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Wesleyan showcases global cultures

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Kate Avialla, left, and Dimas Reyes perform a dance on stage as they represent Honduras on Monday during the third annual Global WesFest at N.C. Wesleyan College.

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The stage at the Dunn Center was alive Monday with representations of different cultures as N.C. Wesleyan College students presented 10 acts, each with a different international flavor.

Most of the acts featured dances in native costumes, though some used tumbling, speeches and music videos to represent their different homelands. The master of ceremonies for the occasion was Gabriel Guzman, a sophomore student from Venezuela. 

“The performances were beautiful,” said John Etheredge, who attended the Global WesFest event on Monday night. “I think everyone in Rocky Mount ought to see what is going on here.”

Following the acts, 11 students presented an international fashion show. Students and guests from the community were then able to examine 15 booths set up in the lobby showcasing different cultures represented on campus.

“This is our third Global WesFest held on our campus, and each one has been bigger and better than the one before,” said Suzanne Hening, international student services coordinator at N.C Wesleyan College.

The college also has hosted two other Global WesFest events in the past at Winstead Elementary School.

“We partnered with their staff and students to bring the countries to them that they are studying,” said Dawn Turner, director of international student services for the college.

Turner said the purpose of the Global WesFest is to help educate fellow students and people in the community about the diversity represented on the campus of Wesleyan College.

“We want our international students’ voices to be heard across our campus and community to introduce their cultures, diversity, talents and academic excellence. This is a way to promote our Bishop community as well as the surrounding community’s knowledge of our students here within their back yard on our campus at North Carolina Wesleyan College. The event allows our students the opportunity to engage with each other, support our international family and Bishop family and interact with members of the community as they highlight their countries at their display tables,” Turner said. 

Wesleyan College has 156 international students on campus hailing from 42 different countries, including Argentina, Venezuela, Nepal, Columbia, France, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Italy, Liberia, the Netherlands, Rwanda, Uganda the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan.

“N.C. Wesleyan College works very hard to bring in international students, the best and the brightest as well as amazing athletes,” Turner said. “They all are required to pass certain requirements academically as well as demonstrate English proficiency. Our institution extends a worldwide welcome to these students so that the Bishop community can become enriched by their cultures and traditions. We also want to learn from them and promote academic excellence from an American institution.”

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