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Graduation Profiles: Olivia Tarpley

Olivia Tarpley is a May 2020 graduate, earning her undergraduate degrees with a double major in History and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and a minor in Anthropology. The Reidsville, NC native will leave UNCG with a co-curricular transcript including serving as SGA Vice President, a Spartan Orientation Staff member, EUC Facility Manager, Peer Academic Leader, Speaking Center Communication Consultant, and a member of the Golden Chain Honor Society and Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society. She was a 2019 – 2020 Spartan of Promise, an award bestowed by the Alumni Association to seniors who have demonstrated exceptional academic and service accomplishments.

I chose to attend UNCG because…

I felt the most comfortable during the campus tour and could see myself making a home at UNCG.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

… getting Tate Street Coffee during breaks in my schedule, running into friends in the EUC, eating lunch with mentors and peers, campus events like I-Fest.

My favorite place to study is…

… Club Jackson (the Library!) I can easily access additional resources and focus on whatever I’m studying!

My favorite professor is…

… every professor I had for my Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies classes! They were all so kind and understanding, they genuinely cared that we were engaged in course material and made adjustments if something wasn’t working for us.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

Enact free tuition nationwide.

What is your passion, and how are you committed to pursuing it?

My passion centers around being in community with others and learning more about the world around me and how I can make a positive impact. I’m committed to pursuing this by furthering my education through a masters program in Washington, D.C.

The one UNCG experience I will always remember will be…

Late night Senate meetings, working to serve students with my peers.

Are there particular Division of Student Affairs offices that have made a significant impact on your time here?

CAP and the EUC!! I loved working with Meredith, William, and Kathleen as SGA VP and as a Facility Manager. All three of these wonderful humans cheered me on, supported me, and believed in me each step of the way.

What does student leader mean to you?

It means following through on the commitments you make to your peers and your organization, collaboratively working with others to tackle problems, and being aware of how your leadership might have an impact in a space, whether positive or negative.

How do you think your campus involvement and student leadership experience has prepared you for life after UNCG?

My campus involvement and student leadership have helped me grow into who I am and to be comfortable applying my strengths for the betterment of the whole.

How would you describe UNCG to a prospective student?

UNCG is the best place to discover who you are. The people have a genuine interest in your success and want to help you reach your goals.

In what ways have you experienced UNCG’s Culture of Care?

I have experiences the Culture of Care in so many ways over my time at UNCG. A recent example is in the the fall of 2019, during the first semester of my senior year, I was really struggling with determining what I wanted to do after graduation. One of my mentors, Coretta Walker, was supportive and helpful as I tried to sort out what graduate programs I was interested in and how my passions fit with those programs. I couldn’t have arrived at my final decision related to graduate school without Coretta.

As your look back on your time at UNCG, what advice would you give to an incoming freshman?

Say “yes” to the opportunities that you’ll have to learn and grow. Whether you’re participating in research, running for president of your student organization, or exploring an unlikely friendship, your time at UNCG is the time to figure out more about who you truly are and what you’re interested in. It might be easy to hang out in your residence hall for days on end, but life outside keeps happening, and you don’t want to miss that.


Graduation Profile: Mohammed Hossain

Mohammed Hossain is a May 2020 graduate, earning his BBA (Marketing) degree from the Bryan School of Business and Economics. While at UNCG, the Dhaka, Bangladesh native has racked up an impressive co-curricular resume, including being a University Marshal, Commuter Senator for SGA, Chancellors Ambassador, and a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Beta Delta. He earned a Bronze Leadership Challenge certificate, Top 5 in the Bryan Gold Challenge, as well as placement on the Chancellors and Deans Lists. He’s served as a Student Assistant for the Division of Student Affairs, Campus Manager for Amazon Prime Student, Cengage Student Ambassador, Marketing Intern at ITG Brands, and Student Success Specialist at GTCC. He’s already secured employment as Brand Marketing Assistant with ITG Brands, and he’s received the Provost Student Excellence Award and the Bryan School Academic Excellence Medal Award.

I chose to attend UNCG because…

It has a great business school with a diverse population of students. I loved the campus, and the environment – it was very peaceful.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

Walking around and talking with students and staff. I have also enjoyed going to the Kaplan Center.

My favorite place to study is…

The Ninth Floor of the Library, as it is a quiet study area with a great view outside the window.

My favorite professor is…

Dr. Yang, as he has guided me throughout my undergrad life to become a great marketer. He is one of my mentors.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

Try to solve equations in my ways.

What is your passion, and how are you committed to pursuing it?

My passion is marketing. I am a marketing major, starting my career in brand marketing. I am also planning to pursue my Masters in marketing to identify different ways to advertise products to consumers. In my spare time, I study any consumer goods around me to see how they are trying to attract me.

The one UNCG experience I will always remember will be…

Standing on the graduation stage with the Chancellor as a University Marshal.

Are there particular Division of Student Affairs offices that have made a significant impact on your time here?

I have learned professionalism in the Division of Student Affairs office, while I worked there as a student. Besides that, the SGA was a great platform where I could show my leadership skills and solve students’ problems in real life.

What does student leader mean to you?

A person who is motivated to bring positive change in the society by solving people’s problems and concerns. They should also help students in their needs and lead them towards the right direction.

How do you think your campus involvement and student leadership experience has prepared you for life after UNCG?

UNCG was the first place for me where I started practicing leadership. I have served in several roles as a student which has helped me stand out of the crowd and achieve a full-time job before graduation. It has boosted my confidence.

How would you describe UNCG to a prospective student?

UNCG is a place where a student can discover themselves. It has all the resources to develop you as a potential candidate in the future. It’s a very diverse community with a willingness to help.

In what ways have you experienced UNCG’s Culture of Care?

I loved the Culture of Care here at UNCG. I always had a helping hand here for solving any problems. When I started my journey at UNCG, I was very new in America. Thus, the professors, staff, and students have shown limitless support to me. They made sure I understood the educational structure and cultural norms of America. It made my migration way easier.

As you look back on your time at UNCG, what advice would you give to an incoming freshman?

I would advise students to explore all the opportunities UNCG offers and utilize them. This will not only help them to secure a job but will make them a better individual.


Student Story: Portia Washington

Portia Washington is a Psychology major, Resident Advisor, and Spartan Guide with an anticipated graduation date of May 2022. The Fayetteville, NC native is a Dean’s Scholarship recipient and a Fall 2019 McNair Scholar. She’s on the Chancellor’s List, and she earned a Bronze Leadership Challenge medallion, and is working on Silver. Her older sister graduated from UNCG 2013.

I chose to attend UNCG because…

It was the most sensible option at the time. I wanted to branch out from my city and the location seemed perfect. The proximity to other colleges and the atmosphere of the city was compelling to me. I chose to stay because I feel supported and uplifted in some way on this campus every day.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

My favorite things to do on campus are attend the ACE events (Spring Fling, Winterfest, etc) and go to the Kaplan Center.

My favorite place to study is…

The lab near the College Avenue entrance in the Library because there are two screens for each computer and its every efficient when I need to dissect research articles or I’m doing work that requires switching tabs because it helps me focus. Also, there’s something encouraging about seeing other students working around you.

My favorite professor is…

Dr. Wiley! He teaches PSY 310: Statistics in Behavioral Science Research and his dedication to helping his students is amazing. It’s evident that he prepares each lesson in depth and is able to make the material relatable enough to keep interest peaked and he utilizes novel resources such as games and quizzes that keeps our attention. He’s agreed to be my faculty mentor for the McNair program, and working with him in the CNSL Psychology Lab is one of the highlights of my coursework at UNCG.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

perform a live speed paint. I’m an artist and I’ve always wanted to do a pageant, but unfortunately not many people would want to watch me paint during the talent portion. So, if I knew I couldn’t fail I would do one of those cool upside-down dramatic paintings that looks amazing when you turn it upright at the end of your performance.

What is your passion, and how are you committed to pursuing it?

I’m extremely passionate about everyone’s voice being heard. I despise being talked over, dismissed, or made to feel unimportant and I can’t stand to watch other people in those predicaments either. I’m studying psychology so I can pursue a career in psycholinguistics and contribute to research on populations that experience language disorders or difficulty with speech. My goal is to continue my dedication to service and advocate for everyone that’s felt overlooked and restore power to those people.

The one UNCG experience I will always remember will be…

The first time I participated in Fried Chicken Wednesday my first year at UNCG. The caf was bustling with people, there were a group of people at the fountain where some Greek organizations were strolling, and I vividly remember the moment I was laughing with my friends that I realized I felt at home.

Are there particular Division of Student Affairs offices that have made a significant impact on your time here?

Since I’ve had the opportunity to be an RA with Housing & Residence Life all the staff there have become people that I respect and appreciate. My supervisors (Briana Welsh and Demarcus Merritt) have been particularly encouraging and I’m grateful to them for their faith in me. All the HRL staff has become a family to me, and I’m excited to continue working with them.

What does student leader mean to you?

In my experience, being a student leader is about encouraging my peers. In all of my positions I’m very transparent about the exact steps I took to get there and the plans I have for the future. My goal as a leader is to make sure all my peers know what opportunities are available to them and how to take advantage of them in their entirety.

How do you think your campus involvement and student leadership experience has prepared you for life after UNCG?

Since being on campus, every club, organization, lecture, and job I’ve been a part of has given me the opportunity to learn from the amazing faculty and staff here. I know that since arriving here my ability to communicate has improved dramatically, whether that be in terms of advocating for myself and other through Housing and Residence Life or learning how to communicate research ideas through the psychology program.

How would you describe UNCG to a prospective student?

When I’m giving a campus tour and I’m asked to describe UNCG’s atmosphere I always say that it’s large enough that you can come out of your door and see someone different every time, but you won’t have to search too long for a familiar face. Being surrounded by peace is very important to me, and when prospective students ask, I always make it clear that this campus feels like home to me and many others, and it’s easy to get comfortable here.

In what ways have you experienced UNCG’s Culture of Care?

When I began my coursework in psychology in 2018, my mother suffered a quite debilitating stroke, and it changed the dynamic of my family drastically. Two of the psychology course I took (cognitive and behavioral psychology) were really difficult for me because the content focused heavily on a lot of the disorders that I’d experienced firsthand with my mother. The faculty for both of those courses and other faculty in general were always very understanding and respectful during discussions and always offered me a chance to share my input. Just having that space meant the world to me and contributed to my ability to cope with being far away from her in a major way.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?

Take advantage of everything this University has to offer. It’s easy to shy away from campus-wide opportunities because of the fear of failure but I believe the hardest part on the road to success if getting over the hurdle of your own doubt.