Wingate Faces

Leanne (Bell) Sheik '03

Written by Kellen Williams
Marketing & Communications Intern

When Leanne (Bell) Sheik was a freshman at Wingate University in 1999, the school wasn’t completely new to her. Her parents had gone to Wingate College as members of the 1970 graduating classes. From one generation to the next, the family watched Wingate grow from a 2-year college to a 4-year university. Sheik also watched Wingate evolve from an education to a career, when she began working for Student Affairs (now Student Life) after graduation. Through the changes in the school and her perspective, she always loved and knew Wingate as a family.

After working in Student Affairs for over two years, Sheik left Wingate. With her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, she had hoped to eventually go on to be a counselor. In order to pursue that dream, she took a break from Wingate and later went on to graduate school through Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. With graduation in May 2014, Sheik has decided to come back to Wingate for a clinical internship. This time, however, it feels like a completely new school.

“I’ve only been gone for seven years,” Sheik said. “I was overwhelmed my first week back; I kept asking questions.” In the seven years she was gone, Wingate changed a great deal with its appearance and its counseling services. Though it was overwhelming, Sheik admitted, “it’s incredible.”

Through studying abroad and her involvement in Greek Life, Campus Outreach and various music programs as a student, Student Affairs as a staff member and Counseling Services as an intern, Sheik agrees with Wingate’s message. “Education isn’t just the classroom; it’s everything you participate in.” All in all, “I love the community and I love the people,” she said. “Even after all this time, it still feels like a family.”