Two Poole College Seniors Among Those Recognized for Outstanding Student Leadership
Two Poole College seniors, Hunter Davis and Tyrek Shepard, were among those receiving an NC State Alumni Association’s 2017 Mathews Medal in recognition of their outstanding work as student leaders. The award, administered by the Alumni Association Student Ambassador Program, recognizes seniors who have made significant contributions to the university. The medals were presented at a ceremony April 26 at the Park Alumni Center.
The Mathews Medal, named after the first student enrolled at NC State, has been awarded to 45 students since the recognition was established in 2006. The award honors graduating seniors who have served NC State as student leaders and have created a lasting legacy that leaves NC State a better place because of their commitment.
During his student years at NC State, Davis created two sustainable nonprofit organizations. He founded a Consult Your Community chapter in the Poole College of Management which provides pro-bono consulting services to companies in the area and teaches students valuable problem-solving skills. Also, the loss of his father to cancer influenced Davis to found and direct the NC State chapter of Camp Kesem, which supports children who have lost a parent to cancer.
A year ago, Davis moved NC State’s Camp Kesem from a dream to a reality, raising more than $42,000, involving 40 NC State student leaders and giving 36 children a week of summer camp where they could focus on being kids again. Now in its second year, the camp is already on its way to raising $80,000 and doubling the number of children supported.
“Hunter’s passion for this cause is truly inspirational and is even more touching knowing that it is rooted in his father’s death due to cancer,” said Tracy Freeman, teaching assistant professor of supply chain management in Poole College and the NC State Camp Kesem chapter’s advisor. “Hunter’s ‘change the world’ mentality is contagious and will leave NC State well positioned to carry on this important and meaningful work.”
“NC State and the Poole College of Management have changed my life, so the least I can do is give a little back in return,” Hunter said.
Shepard’s NC State legacy is one of dedication to issues of inclusion and diversity. As a Caldwell Fellow, he has made a commitment to servant leadership that has led him to make an impact in Residence Life, Student Government, the Poole College of Management, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha. As president of the W.E.B. DuBois Honor Society, Shepard revived the failing NC State chapter and increased membership by almost 100 percent.
“In this challenging time in our country of heightened discrimination, labeling and fear of difference, Tyrek carries a presence and capacity for leadership for us to celebrate,” said Dr. Janice Odom, director of the Caldwell Fellows. “Tyrek’s bridge-building and impact at NC State has made us a better community.”
Shepard said, “Receiving this honor has been an amazing experience, but I could not have made any of my contributions to this university without my great support systems. I am thankful for my family, friends, the campus community, and the Poole College of Management.”
“One of the best parts of my job is the opportunity to engage with our students and gain a sense of how they’ve grown academically, personally and professionally during their time in Poole,” said Tamah Morant, associate dean for undergraduate programs at Poole College.
“Tyrek and Hunter are both incredibly talented individuals who have taken the time, in addition to being stellar students, to immerse themselves in the university and college. The work they’ve done in Poole College, across campus and in the greater community exemplifies NC State’s Think and Do attitude. We are extremely proud of them,” Morant said.
Davis is graduating this May with his bachelor’s degree in business administration, a concentration in operations/supply chain management and a minor in economics. Shepard is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a government/nonprofit concentration.
Featured photo: Receiving Mathews Medals this year were, left to right, Justin Rigdon, Hunter Davis, Mary Chamblee, and Tyrek Shepard. Photo by Renee Sprink.
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