Wiley College 2017 graduate Quinn-Lee Ralph is a Computer Information Systems major whose 4.0. grade point average is the highest in his class. In addition to excelling academically, Ralph is also a top performer in athletics at Wiley. As a runner on the College's track and field team, he helped his team win four straight Red River Athletic Conference Championships, and he was named a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-American in 2015 and 2016. He is also a two-time winner of the Wiley College Athletics Department Male Academic Athlete of the year.
Ralph hails from Trinidad and Tobago, and he is proud to be among the first from his home country to graduate from Wiley College.
In this Q and A, Mr. Ralph talks about the keys to achieving academic success while being engaged in campus life, as well as his upcoming plans as a new graduate of Wiley College!
What are your plans now that you have graduated from Wiley College? What type of work are you interested in doing in the field of Computer Information Systems?
Actually, I plan to pursue a track and field career. Now that I've finished school, I will have the time and means to chase that dream correctly and relentlessly. During my track and field career, it is imperative that I attain my private pilot license. In addition, during the pursuit of my undergraduate degree, I became fascinated with business, so my plan is to own my own business of some sort. I try to view business opportunities in every area of my life.
It is truly exceptional to have a 4.0 grade point average. What was the key to your academic success?
Most people tend to look at the long-term goal, which is entirely okay; but what they often forget is to set short-term goals. Every semester, I set goals, which most times I achieved. In addition, I never let assignments creep up on me. I did them at the very first opportunity, which left time to proofread and correct the minor mistakes.
Have you always performed so well in school? What about High School? What were you like as a high school student?
I always performed well at Wiley but not in high school. I was extremely playful, immature and too focused on sports to do well in high school. Since I focused my energy on other areas, my academic performance was just average. I was just doing what needed to be done to get by. After completing high school and being admitted into Wiley, I made a conscious decision not to make the same mistakes twice. I applied myself wholeheartedly and saw results. After seeing the results of applying myself, I became addicted.
You also excelled in sports at Wiley College. What advice can you give fellow Wiley students on how to do their best in their studies while getting involved with other activities on campus?
Monitor the kind of friends you surround yourself with because their habits will become your interests soon enough, and find something or someone that keeps you grounded at times of success in one of the two areas because we as human beings tend to lose focus after triumph.
What is your advice to Wiley students on persisting and persevering to earn their degree?
Many students hear the words persistence and perseverance and don't understand the true potential and meaning of those two words. Those words meant everything to me, especially during the times I got a C on one of my exams. Those words meant everything during my injury time on the track. My message to other students is that is important to engage in consistent actions even though no instant results are seen, and keep the dream alive even when it looks like growth has halted.
What did you enjoy most about attending Wiley College?
Even though coming to Wiley placed me in a foreign land, one of the things I enjoyed here were the people who made me feel like I'm at a home away from home. I was also intrigued by the many cultures at Wiley, which opened the door to opportunities and experiences that I gained tremendous knowledge from.
Many of our students are the first in their families to earn a college degree. Are there other members of your family attending college or who have completed college and other advanced degrees?
I'm an only child, so yes, I'm the first in my immediate family to attend college; however, I do have cousins who have graduated from college before me.
What is your favorite spot on campus?
The Wiley College sign at far right of Strickland Hall. After a hard run, I would always sit there with the intention of catching my breath but I always lost track of time while rekindling my thoughts and ensuring my balance was restored before re-entering Strickland Hall.
What is your favorite scripture?
Galation 6:9 "Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
As the 2017 graduate with the highest grade point average, Ralph shared reflections about his Wiley experience at commencement in May. Please enjoy listening to his commencement address by clicking on the link below and scrolling to the bottom of the article.