Upperman African American Cultural Center


_MG_9473.JPGTyler Young
Upperman Graduate Fellow

Tyler Young serves as the Upperman Center Graduate Fellow and interim Coordinator for the Excellence Project. A 2018 UNCW Alum, he is currently a candidate in the Masters in Higher Education program. Eager to apply his experiences as a student of color at UNCW to his position with a spirit of excellence. A devoted movie buff, he enjoys spending his free time watching films and immersing himself in the local film community through volunteering in festivals and participating in clubs such as the Flicker Film Society and the Reel Teal Film Festival.current-peer-mentors.jpg


Name: Stephanie De Leon
Major: Criminology and Sociology
Year: Senior 
Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Stephanie, a second-year peer mentor for the Excellence Project and Lead Mentor, strives to inspire her fellow classmates with her vibrant attitude and intense desire to raise the spirit of the UNCW community. In the near future, she aims to empower adolescents through her efforts as a youth worker. Stephanie’s involvements include UNCW’s Sociology and Criminology Club and the Black Student Union. She also holds the position as Treasurer for UNCW’s NAACP Chapter. Her love for traveling stems from her appreciation for distinct communities and experiences. She prides herself on her diverse background and ability to form genuine relationships amongst all communities.

Advice for New Students: Your college experience is mostly dependent on your attitude. Try to remain positive by replacing “I have to” with “I get to.”

43-DSC_0288.jpgName: Zachary Ormond
Major: Exercise Science 
Year: Senior
Hometown: Durham, NC 

Zac is a third-year peer mentor looking to better the black excellence program through leadership and brotherhood. Zac dreams of being a Physical Therapist and is involved in the pre-Physical Therapy club and works at the student recreation center. He loves sports, exercise, and playing club volleyball for UNCW. Most mornings and afternoons you can catch him at the gym or on the fields if not in the library or Upperman Center. Zac would love to talk about who he thinks the best soccer player in the world is... as long as you don’t say Ronaldo.


Advice for New Students: Don’t wait to find the things you love to do and the places you love to be on campus!


Name: Bailee Wright
Major: Public Health; Pre-Clinical
Year: Sophmore
Hometown: Durham, NC

Bailee is a first-year mentor with the Excellence Project. She is also a member of the Black Woman's Association and MAPS. She loves music, shopping, getting tattoos, and sneakers. She is also very intelligent and aspires to be a Neurosurgeon one day.


Advice for New Students: Get involved and make sure to have fun while your here!


Name: Ashlee Fleming
Major: Pscyhology
Year: Sophmore
Hometown: Jacksonville/Duplin County

Ashlee is a first year peer mentor in the Excellence Project. She tries to utilize her various connections and pursuits to include and encourage others looking to find community. While at UNCW, Ashlee has thus far been involved in Black Student Union, Executive Board for Black Women's Association, Rhyme 'N' Reason, and apart of the RISE Learning Community. Additionally, Ashlee currently serves as Vice President for a multicultural organization called Cultures Unidos. Besides doing homework, she loves eating, bopping to good music, reading, and writing. 


Advice for New Students: Always carry an umbrella. Even if you don't think it's going to rain, carry it anyway. 


Name: NaKya Farrar
Major: Chemistry
Year: Junior
Hometown: Cary, NC

NaKya Farrar is a second-year peer mentor for the Excellence Project. She is majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Africana studies. I hope to one day have my own skin care and cosmetic line. She loves to laugh so anything involving comedy is her cup of tea. She also enjoys going to the beach, spending time with family and friends, and savoring a considerable amount of cheesecake.


Advice for New Students: Learn about yourself. You’re embarking on a fresh path in life and you should be willing to continue learning and growing. You don’t need to know everything right away; meet new people, try new things, and grow your mind. 


Name: Toenasia Roberson
Major: Biology and International Studies
Year: Sophmore
Hometown: Washington, NC

Toneasia is serving as a first year peer mentor in the Excellence Project. Toneasia tries to utilize her passion for people and the community by being apart of the excellence project. She has been involved in several other organizations including being apart of MAPs, BSU, UNCWeekends, and being the treasurer of BWA, A peer mentor and the President of Cultures Unidos. Outside of schoolwork, Toneasia loves to read, watch different TV shows and movies and learn a myriad of fun facts.  

Advice for New Students: Have fun but don't procrastinate on getting your work done.



Name: Daisy Spiva
Major: Political Science and Philosophy
Year: Sophmore
Hometown: Columbia, SC

Daisy is serving as a first year peer mentor in the Excellence Project. From compassion to creativity, she hopes that her skill set encourages others to not only find and better themselves but also be capable of helping others do the same. She is involved with the Creative Arts Club as their social media director and is the founding Active Minds chair for the new National Society of Collegiate Scholars chapter. Her hobbies include drawing portraits, writing poetry, and listening to music, especially 90s R&B.

Advice for New Students: This is one of the most opportune times in your life to discover every facet of your existence and entity. The most important thing is to be willing; willing to learn, work, grow, lead, hope, and dream to better understand the world around you and your unique place in it.



Name: Nathalie McCall
Major: Psychology
Year: Senior
Hometown: Kinston, NC

Nathalie is serving as a first-year peer mentor in the Excellence Project. Nathalie has always been determined to use her leadership skills to advocate for others. She continues to use her voice in other organizations on campus for minority groups such as those affected by mental illnesses as the President of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and interpersonal violence as a Peer Coordinator in CARE (Collaboration for Assault Response Education). Nathalie also will be working on the Dean’s Advisory Council this academic year as well as working within a Forensic Psychology lab for Dr. Myers. Aside from being active on campus, she’ll be somewhere hanging out with friends, making others laugh, watching old cartoons, or practicing her poetry skills. Nathalie also enjoys encouraging others to be all that they can be and giving out positive affirmations; so, if you see her in public, make sure to say hello!

Advice for New Students: Remember to know your limits and practice being mindful of your mind and body as you challenge yourself for personal growth. Mental health definitely matters, and you must “nourish in order to flourish.” Lastly, take advantage of this campus and all the resources that you’re paying for within your tuition.



Name: Mary Hull
Major: Communication Studies
Year: Sophmore
Hometown: Maywood, NJ

Mary is serving as a first year peer mentor in the Excellence Project. Mary combines her love of media and public speaking to pursue a number of different passions on UNCW's campus. She is the Diversity Chair for Student Ambassadors, where she gives tours on campus and hosts a week long diversity celebration each spring known as DIVE IN Week. She is also an executive producer for TealTV's political satire show, With the Facts. For fun, Mary likes to watch television, movies and YouTube videos

Advice for New Students: Remember that it is ok to fail! College is all about trying new things and discovering things outside of your comfort zone so don't be too hard on yourself if you aren't the best at everything you try. 



Dwayne.JPGName: Dwayne Altman-Leach
Major: Accounting
Year: Junior 
Hometown: Lumberton/Durham

​Dwayne is serving as a first year peer mentor. He loves meeting new people and feel as if he can get along with everybody (It takes alot to make him frustrated.) He uses his work ethic in order to inspire others to do the same, and expect that others match his pace if they are involved in the same groups. He is involved in other organizations such as SGA, Irish Dance, current chapter president for Alpha Phi Alpha and a member of UNCW's NPHC. Some of the things he does for fun include rollerblading, playing video games and reading.

Advice for New Students: Try new things, prioritize grades over parties, don't take notes using your camera or laptop as you are statistically more likely to remember things you write. UNCW Life is what you make of it; you can either stay in your room all day or you can go out and join clubs, hang out at the Upperman, and get involved with the community with groups such as SGA, BSU, and RHA.