Student Speakers for Spring 2021

NC State is proud to announce the two student speakers for the Spring 2021 Commencement Ceremonies, Britanya Wright and Talya Ozbelli. Wright will speak at the Friday, May 14 ceremony, and Ozbelli at the Saturday, May 15 ceremony, at which each of their respective colleges will be represented. Read their bios below to learn more about their NC State journey.

Britanya Wright

B.S. Electrical Engineering

“I’ve taken on a whole new approach to life through the ‘Think and Do’
motto and outlook.”

A native of Jamaica, Britanya Wright began her undergraduate career at Johnston Community
College in Smithfield, North Carolina, where she served as a JCC Ambassador. Equipped with her
associate degree, she transferred to NC State, where she now graduates with her Bachelor of
Science in Electrical Engineering.

During her time at NC State, Wright participated in many research opportunities within the
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), which ranged from designing and
fabricating transistors to assisting in developing wearable electrocardiograms. Wright was an active
member of the ECE Ambassadors, the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Women
Engineers and the Goodnight Scholars Program, serving as a Goodnight Ambassador. She was also
actively involved with Every Nation Campus Ministries.

With a passion for giving back to the community, Wright is an avid volunteer with Habitat for
Humanity of Wake County. She has also served internationally; Wright assisted in building homes for
families in Peru through the Leadership and Civic Engagement Office and taught engineering
workshops to high school students in Kigali, Rwanda.

Throughout the summer and fall of 2020, Wright gained experience working at ATI Industrial
Automation as an Electronics Engineering Intern. She additionally worked on campus with University
Wellness and Recreation and as a teaching assistant.

Wright plans to continue her education and pursue a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering at
NC State with a concentration in Robotics, Mechatronics, Control, and Instrumentation. Her hope is
to one day be among the influential innovators who contribute to society by developing prosthetics
and medical devices. She aims to impact the world around her with every stroke of a pencil, every
frustrating downfall and every triumphant victory.

“I am eternally thankful for the endless support from my family–Arlene, Ceswick, and Joshua–during
the transitions of every stage of my life,” Wright says. “Thank you to Mrs. Dixon for pushing me to my
fullest potential at the ripe age of 11 in 5th grade. And finally, thank you to the Goodnight Scholars
family for the community throughout my years at NC State.”


Talya Ozbelli

B.A. Communication

“NC State showed me the value of inclusion and what it means to have
people on your team, rooting for you.”

A spring graduate of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Talya Ozbelli is honored to be
able to address her fellow graduates as a student commencement speaker. Ozbelli was born in
Manhattan, New York, and soon after moved with her family to Istanbul, Turkey before settling back
in Concord, North Carolina. After finding her way to NC State, Ozbelli is now graduating with a
Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Journalism minor.

Ozbelli enthusiastically took advantage of opportunities on campus, and her heart for the Wolfpack
community led her to become involved with several university departments including Undergraduate
Admissions, University Ambassadors, and Athletics Communications. She also held a writing
position for the university student newspaper, Technician.

Off-campus, Ozbelli has served as a volunteer leader and summer video intern for the Raleigh area
Young Life chapter. She is passionate about digital media, which she views as a powerful tool that
can showcase diversity, create connections with people across the globe, and express our thoughts
and passions to encourage and support others.

Following graduation, Ozbelli hopes to work in the media or entertainment industries in an editing or
post-production capacity. Her previous internships and experiences have shown her how
videography has the ability to break down barriers and build tighter communities. She looks forward
to creating meaningful, inspiring content for people across all walks of life.

“I would like to thank those who have made my college experience truly unforgettable,” says Ozbelli.
“Thank you to Professor Ragan Glover-Rijkse for teaching me that boundaries are limitless within the
media, and Professor Paul Isom for inspiring me to seek truth, justice and grit in every journalistic
piece I write. Thank you to my parents and brother who have heard me cry over the phone several
times over my four years, and told me to persevere anyway. And lastly, to my best friends and
roommates who reminded me every day to be true to myself.”

To the graduating class of 2021: “We are full of possibility and hope and resilience – we must not lose
that, because these are the things that define who we are, and guide our society.”

For more general details regarding the ceremony, visit our page here.