With his 4.0 GPA, Southward was on the president’s list each semester. He was named the Gaston College Arts and Science Student of the Year for 2020. He also completed the college’s Scholars of Global Distinction program, which prepares students to be culturally competent global citizens in an increasingly global job market. Through the program, Southward visited the Netherlands, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Ireland and Estonia.
“I wanted to participate in the program,” he said, “because it offered the opportunity to extend my learning beyond the classroom and into the world.”
Brian Bookout, an instructor of history and sociology and chairman of the Global Imprints Team, recently lauded Southward’s efforts.
“Aside from being a great student in the classroom,” said Bookout, “Tyler is one of the most inquisitive students we have had, and I always saw him in deep conversation with various faculty members about life, careers and educational opportunities. He is an excellent example to current and future students of the possibilities that life holds. Furthermore, his educational experience helps highlight the quality of the faculty and programs at Gaston College and what can be accomplished here.”
The doubts that Southward had regarding his ability to succeed in an academic setting receded with each successful semester at Gaston College.
“I was able to thrive on the support of my professors and peers,” he said. “I learned that community support can enable a person to flourish more than individual effort alone. Along the way, my professors illuminated previously unseen opportunities by expressing confidence in my potential, and my peers helped me learn more effectively by participating in group study sessions.”
Southward will soon attend North Carolina State University as a participant in the prestigious Goodnight Scholars Program, which prepares North Carolina’s top STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) talent to become transformational leaders. He will major in statistics, and he plans to go on to earn a master of science degree. His career goal is to work as a data analyst in the Research Triangle area.
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