Meet this Year's D.E.S.K. Co-Chairs: Lauren Formica and Ashton Caudle

Name: Lauren Formica

Year: Senior

Hometown: Marietta, Ga.

Major: Economics
Favorite Food: Spaghetti
Name: Ashton Caudle

Year: Junior

Hometown: Hickory, N.C
Major/Minor: History (pre-veterinary) with a double minor in biology and chemistry
Favorite Food: Buffalo chicken dip


*Photo courtesy of Tori Boyle

HC (Her Campus): What are you involved with on campus?
LF (Lauren Formica): I’m the co-chair of Volunteer Service Corps, the President of Woof Forest, a member of the Society of Economic Students, and one of the co-chairs for D.E.S.K., among other things. 

AC (Ashton Caudle): I’m the incoming Best Buddies PR Director for next year, the Vice President of Civic Engagement for the Panhellenic Council, a writer for WFU Style, and the other co-chair of D.E.S.K. 
HC: So Lauren, you’re a senior! What are you doing next year?

LF: That’s the magical question, isn’t it? (laughs). I’m going to be a program coordinator for the Global Program and Studies here at Wake. I love Winston-Salem and the people I’m working with, so that’s a big plus. 
HC: What are you both looking forward to in these last few weeks?

AC: I’m very excited for D.E.S.K. We found out we got Kindergarteners, and they’re so fun.

LF: Well, I’m graduating. The tunnels is a big one ... I need to get to that. 
HC: Any passions and hobbies?

LF: I’m a big traveler. That’s probably my number one hobby and passion; I love experiencing the world in as many places as I can. 

AC: I love interior design -- I have an internship with a designer this summer, and I obviously love animals. I work at the primate center here at Wake. [I also love] fashion, which is why I’m a part of WFU Style.  
HC: What do you wish you could be doing right now?

LF: Sleeping. No, I wish it was warmer, and I could be laying on the quad.

AC: …And eating cheese. 

LF: I’m a big reader, too.
HC: Lauren, how would you describe Ashton, and Ashton, how would you describe Lauren?

LF: Oh gosh. I don’t say this often, and I mean it, so get ready to get embarrassed… Ashton is one of the hardest working people. Whatever needs to get done, she gets it done -- there are a lot of people who take a lot of things and do it okay, but she takes a lot on and does it really well. And she’s funny! She keeps a light sense of humor.

AC: I was going to say the same thing about you! (laughs). She’s involved in so much. Lauren is also so hardworking. We probably need to slow it down. I feel like if we had our own non-profit, it would be amazing, but we wouldn’t be able to decide what the cause would be, since we’re a part of so much. 
HC: Tell me a little bit more about D.E.S.K.!

AC: It was started 15 years ago. It’s an annual philanthropy event where 50 students from elementary schools, mainly Old Town Elementary because of its proximity, get selected to be a part of a Wake Forest team that paints a desk for them. They come on campus for a day to just have fun -- there’s Brynn’s, the Demon Deacon mascot, puppies, and pizza. It’s a lot of fun. 

LF: It was on April 19th from 3:00-7:00 PM on Poteat Field. 
HC: How did you both get involved?

LF: We’ve both been doing it for the past three years. For me, I was a committee member my sophomore year, a co-chair of the fundraising committee my junior year, and now a co-chair of the [entire] event this year. 

AC: I remember I just came across it one day. Some of my guy friends had a team for their organization, and I walked by and it looked like they needed some help (laughs). The following year I was a co-chair for event planning, and this year I’m also the co-chair for the [entire] event. 
HC: How do you both work together and complement each other?

AC: We finish each other’s sentences (laughs). No... Lauren worked more with fundraising and I was more event planning.

LF: …And then it kind of molded together at the end. Our timelines was good, and our advisor was really amazing.
HC: What does this event mean for the kids?

LF: D.E.S.K started with a conversation about how kids who had a lot of support in the home -- and who had their own space within their home to do homework and study -- do better in school. We also started a new program this year where you can sponsor s child for $10, which includes a canvas with school supplies, including notebooks, folders, and books.  
HC: Why should people get involved?

AC: This year we’ve had a ton of teams on the wait list. We had a pre-party before the event. There was cookie decorating and other fun events. We try to line them up, but the kids are so excited. It’s so great to see their smiles when they see who will be decorating their desks. 

LF: It was a beautiful day; hanging out with kids is a great time. No matter what, the kids want something cool, but they’re also there to hang out with you more so than anything else.

AC: Personally, I love kids. It’s a great stress reliever, too. 
HC: Why do you continue to be a part of D.E.S.K.?

LF: I just carved out a time in my spring schedule for D.E.S.K. It was always something I knew I was going to be a part of.  I’ve always enjoyed the people in it, and it provides me with something that many students need while encouraging study habits, which I’m all about. It promotes education in a different way. 

AC: Yeah. It’s not something you always see. I was thinking about how, when you come to Wake, you’re assigned a desk [in your dorm room]. I rarely use mine because we have a library, two Starbucks, and a business school. But it really makes you think about the implications of what you’re doing to help. That’s what makes me come back every year. 
HC: Finally, any advice you’d like to share? 

AC: Pick a few things and stick with them. And take the time to relax.

LF: I think there’s something to be said for selecting the things you have a passion for and having a full and deep understanding of those issues, areas, whatever it might be, because that makes you a more holistic person and gives you some depth, which is very important.
HC: Parting thoughts?

LF: Go D.E.S.K.!

AC: The theme was Inside Out, [a movie] which talks about mental health in young people, which is a very important issue.