Tishera Owens standing in front of a statue on UNCW campus

November 1, 2022

Tishera Owens '24 has taken on multiple roles at UNCW to support fellow Seahawks, including president of the Black Student Union and a DubRai$er supervisor. She became actively involved in both organizations as a freshman. 

"My involvement with the Black Student Union allowed me to have hard conversations with people to create change not only on campus but in other individuals' lives and for myself," said Owens. "It allowed me to grow as a leader by vocalizing my opinions more and considering other thoughts more effectively. It impacted my experience as a student by allowing me to be a part of a community that supports me mentally, emotionally and academically."

The Black Student Union strives to improve the general welfare and race relations of Black students on campus, said Owens, a psychology major and Africana studies minor. The student organization accomplishes this through social, financial and educational programs. The BSU also ensures Black students are "comfortable in the space they occupy," Owens added. 

"I want each Black student to view their authentic self as beautiful and being unapologetic about who they are no matter who they surround themselves with," said Owens, a native of Fayetteville, NC. "I want Black students to prioritize themselves in all aspects of life.

As a UNCW DubRai$er, Owens serves as an ambassador for the university. She is among a team of students who connect with alumni, share campus updates, thank donors for their support, and assist with raising funds for scholarships and programs.

"This job is important because the ambassadors' connections with alumni are crucial to having a high participating alumni community," she said. "Also, gifts that support students allow the university to grow and improve."

In 2022, Owens became a Chancellor's Student Advisory Council member. The council meets with the chancellor to discuss issues important to students. 

"I am grateful to be a part of a conversation that voices concerns for the Black community at UNCW and allows me to receive immediate feedback," said Owens. "Being a part of this council is teaching me so much about UNCW, the university's future, and how I can improve the status for incoming students a year, five years, and ten years from now.”

Owen hopes her work at UNCW will help "create a space where everyone is happy to be here and a sense of belongingness," she said. 

If Owens could give fellow Seahawks advice, she would remind them that college is a time to grow and track their accomplishments.

"Don't get sidetracked comparing your journey to someone else's because it does not benefit you in the long run," she said. "Patience, dedication and hard work at your own pace will define your success in college."

-- Venita Jenkins