Temple University Ambler's graduates are an exemplary group of diverse students ready to begin the next chapter in their lives in a wide variety of fields, from landscape architecture and horticulture to education and criminal justice. To honor our graduating class, Temple University Ambler profiling just a few of the shining examples of our graduating class each year.
Darnell Thomas: Exploring the Criminal Mind
Temple University recent graduate Darnell Kevin Thomas, Jr., is interested in exploring areas of the mind that few would want to dwell on, all in the name of making the world safer and more equitable.
“I started my college career as a psychology major, but I found myself more interested in the criminal aspect of psychology, like abnormal psychology. I find the way criminals think fascinating. What is it that makes a serial killer do the horrific things that they do — how can we learn more to prevent those things from happening in the future?” said Thomas, 26, who is completed his degree in Liberal Studies with a focus on Criminal Justice. “I feel that’s a career path that can keep me interested and engaged every single day. I don’t believe I’d think of it as a job perse; it would be more of a calling. The end goal is to become a prosecutor.”
Kayla McKay: Leading By Example
Don’t be surprised if you recognize Kayla Kristine McKay. In her four years at Temple University, McKay became an essential part of the University community and one of the strongest student advocates for Temple University Ambler.
“Temple’s spirit is what drew me to the University in the first place — I knew I wanted to be a part of this community inside and outside the classroom. There were student organizations, club fairs, activities all over both campuses and that’s what brought Temple to life for me,” said McKay who graduated from Temple’s Tyler School of Art and Architecture with a degree in Landscape Architecture. “Becoming an Owl Ambassador at Temple Ambler and introducing potential new students and their families to what Temple has to offer was a terrific opportunity to be part of this unique, diverse University community.”
Amirah Mitchell: Preserving History Through Seeds
Horticulture recent graduate Amirah Mitchell knows that the importance of seeds goes well beyond their inherent capacity for new growth. Her passion is preserving the rich history that goes along with those seeds.
“I’ve been really interested in focusing my agricultural career specifically on seeds — seed farming, seed growing and propagation — and that drew me to seedkeeping, which is different than seed saving,” said Mitchell, 28, who completed her Horticulture degree from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and Architecture in May 2021. “Seed saving is taking seeds from a plant that you've grown and storing them, saving them year to year. Seedkeeping is more intentional in that you are saving seed varieties that are culturally important, that have powerful cultural resonance for people.” Seedkeeping, Mitchell said, not only preserves the seeds, “it preserves the stories, the lore, that surround those seeds, that make them personal.”
Samuel Vargas: Capturing the World Through His Lens
You may not know his face (yet), but if you’ve visited Temple University Ambler’s YouTube channel or social media pages in recent years, you know his work. Samuel Vargas, who recently completed his degree in Film from Temple’s Klein College of Media and Communication, has been capturing Temple University Ambler — the people, the places, the research, the creativity, the unique experiences — for more than two years, becoming an integral part of the campus community while doing so.
“It’s important to take your time to determine where your future is going to take you. The experiences and opportunities that I’ve had have given me the time to really reflect on what I want to do as a career,” he said. “Temple Ambler has been the slice of home that I needed to successfully get through college — not only was it a place where I felt comfortable it was a place where I could learn and hone new skills. I think Temple Ambler showed me where I want to go after college. Just being here on this campus and doing all of this work made me realize what I’m good at and what I love.”
Alexandra Carr: Temple is a Family Business
Alexandra Carr is a Temple Owl through and through. In fact, she comes from a whole nest of Owls!
Her brother, Peter Carr, finished up his Business Management degree at Temple’s Main Campus. Her aunt, Jennifer (Sheuring) McQuarrie has a degree from Temple in Business Management. Her mom, Anne (Sheuring) Carr, completed her degree in Business Management and a Master’s in General and Strategic Management, both at Temple. She happened to go to Temple Ambler, “so she’s a huge fan of the campus,” Carr said.
If you haven’t sensed a trend, you’re not paying attention. All of her fellow family Owls completed (or are completing) majors in the Fox School of Business. Business is a way of life for the family, Carr said, so when it was time for her to transfer to Temple from Montgomery County Community College, following in those footsteps seemed like a no-brainer.
Daniel Boyce: Protecting National Treasures
Daniel Boyce is a firm believer in the importance of the nation’s park system. He has dedicated his life and career to protecting them and the people that visit these cherished locations year after year.
“The importance of national parks lies in the sites themselves. They are icons, they are historical, foundational pieces of the country and these locations are completely irreplaceable,” said Boyce, a Temple University Criminal Justice recent graduate who also completed the ProRanger Philadelphia Program, a partnership between Temple University and the National Park Service to train law enforcement rangers. “I’ve always wanted to be involved in the emergency services field — I was dialed in on police, fire and EMS. With a Criminal Justice degree and my experiences with the ProRanger program I know I have the capabilities to be involved in all aspects of the field while helping to preserve the country’s national treasures.”
Tara Tysak: At the Crossroads of Psychology and Business
The average person will spend 90,000 hours at work during their lifetime. That’s about 30 percent of their entire lives. How someone feels about their job can certainly have a huge bearing on their quality of life.
Temple University Psychology recent graduate Tara Tysak realized early on the potential impacts that work experiences have on people, both positive and negative. She’s made it her goal to help individuals “live a better work life.” That goal “and generally wanting to understand human behavior as best I can” is what drew her to “Industrial Psychology,” she said.
“It was my desire to help other people. I am most interested in psychology within the workplace and organizations,” she said. “Industrial psychology is, generally, a cross between psychology and business. It focuses primarily on human resources — hiring managers, personnel, onboarding recruitment and maximizing efficiency across the workplace and for all of the people within an organization.”
Abigail Long: Landscaping Her Future
Landscape Architecture recent graduate Abigail Long isn't someone who's not willing to get her hands dirty. She's not one to just wait around for something to come to her either.
"I want the hands-on experience. For me personally, I think that's how I learn the best — diving in there and figuring out how to do it," said Long, 30, a transfer student who returned to the classroom in 2015 after working several years in the restaurant industry. "You can be told how to do something, but it's not really until you're in a situation where you need to grapple with it that you fully understand the concepts. That's been one of the biggest benefits of coming to Temple, getting the chance at the Ambler Campus to try out so many different things in real-world situations."