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Hawk's Eye View: Roger Hyman '96

Roger at the Like No Other Gala

July 12, 2022 | Jessica Shafer '25

Roger Hyman ’96 is an energetic UNCW alum and the school’s new African American Graduate Association (AAGA) president. His term began July 1 and will last until the end of the 2024 academic year. Beyond his role as president, he works as a licensed mental health counselor at a private practice and is the clinical health director for Beautiful Minds Behavioral Health Services, where he makes sure therapists are supplying effective counseling while staying within state and federal guidelines and regulations.

In this latest Hawk's Eye View, Hyman recently caught up with the UNCW Alumni Association to share what his experience was like at UNCW, his life as an alumnus and his plans for AAGA over the next two years.

What led you to UNCW while researching universities?

Well, UNCW wasn’t really on my radar. I was looking at NC State. I looked at ECU. I looked at Moorehouse College. But I ended up driving down one weekend with my parents, and that was it.

How would you summarize your overall experience at UNCW?

It was nothing less than amazing. I got a B.A. in mathematics, so Bear Hall was where I spent most of my time. The teachers were so helpful. I made friends there I’ve had for 30 years. We still stay in contact and see each other. Individuals who were my friends really became my family.

Roger Hyman '04

"UNCW just continues to astound me."
-Roger Hyman '96

How were you involved on campus as a student?

I was involved in student government. I was class president my freshman and sophomore year and went on to be the Student Government Vice President when I was a junior.

I was, and am, a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. I was a resident advisor at Graham Hall, and always involved on campus. I was a student orientation leader my sophomore year and then my junior and senior year I was a junior director for the orientation leaders. I had fun.

What was your favorite event to attend as a student and now as an alumnus?

When I was a student, I was so looking forward to orientation day. Those were the kind of events I loved the most. Now as an alumnus I eat, breathe, sleep, and live for Homecoming. It gives you the opportunity to reconnect with your classmates who you may not see all year. It gives you a chance to reconnect with the faculty and see how the university continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Every time you come back, it’s a new building, a new program, a new major. UNCW just continues to astound me.

Was there a particular member of staff who made a large impact on you?

Absolutely. For me it was Ralph Parker. He used to be the Director of Minority Affairs, and he kept me on track. If you ever needed anyone to talk to, he was a shoulder to lean on. As well as my advisor, Dr. Gabriel Lugo in the mathematics department. Those two individuals kept me grounded and focused. If I needed someone to talk to, either one of those individuals was always there for me.

What do you plan to do during your time as AAGA President?

I really want to make sure that AAGA and the university work in tandem with one another. What we are doing mirrors the university’s mission and purpose and we’re making sure that the mission and purpose get spread to the students of color on campus. We want to work in step with the alumni office to make sure that communication is open and clear and continue to provide programming.

I’m very purposeful and intentional with what I do. I want to make sure AAGA is in a place that is recognized for doing the work of the university. I want to serve as a liaison to unite and engage, to serve as a focal point between different individuals within the university, faculty, staff, alumni, and undergrad students. To take and make those necessary connectivity points. My focus will be: what can I do to make those connections so they can foster their own. My vision of AAGA is to take and embrace the generations because my role as president is to unify AAGA. I want to bring in all the different African American students and make sure we are on the same page as far as the university’s vision and growth.

Roger Hyman '04
What does unification across the generations look like?

That involves me and the officers making sure we are actively calling, writing and giving written materials in emails or mailings to the alumni to make sure they have real-time information and to offer ways to get involved.

"If you are an African American graduate, you are AAGA. And we need your help; we can’t do it alone. We need your help to carry out the work of AAGA, and the work of UNCW."

Why is AAGA important, and what does it mean to you?

AAGA is one of the first conduits for delivering information about the university’s changes and direction the university is going. AAGA serves as a conduit to disseminate the information to students of color who have graduated from UNCW. AAGA serves as a conduit to encourage fellowship and friendship among its members, as well as celebrate African American students and alumni, and all their contributions to the university.