Meet a Student: Ty Hobson-Powell, B.A. ’11
When Ty Hobson-Powell, B.A. ’11, finished high school in two years, he was only getting started. After enrolling at Howard University in fall 2009—as a sophomore, thanks to community college and online credits—he transferred to the University of Baltimore in summer 2010 and earned his bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in May. The Washington, D.C., resident is now contemplating law school and then medical school, but he has plenty of time to make up his mind—after all, he just turned 16.
Not surprisingly, his accomplishments have attracted the attention of CNN, BET, CNBC and a host of other media outlets. (Did we mention his degree involved concentrations in psychology, government and public policy, and history?) Despite his young age, Hobson-Powell seems to take it all in stride and with a sense of humor, as we learned when we spoke with him midway through his last semester at UB.
Q. Are you enjoying yourself at UB, and what has been the most challenging part of being a 15-year-old in college?
A. The UB campus environment is great. Easy accessibility to rail and nearby food is a plus in my book. UB’s campus is an ongoing project and will continue to get better and better in the years to come. As far as being 15, I haven’t encountered any age-related issues. Maybe me being 6 feet 1 inch offsets my baby face. Although I’ve only been here for a little while, I must say I am enjoying myself.
Q. What are the strengths of the interdisciplinary studies major?
A. Breadth and depth. At many schools, when you pick a major it is either this or that. However, at UB, the interdisciplinary studies major allows you to do this and that. I believe that the strength comes from the various educational experiences in different fields that you can take away from the major.
Q. How do you feel about the extra attention your accomplishments have generated?
A. Being successful at a young age, I feel that I have a message for younger people, and since I’m around the same age as my targeted audience, I believe that I could be more relatable and that maybe a message from me will hit home better than a message from an older person. If possible, I would actually love to expand my media exposure and move toward my own reality series, talk show or radio show in an attempt to show people how to manage stress and empower kids to do great things.
Q. Who has been the most influential person in your life?
A. My father. I don’t tell him often enough, but I appreciate him for everything that he has shown me. Along with my mother, he helped shape me into the man I am today and I am totally thankful. Historically, I admire the biblical character David because he went against great odds to do the unexpected.
Lisa Perdue is a graduate student in UB’s Certificate in New Media Publishing program.