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Meet Tiwaniya Tyler ’24 With medical school on the horizon, Tyler embraces many opportunities such as research fellowship, studying abroad and sorority life.

T-Tyler-600x400 Meet Tiwaniya Tyler ’24

Tiwaniya Tyler ’24
Hometown: Greenville, Mississippi
Major: Biochemistry (pre-medicine)

 Why did you choose to come to W&L?
Aside from receiving a full-ride scholarship, I accepted my offer to W&L because I valued the idea of receiving a liberal arts education. As a teenager, I was interested in learning various subjects like art, history and the vast majority of the sciences. During my time here, I’ve been able to explore all of these areas without much restriction, and I don’t think I could’ve gotten that option anywhere else!

Have you discovered a course or topic that you didn’t expect to study when you first came to W&L?
Prior to coming to W&L, I would’ve never expected to grow a love and passion for literature. After completing my writing requirement in Gothic literature with Associate Professor of English Taylor Walle, I became obsessed with reading and analyzing books. Professor Walle’s class taught me how to think beyond the text and relate themes to modern day life. Now I read books in all genres in my leisure.

Where is your “home” on campus?
I’ve found home in the affinity groups on campus. The most prominent place is within my membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Tau Zeta Chapter. My sisters and I have so many fond memories together from serving our community, complex planning, sisterly bonding activities and so much more. On days where the academic and social demands are overwhelming, they are usually the first people I run to in order to relieve stress. I’ve never been surrounded by a group of such dependable, smart and empathetic women!

Who is your mentor on campus?
I’m so grateful to have found several different mentors on campus like Provost Lena Hill, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Erin Gray, Associate Professor of Chemistry Kyle Friend and Assistant Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Science Ryan Brindle. They have all molded me into the student I am today through different areas such as research, chemistry classes and community engagement. The most important thing in our mentor-mentee relationships is the ability to ask for help. I’ve always been the student who was too shy to ask questions, but these professors have taken time to encourage me to be confident and help me formulate good questions.

Have you studied abroad during your time at W&L? Where did you go, and how was your experience?
In spring of 2022, I traveled to Paris for the “Black Writers and the Allure of Paris” Spring Term Abroad course with Provost Hill and Professor Michael Hill. Not only was I able to expand my knowledge of American history by delving into topics of black culture, but I was also able to learn about the black experience in Europe prior to World War II. The course was packed with experiential learning through fun walking tours and tourist visits so that we could immerse ourselves in Parisian life. Outside of our mandatory meetings, my classmates and I would sightsee and try as many cafes and restaurants as possible! My favorite part of the class was being able to go to Disneyland Paris and to visit Cassis, France.

How have your experiences at W&L prepared you for post-graduate success?
I’ve been able to learn most of the fundamental concepts of medicine through my courses in my biochemistry major. However, another formative part of my education has been my ability to conduct research in the Sleep and Stress Psychophysiology Lab run by Professor Brindle. As a two-year Research Fellow, I’ve been able to run a human study in the summer and work on writing papers for publication during the year. Learning how to be precise when following a protocol and analyzing data has proven to be very helpful in my upper-level science courses and labs. After graduation, I will be starting medical school! Research is critical to a career in medicine, and Professor Brindle has primed me with the skills I need to answer my own questions some day as a physician.