Not all students trade in the classroom for a professional gig when they graduate from Eastern Washington University. For last year’s ASEWU President Dante Tyler, dual degrees in communication studies and political science helped him gain acceptance to a top-rated law school. Tyler started at the University of Washington School of Law this fall.

Tyler, who grew up in the Tri-Cities, considered UW for his undergraduate degree as well, but opted for EWU thanks to the track and field team and his gut feeling that Eastern was a better fit. “Part of the decision was money,” he says. “But it was also that I really enjoyed the community. You aren’t just a face in a crowd at EWU.”

A love of student government fueled Tyler’s passion to be involved at Eastern right away. A student-athlete on the track and field team, Tyler was also actively involved in the Residence Hall Association, even serving as president his first year. And as a student body president during high school, it was a no-brainer for Tyler to run for ASEWU president in the spring of 2018.

“It was really awesome when I won,” says Tyler, but also emphasizes that his drive to serve is about a lot more than winning. “It was really nice to get to know the university and get to help a lot of people. I’m really going to miss it.”

Tyler says he is also going to miss the sense of community at Eastern. Without the relationships he formed here, he might not have gotten into law school. Tyler says every professor he asked for a letter of recommendation came through for him, and the EWU Career Center was crucial in taking the time to help Tyler write his personal statement for the application.

Involvement in student government, as well as passionate professors in communication studies and political science at EWU, no doubt played a big part in shaping Tyler’s future career aspirations. “My goal is to do something that is going to help the community,” he says. “It is important to me to help break down the systemic barriers I see and help those lower- and middle-class people in our communities. I know I’m not alone in this thinking, but I think I have a lot of compassion for people.”

Tyler hopes to practice law following his graduation from UW, and isn’t ruling out a future role as a professor at a university. “College has been a really great experience for me and I want to give back to students someday.”

It’s too soon to say if he could return to Eastern Washington University, but one thing is clear: Dante Tyler is an #Eagle4Life.

“I want to see Eastern continue to advance and succeed,” he says. “I want to see Eastern keep bringing students success.”