I'm planning to do several things, says sophomore Mark Tyler, a
Humanities Scholar, of his double major in history and education.
"One reason I chose to major in education is because you're not
restricted to just teaching," says Tyler. "There are a lot of people with
a teaching certificate who go well beyond the classroom. Take, for
"I do have an interest in the field," he adds.
In the fifth grade he remembers friendly arguments with friends during
the presidential election. "They were Dukakis supporters," he recalls. "I
was for Bush."
And as he grew older he was inspired by the notion that one could change
and improve things for the better through the political process. He
remains committed to that idea.
In high school, Tyler was a member of the Executive Board for the
Maryland Association of Student Councils and president and secretary of
the Southern Eastern Shore Association of Student Councils, among
countless other activities, including drama. He was also a Board of
Education student alternate, a News Election Service pollster, and worked
on the election campaign for Helen Bentley, the Republican candidate for
governor. And more recently he made a bid to be a delegate at the
Republican National Convention. He didn't make it. But he wasn't too
"There's only so much an 18-year-old can do," he says.
Last summer, he became involved as a volunteer in the renovation and
restoration of one of the last remaining art deco theaters on Maryland's
Eastern Shore and also worked on a grant application to establish a
revolving loan for businesses and property owners in downtown Pocomoke,
"Both projects were interconnected," he says. "The Mar-Va was the only
movie theater downtown. Suddenly its boiler breaks down and they can't
afford the repairs. So, they close down. And the economy in downtown is
not looking good anyway. Perhaps the revolving loan can be a potential
This summer, Tyler plans to intern for the Maryland History Day project,
a high school competition in which students present historical research
of their own. "I am hoping to have this program included within the
curriculum for social studies on the Lower Shore," he says, with great
Actively involved at UMBC with the Student Senate, Tyler says that the
moment he set foot on campus, "I felt like I was home and I knew that
this is where I was going to college."
He especially values the Humanities Scholars Program, "because it's a
recognition of individual motivation and leadership. It requires a
certain well-roundedness, someone like myself who is interested in
several topics - history, education, and politics."
"I look forward to getting out there," he adds, "and being the one
coaching and saying, let's change this or do this a little differently
than before. I want to make a difference."
Some would say he already has.