Some students come to college knowing exactly what their individual goals and ambitions are. Others get involved in as many ways possible — and that’s just what junior Tyler Wintermute has done.
The Broadlands, Va., native has been a member of more than 10 organizations since arriving at UE, making him a classic UE overachiever. But for Tyler, he is just living life the way he wants.
As a triple threat — majoring in environmental science, biology and chemistry — Tyler said he has always been involved in his community. He credits his dad with inspiring him, and believes he owes the world something in return.
Tyler said he knows he can get the job done no matter the situation, so when positions need to be filled, he quickly volunteers. As an Eagle Scout, that seems to be Tyler’s attitude about most things, especially when it concerns the environment.
“I actually accomplished things instead of just hanging out and being in an organization,” Tyler said.
Anyone who knows Tyler knows that the environment is his priority. He has previously served as president of the Environmental Concerns Organization, spearheaded a petition drive last spring to get support for a campus-composting program and this semster is conducting research and working in the McCarty Greenhouse. With more than 600 signatures, Tyler presented his composting idea to UE and the result was the Environmental Sustainability Task Force, a committee approved by President Tom Kazee.
“I asked myself, how can I have the biggest impact on other people’s lives and sustainability was the answer,” Tyler said.
While many organizations have benefitted from Tyler’s participation, he said the benefits are mutual. Since coming to UE and getting involved he said he has become more outgoing and learned to push himself to reach new heights.
Participating in a GAP course on alternative energy showed Tyler that he isn’t just some guy sitting in a classroom all day. His team was able to get the Carver Community Organization’s Neighborhood Center, a nonprofit center that provides youth programming, a grant of $90,000 to make its facilities environmentally friendly.
The GAP team received the 2016 Diversity and Inclusion at Work Award from the Office of Diversity Initiatives for its efforts and Tyler discovered he could make a real difference in the world.
“Even though we still feel like kids, we still have the opportunity to have the same impact,” Tyler said. “We just have to realize we are capable of doing this.”
Although there are people who don’t believe climate change is real, Tyler keeps trying to convince people otherwise. And not only has he taken on many environmental causes, he has also gotten involved on campus in other ways. He is a Moore Hall resident assistant, Student Congress parliamentarian and RSA president, where he is also a member of the Sustainability Task Force.
Tyler said he is always looking to get more involved and have a bigger impact on campus and the environment.
“I want to make sure I can help others and be who I am and be successful in what I do,” he said.