Communication: Maddie Faria
For some, balancing interests and academics is a challenge, but not for senior Maddie Faria — she makes it look easy. Heavily involved in various campus organizations, Faria has left her mark on the Wake Forest community, all while balancing a communication major and double minors in marketing and politics and international affairs.
Faria hails from Houston, Texas, where it was the norm to go to big state schools. In fact, it was on a trip to tour the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that she stumbled upon the Wake Forest campus.
“It was the only school I could really see myself at. I just walked on campus and knew it was where I wanted to go,” Faria said.
When asked about why she picked Wake Forest, Faria said the Pro Humanitate spirit was something that stood out to her. She knew if being involved in clubs was something she wanted to do, Wake Forest was the place for her.
For Faria, who enjoys public speaking and advocacy, the communication major was the perfect path.
“I love the storytelling aspects of [communication],” Faria said. “I love that people and history are at the center of this subject.”
The one thing Faria knew for sure is that she had a strong calling for public advocacy and speaking for those who are marginalized.
“I knew in high school that whatever I do in life, I wanted to help people and tell their stories,” Faria said.
While exploring communication classes related to public advocacy, she took a few marketing classes, which she enjoyed.
“Cultivating these messages through marketing and trying to make a difference for people are my goals,” Faria said. “One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that everyone has very different lived experiences, and everyone has a different story to tell. Your ability to tell a story can get you really, really far. The big insight is not just telling your own story but uplifting other stories.”
Faria’s knack for storytelling is one that she has developed through her work in the Department of Communication. During her time at Wake Forest, some of the people who were the most impactful on Faria and her storytelling journey were her professors. Dr. Rebecca Gill, who was Faria’s narrative entrepreneurship professor, was the one to nominate her for the senior oration, which was one of the most meaningful experiences she has had throughout these four years.
David Roberston, Faria’s marketing professor, and Professor Peter Mitchell had great impacts on her, as well.
“Professor Robertson has been my best mentor and always advocates for me,” Faria said. “Professor Mitchell has been my guiding light in teaching me about the agency side of marketing. He is always advocating for me and encouraging me with the job search, and I don’t think I would be where I am today without these fabulous professors who guided me.”
Intersecting with her minor in politics & international affairs, the research in her communication classes that intrigues her most is about communication as it relates to terrorism and international conflict.
“It’s very interesting to learn about different worldviews and how to cope with them and how to be dealing with these inherent ideological differences,” Faria said.
The most impactful class Faria took throughout her college career was “The Pursuit of Perfection,” taught by Dr. Micheal Hyde. The class taught her that the constant pursuit of perfection can be detrimental to human psychology.
“The class was a process of self-introspection for me and taught me a lot about myself and helped me alter my perception of perfection,” Faria said.
Faria continued: “[Communication] can be introspective and self-focused, but the other half of the subject is about how it impacts other people … I want to always continue going into things with a blank mindset and opening up myself to learning from what others have to say.”
Post graduation, Faria is on the lookout for a job in the marketing industry.
“The community that Wake Forest has given me has been so strong and impeccable, it will be hard to match that post-graduation,” Faria said.