05th Sep2011

Shante Hayward – Winston Salem State University

by Staff

“My experience at WSSU couldn’t compare to any other school. The focus on learning and excelling in life is a mission at this school!”

C/O 2010

Major: Marketing


Personal Contacts:



How did you decide to become a student at Winston Salem State University?

The decision process for selecting to become a student at Winston-Salem State University was difficult. In 2006, I had received my Associate’s degree in Business Administration from Gibbs College in Livingston, NJ. I decided to attend New Jersey City University in Jersey City, New Jersey to pursue my bachelor’s degree. Then my parents moved to Greensboro, North Carolina. I decided to move with them so I looked at three different schools North Carolina A&T, UNC-Greensboro, and Winston-Salem State University. I applied and I was accepted to all three. However I chose Winston-Salem State University, because of the mission statement: Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve. Also, because they are the only school in the area with a Music Business Major and minor and that impressed me. Being an HBCU student is like no other, the professors, and colleagues that you make will leave a lasting impression for a lifetime. That’s why I decided to be an HBCU student at Winston-Salem State University.


What professors at Winston Salem State University left the most impression upon you as a student and/or person? What did they do that continues to mean so much to you to this day?

Mrs. Lavie Leasure, Professor of African-American Studies left the most impression upon me as a student. When I first enrolled in African-American Studies I didn’t take the class seriously. I would always come late and not reach my full potential in class. One day, I had to go to her office because I missed some homework, and she sat down and talked to me. She never knew me before but it was something about me that directed her spirit to talk to me. We talked for a whole hour and prayed and read a biblical scripture. After that talked it changed my whole life and I made a complete 360 in my academic, career, and personal life. Now the woman I am today is partly due to Mrs. Leasure being a stern, but influential professor in my life!!


What is the story of your “experience” at Winston Salem State University given its heralded status as a stellar and prestigious HBCU?

My experience at WSSU couldn’t compare to any other school. The focus on learning and excelling in life is a mission at this school! The professors and colleagues encourage each other to strive higher in life. Many alumni such as Stephen A. Smith or Earl “The Pearl” Monroe have represented WSSU in a positive light. WSSU is a great example of a stellar and prestigious HBCU.


Where were the spots to go to if you wanted to cuddle with your boy or girlfriend?

Downtown Winston-Salem in its entirety seemed like a place where u can walk around with your boyfriend and girlfriend and visit different attractions.


What were the best restaurants on and near campus? Which dishes did you enjoy the most?

I didn’t eat much around campus considering I was a commuter student but the RAM SHACK on campus had the best food. I ate the chicken quesadillas. It consisted of chicken, cheese, but you could always add onions, green peppers, salsa and sour cream. As I’m typing this response my mouth is watering from memories of eating them! I was a regular on Monday’s and Wednesday’s.


What were the chants heard most often at the sporting events?

It might be inappropriate but we always do this chant at every game! The Ram Song: Chew Tobacco, Chew Tobacco, Chew Tobacco… SPIT. If u ain’t a ram than u aint ish!


Who was your College crush?

I only had one college crush I rather him be anonymous!


How did you overcome your nervousness about going to college?

I overcame my nervousness about college by looking at my surroundings in New Jersey. Many people were successful, but there were people that weren’t successful. My motivation to rise above and become successful and contribute to the world overcame my nervousness.


What was your major? and Why did you choose it?

My major at WSSU was Business Administration-Marketing. The reason why I chose this major was because Marketing is a very broad area and there are many positions such as marketing director, publicist, and sales. In addition, there are many life skills that are associated with marketing


What has been your proudest moment @ Winston Salem State University?

My proudest moment at WSSU was when I graduated December 17, 2010. I was able to show my family and friends what they can achieve with hard work and perseverance!


What was your saddest moment @ Winston Salem State University?

My saddest moment at WSSU was when I had to take a year off due to financial and personal reasons. I felt like my life was at a standstill and I wasn’t able to accomplish my goals and dreams. Due to faith and perseverance I was able to graduate a year and a half later.


What did you pledge? And why? And if not, why not?

I didn’t want to pledge because I was too busy working full time and going to school full time to commit to an organization! If I did pledge I would have been a Delta. Their belief and mission in contributing back to the community is very prevalent in their sorority!


How were you positively active on campus? (e.g. clubs, SGA, etc.)

I was positively active my encouraging different colleagues to stay focus and give encouragement. I wish I was more active on campus but I lived 22 miles away, and I worked full time!


Where was the “yard” located?

The yard was located right in front of Thompson Center. It is also known as the “Breezeway”. Many special events such as homecoming rallies, career fairs, and other special events were located in that area.


What and where were the historical places on campus?

One of the historical places on campus is the Simon G. Atkins House located on campus. Simon G. Atkins founded the school in 1892. We are the first African American institution in the United States to grant degrees in elementary teacher education back when WSSU was Winston-Salem Teachers College in 1925.


Are there any ghost stories involving buildings or spots on campus?
I’m pretty sure there are some great ghost stories I just never heard of any!


How many “firsts” did you have at college? What were they? (e.g. first road trip, first job interview, first love, first “F or A”, etc.)

I had my first car, my first apartment, and I was the first person in my immediate family to go to college and graduate.


If you could speak to those family members that have risen but that live forever through you, what words would you speak?
Wow, this is a great question! I always encourage my family members and friends daily through social media, texts, or phone calls. I encourage them to always be ambitious, stay motivated, be determined, persevere through all obstacles, succeed in life and give back to the community!


When and how did you discover your passion in life?

I discovered my passion for being in the music industry when I was a little girl. I always wanted to sing; as I got older I became realistic and realized I can contribute more into from a business perspective


Whats your take on life (in the philosophical sense)?

Defeat is truly in the eyes of the beholder! In life there are many obstacles that an individual must face and sometimes it can consist of failure. However, it’s what we learn from those mistakes and apply them to the rest of our lives and become successful is the true testament!


If you could only speak two sentences to the youth coming after you what would you say?
Your legacy and impact in this world is only as good as your footprint. Become active and contribute in your community!

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Graduate of an HBCU and true believer in HBCUs being the best at giving a well-rounded education academically and personally.




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