Gardner-Webb Undergrad Expands Career Goals After Exploring Different Topics

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Sthefany Flores (’18) Discovers Interests in Political Science and Theater 

When Sthefany Flores (’18) came to Gardner-Webb University she had already chosen to major in journalism. But as she explored other subjects and discovered her interests, she decided to minor in political science and theater.

“I feel like I’ve gotten a stronger grasp of my career goals because of the classes I have taken,” Flores shared. “I’ve expanded my viewpoint of the world both in an academic sense and a theoretical sense. I’m still developing and expanding that view, but I know that I’m on the right path.”

A student in the University’s Honors Program, Flores came to Gardner-Webb from nearby Forest City, N.C., but her family is originally from Honduras. They moved to America so she could have more educational opportunities and learn another language. She chose to major in journalism, because of her writing skills and a desire to keep people informed about what’s going on in the world.

“I always loved writing. I was the person all my friends went to when they were in writing ruts or wanted someone to look over their drafts,” she elaborated. “I feel that media has such a strong impact on our societies and culture and I want to affect that directly. I wish to do on-site reporting and provide the most authentic depiction of other countries in their times of strife and their times of progress. I want to get as close to the truth as one can get to allow readers to make their own views on the situations and allow for well-informed actions to ensue.”

Political science classes develop her critical-thinking skills and help her to explore different opinions. “American Government class was actually one of the main reasons I became a political science minor,” Flores observed. “It was interesting to see how a theory and a few documents could shape and change a country. Political science was unlike other classes that I have had in my academic career. Instead of direct causes and effects and facts, I was given theories to study. The class that affected me the most in this minor was the Special Topics course. We studied Marx, Nietzsche, Tocqueville, Machiavelli, Hobbes and Locke. Each author in this class posed a challenge in their views of truth, virtue, human nature and what makes a good government/leader.”

Her minor in theater will also give her an edge if she decides to pursue broadcast journalism. Not only did she develop confidence through her acting classes, she’s also gained valuable experience serving as master electrician on the technical crew for a variety of GWU Theatre productions. “I’ve learned how to work in lighting design and other forms of technical theater, so I could show future employers that I am a valuable asset,” she assessed.

Flores appreciates the friendliness of the Gardner-Webb community and the professors who challenge students academically while offering support and encouragement. Instructor Janah Adams in the Department of English Language and Literature has been a mentor and a friend. “I remember going to her a few times in a panic over a paper or some other issue,” she reflected. “I’m talking full hands-flying-all-over-the-place panic trying to tell her what happened. She’s always very empathetic, and she always finds a way to make the situation better and make me calm down. She is amazing.”