary Lindsey

Career Plans: Sports Management with NBA or MLS

Because of his parents’ careers in international nonprofit organizations, Zach Lindsey ’17 grew up in five countries — Zambia, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leon, Bangladesh and Thailand. “Travel is in my DNA,” he says. It’s this international lifestyle that’s the foundation of his dream to eventually enroll in flight school and become a pilot. Until then, Zach plans to use his major in Sports Management and minor in Business Administration to land a job with the NBA or MLS.


Jocelyn Foshay '17 describes her academic experience at Guilford as challenging yet supportive. The History and Secondary Education double major from Massachusetts has a strong passion for helping youth find their voice and understand their roots. She recently accepted a Teaching Fellow position with Bilingual Schools of Central America in Honduras. She will launch her career shortly after Commencement.

Juliet Gervasi

Juliet Gervasi ’17 has proof she chose the perfect college — she’s been accepted into her top graduate program. A Music major studying classical guitar, with an Education Studies minor, Juliet is on the path to a life as a performer and teacher. After graduation, she’ll attend UNC School of the Arts for a master’s in guitar performance.

Six Seniors Soar

These women’s and men’s basketball players enjoyed many memorable moments while earning abundant accolades and post-season honors.

Kate Clark

Starting most games for Guilford this season, Kate had a knack for providing a timely scoring spark. She led the team with 31 3-pointers this season while providing steady guard play. A Business Administration and Accounting major, Kate consistently earned high marks in the classroom as a perennial student-athlete honor roll selection.

Dominique Henderson

Dominique played an integral role in the team’s success since transferring to Guilford in his junior year. He started all 30 games this year while averaging 11 points a game, including a career-high 26 points against Lynchburg. He is a Business Administration major.

Zachary Houston

A heads-up leader known for his tenacious defense and consistently calming play for the last four seasons, Zach capped his Quaker career by leading the ODAC with 62 steals and ranking in the top five of five other statistical categories. Perhaps most impressive, Zach was named the ODAC’s Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive season. An Exercise Science and Health Science double major, he sports a 3.82 GPA and is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree. He ultimately plans to attend graduate school for physical therapy.

Amy Steller

Earning a stellar reputation as a fine all-around player, Amy averaged 10 points a game while hitting 82 percent of her free throws. An Exercise Science and Health Science double major, she interned at Wake Forest Medical Center and has been accepted into Western Carolina's doctor of physical therapy program. Amy also ran with the Quakers’ track and field team in spring 2017.

Heaven Walters

Heaven enjoyed a divine season, earning Second Team All-ODAC honors while knocking down a dozen points a game and leading the team in rebounding. She was one of six students chosen to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District V Team. An Exercise Science and Health Science double major, Heaven interned at Wake Forest Medical Center last summer and has been accepted into the master of occupational therapy program at Emory & Henry.

Anais Weatherly

A First Team All-South selection by, Anais led the Quakers in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals while earning ODAC First Team and ODAC Tourney Most Outstanding Player distinction. Her career numbers place her among Guilford’s top 10 performances in 12 different statistical categories. And Sports Illustrated recognized her in its “Faces in the Crowd” section Dec. 12, 2016. A Criminal Justice major and Business minor, she is considering playing basketball overseas and eventually developing her own clothing brand.

Business Majors On the Move

Each year, the Business Department awards outstanding students with the prestigious Courtney Award based on merit and ethical leadership. The finalists receive $1,250 in cash to invest in their future. The senior finalists share their post-graduation plans and how Guilford prepared them for success.

Molly Anne Marcotte

An internship is often an exploration of a fun, new interest or a look into a career you’ve never considered. That was not the case for Molly Anne Marcotte ’17 and her work as an intern for the N.C. Coalition Against Sexual Assault. She considers her work a calling and a commitment.

Michael Reiney

They say it’s more about who you know than what you know. Lucky for Michael Reiney ’17, a Business Administration major, he’s got both covered. Interning as an analyst at Spartan Planning and Wealth Management LLC, Michael assists in client meetings and strategy sessions to help Spartan provide comprehensive financial planning and wealth management.
Patrick Nachlas

With a knack for gardening and a passion for cultivating language skills and confidence in young children, Patrick Nachlas ’17 has quite the green thumb. As co-coordinator at the Newcomers Garden Project this school year, he developed lesson plans and taught gardening and English as a second language to immigrant and refugee students in Guilford County.


Follow Guilford College to keep up with live Commencement coverage on May 20, 2017.


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