Gaston College SGA President Tyazia D. Herring will pursue higher education and a career in counseling
Tyazia D. Herring is the current president of the Student Government Association at Gaston College. Her term of office will end with her graduation in May. She enrolled in the College in January 2019, took 15 to 18 credit hours each semester, and will graduate with an Associate in Arts degree.
After graduation, Herring plans to transfer to a four-year university — her first choice is North Carolina Central University — to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology and then a master’s in counseling. “This past year, I’ve fallen completely in love with psychology, thanks to Lori Metcalf and Sherry Sherrill,” said Herring. Metcalf is the Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences and a Psychology Instructor, and Sherrill is also a Psychology Instructor. “I want a career as a counselor because I believe it takes a village. Without guidance I wouldn’t have made it to where I am now. I am forever grateful that Gaston College has created such an amazing atmosphere of listening ears. I want to be of service to others.”
Herring is participating in the 2019-2020 North Carolina Community College Student Leadership Development Program, which enhances leadership quality for community college students and increases their knowledge of soft skills to prepare them for professional and civic responsibilities. “The program has changed my outlook on comfortability,” said Herring. “I created lifelong friends, gained resources to help me become a servant leader and enough fuel to light the fire in me.”
A resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, Herring is a full-time mother to her son Tristan, a full-time employee at Novant Health, and a full-time student at Gaston College. Despite the demands on her time, she took on the position of SGA President with the encouragement of Renita Johnson, the Director of Student Activities and Special Projects at Gaston College. “Becoming SGA President meant the world to me. I never thought I’d have time to commit to the role,” she said. “Ms. Renita’s support and offer of guidance were all I needed to have the confidence to become President.”
Her goal as SGA President has been to engage non-traditional students and show them that they have the wherewithal to succeed. “Working with the other executive board and senate members has been the highlight of my tenure as President,” she said. “I want to personally thank each of them for being the best team I could have ever asked for. All of them possess traits that held the SGA together as a positive, proactive entity. I couldn’t be who I am today without them.”
“We sometimes hear that when you’re in college, you are on your own,” said Herring. “At Gaston College, you have every person in your corner that you may need. I’ve never been around so many professional people who are committed to being the absolute best. Every single staff member, including faculty, has been invested in seeing me grow as a student. I never felt alone.”
In addition to expressing her appreciation for her fellow SGA board members, Herring extends her gratitude for the support and encouragement she was given by the Gaston College community, including the Board of Trustees; Gaston College President Dr. Patricia Skinner, who retired in February; Renita Johnson and Tanisha Williams, Assistant Director of Admissions and Educational Partnerships; and the Registrar’s Office, Financial Aid, Counseling, and Transfer Advising staff.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Gaston College as it has the rest of the world, and the final months of Herring’s tenure as SGA President are proving to be vastly different than she could have envisioned. “I was recently having a conversation with Amy Bridges, my Anatomy and Physiology Instructor, and she reminded me of a passage from the Bible, Luke 1:37. It says, ‘For with God, nothing shall be impossible.’ That belief,” said Herring, “is what has helped me cope with this trying time. If I had one thing to tell students, it would be that no one can say that we didn’t get through this. We did this.”
About Gaston College
Gaston College is one of 58 community colleges in the North Carolina Community College System. Serving both Gaston and Lincoln counties, Gaston College enrolls approximately 8,000 students each term in curriculum programs and averages over 17,000 annually in its Economic and Workforce Development and Continuing Education programs. Gaston College offers over 100 fields of study to obtain a degree, diploma or certificate. To learn more about the College’s services and programs, visit the Gaston College website at www.gaston.edu.
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