We are so proud to have chosen Tyree Boyd-Pates as the 2017 Alumni Rising Runner for the School of Arts & Humanities and feel very excited to profile him on our blog.
Tyree received a BA in Communications with a minor in African American Studies from CSUB and followed up with a Master's in Pan-African Studies from Temple University. He is currently a professor of African American Studies at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Find out more about him by visiting his website.
How did your experiences at CSUB help you find your first position after graduation?
My experiences at CSUB prepared & taught me the power of possibility At CSUB I served as an outreach ambassador to K-12 students who sought to come to college. Those experiences working in that office taught the necessity of service and giving back to those who thought they couldn't make it to a four year university. And because of those experiences, I apply that same way of thinking to the communities I serve and showing them that they too can do the same.
What career advice would you give our students?
The first piece of career advice I'd give to CSUB students would be to "Trust the Process." Upon graduation, one can either be overwhelmed with possibilities of job prospects or underwhelmed, and yet one should still continue to put their best foot forward and to remain steadfast in their career choice. When one door closes, another soon opens.
I'd also encourage that they diversify their skill sets and embrace their digital capabilities and create ventures for themselves. You have no idea how attractive it is to employers when you can bring that to the table.
How did you decide to pursue the career that you are working in today? Was there a pivotal moment?
The pivotal moment for me was when I went to South Africa in 2009. It was there that I learned how vital it was for me to build upon understanding of my heritage and culture. Afterward, I made a commitment to unearth all I could to become proficient and promote diversity and equality from my own cultural reference points.
What do you attribute your success to?
Ultimately, I attribute my success to God and those within my community who have tirelessly poured their time and resources in seeing me soar.
How do you foster creative and innovative thinking within your organization?
I foster creative thinking by not believing in limitations. There are no glass ceilings. Only windows. Jump out and just do it. The institution will thank you later when it becomes a success.
Who is a person that you considered as a role model early in your life?
Seeing that I didn't have many positive male role models, I was forced to look into History books to find Black figures to look up. Of which, were Frederick Douglass, George Washington Carver, and Martin Luther King Jr. And after hearing about them, I began to adopt their most favorable qualities and imitate them.
Which accomplishment are you most proud of?
The accomplishment I am most proud of was when I was invited to the White House last October for the South By South Lawn festival. While there, I was able to shake President Barack Obama's hand. And it was that moment that I realized how nothing was in my way if I continued to apply myself to the work that I've been privileged to do.
Where do you expect to be in five years both personally and professionally?
In the next 5 years I expect to be doing what I doing, but on an even broader scale.