We Are the Class of 2020 Telling our story, one graduate at a time.

Tyler Young holding a teal Seahawk flag

May 1, 2020

Tyler Young '18, '20 M.Ed. will miss many things about his years at UNCW, but none more than the Upperman African American Cultural Center, his “family space.” Young, who is completing his M.Ed. in higher education, has been a graduate assistant in the center since August 2018 and spent much of his time on campus.

“Pretty much all of the time that I was on the main part of campus and wasn't in class was spent there socializing, doing homework or engaging with student organizations,” said Young, who served as a peer mentor during his undergraduate years and was president of the Black Student Union. “I made a lot of great friends there. Upperman's programming and student organizations gave me opportunities to develop professionally, study with peers and come across other needed resources.”

In his role as graduate assistant, Young oversees the Excellence Project, a mentorship program that provides peer academic support, cultural experiences and extracurricular activities. 

“The Upperman Center has been an integral part of my experience at UNCW for years,” he said. “Students and staff have come and gone, but I'll miss them all, and I'll miss the family space.”

Young earned his undergraduate degree in communication studies with a journalism minor. As an undergraduate, he was awarded the Dr. Lynne Reeder and Dr. Earl Sheridan Merit Scholarship. 

His favorite experience as a graduate student was a two-week internship at Maynooth University in Ireland in October 2019. While there, he got lost in Dublin for a couple of hours, but the self-described introvert said he “met some fantastic people, so it turned out all right.”

Young is currently seeking work in diversity offices at various universities but is also open to other opportunities that may present themselves. Regardless, his goal is to continue working with underserved and diverse populations. As a mentor and a departing student, he has some advice for current and future Seahawks:

“Take your time. There's a lot of pressure on us to constantly be moving and producing, but don't neglect taking time to reflect and make sure that you're comfortable with the course you're taking. Take time to listen to advisors – and I mean really listen.”

-- Tricia Vance

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PHOTO COURTESY OF TYLER YOUNG '18, '20 M.Ed.