Stand-Out Students Set the Tone in UNCG’s Class of 2024 Hype Video

Posted on April 29, 2024

A master's, undergraduate and doctoral student pose in their caps and gowns with their arms crossed and smile at each other.

The commencement hype video has become a ceremony opener that sets the stage for excitement, pride, and all-around Spartan spirit.  

Selected from academic departments and student organization recommendations, an undergraduate, master’s and doctoral student represent their graduating classes in the video. Although auditions and interviews aren’t involved in the selection process, the selected students never fail to bring the requisite hype of an excited and accomplished grad. 

To follow are this year’s hype video stars. Follow in their footsteps and you could be the one bringing the hype at your commencement! 

Shyde’ Underwood  

UNCG graduate poses in her cap and gown and makes a heart with her hands in front of her chest.

Major:  Human Development and Family Studies, B.S.  
Minors: Psychology and American Sign Language  

Hometown: Clinton, North Carolina 

Campus activities & honors: Peer Academic Leader, 3-year Resident Assistant, University Marshal, oversee The Mentor Collective in Division of Student Success, Spartan Guide, SOAR Leader, Blue Table Talk Cohort Mentee, 2023-2024 Homecoming Court, YWCA intern, Office of Intercultural Engagement Ambassador, first generation college student 

Post-graduation plans: I plan to become a certified doula and work in maternal health.  

What drew you to UNCG initially? 
The diversity, sense of community, and support for first generation college students like me. 

What unexpected opportunities did you find during your time here?  
I found a new passion and career path to become a doula through my internship and amazing mentors who are always putting me in positions to grow professionally and academically. 

What are you most grateful for about your college experience?  
I am most grateful that I met my best friends/sisters Makalah and Janae. My experience wouldn’t be an experience without meeting them and the memories we’ve made together.  

How will you celebrate commencement? 
I will celebrate by spending time with family and friends.  

Kevin Hogan 

Masters graduate poses in cap and gown with hands crossed.

Major: Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education, M.Ed.  

Hometown: Greensboro, North Carolina 

Undergraduate Degree: Psychology, B.A., 2020 

Campus activities & honors: Bronze Level Spartan Leadership Challenge Workshop Facilitator, Silver Level Spartan Leadership Coach, Chi Sigma Alpha (Student Affairs Honors Society), HESA (Higher Education Student Association), Spartan Leadership Award (2023), organized first international trip for the SAAHE program to experience the field of Student Affairs abroad in Toronto, Ontario, Canada 

Post-graduation plans:  
I will continue working in UNCG’s Career and Professional Development office as a Career Coach. 

What drew you to UNCG initially? 

When I was applying to graduate programs, I had a chance to meet with Dr. Brad Johnson, the program coordinator and faculty member in the Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education program. He made me feel like a valued member of UNCG, even before I had submitted my application. I knew I would be able to converse openly with faculty members here. At other institutions, I felt just like a number in their system.  

What unexpected opportunities did you find at UNCG? 

At UNCG, I organized the first international trip for my master’s program. I formed a new international partnership with the University of Toronto to visit their campuses and meet with their Student Affairs offices. This experience allowed us to see a completely different side to our field. It was a unique and enlightening experience! 

What are you most grateful for about my college experience?  
I am most grateful for the relationships I have made with classmates, professional staff, faculty, and community members. I have met incredible people who have pushed me to grow in many ways and I am excited that they will stay a part of my life in the future. I am lucky to be surrounded by classmates who are changing the field for the better and who are pushing the boundaries of how we can support students, and staff and faculty who serve as inspirations for future generations of changemakers.  

How will you celebrate commencement?  
I will take some time to celebrate this achievement with friends and family. I was not able to celebrate my undergraduate commencement in a traditional manner because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so this graduation will serve as a celebration of both of my degrees! 

Lexi Hoopman 

Doctoral grad poses in tam and gown and looks up and to the left.

Major: Environmental Health Sciences, Ph.D.  

Hometown: Bismarck, North Dakota 

Undergraduate Degree: BS in Biological Sciences & minors in Chemistry & Psychology  

Campus activities & honors:  
I am the first scientist to discover that honeybees have a reproductive microbiome and that antibiotics used in beekeeping negatively affect honeybee reproduction. I have shared my research results and implications during invited talks for Beekeepers Associations across North Carolina and was awarded the John T. Ambrose Student Researcher award in 2021 by the NC State Beekeepers Association.  

My research has earned nearly $900,000 in grant funding which includes a USDA predoctoral fellowship, and a collaborative USDA grant with colleagues at NC State University. I have given research presentations at large annual conferences and have won 3 presentation competitions.  

I also served one year as the biology department senator for the UNCG Graduate Student Association, followed by two years as vice president and programming committee chair where I conceptualized, organized, and hosted over 35 events for graduate students. 

Post-graduation plans:  
I will continue working for my advisor until August to finish publishing papers while I apply to biotech and other industry positions. 

What drew you to UNCG initially? 

When I was applying to PhD programs, I found my advisor who had aligning research interests and she happened to be starting a lab at UNCG. Coming from North Dakota, I was excited about the North Carolina weather and being close to the ocean. I visited Greensboro and UNCG in my last semester then moved here two weeks after graduating to start my PhD research! 

What unexpected opportunities did you find at UNCG? 

As an undergraduate, I did not participate in student government or campus activities, but there were many opportunities to get involved here and I was compelled to try to positively impact my fellow students and the UNCG community. I never expected to become so involved, but it benefited me with purpose and leadership skills. Over my six-year PhD at UNCG, I have sat on two panels and 11 committees. 

What are you most grateful for about my college experience?  
I am most grateful for the life lessons I have learned from the amazing people I have worked with. Not only have I had the opportunity to work with top notch mentors at UNCG, but I have also helped empower the next generation by teaching general biology labs and conducting research with 13 undergraduates throughout my degree. 

How will you celebrate commencement?  
After graduation, I will be going on a relaxing week-long vacation to the Outer Banks with my fiancé, parents, and brother to celebrate achieving my PhD. 

Story by Becky Deakins, University Communications. 
Photos by Sean Norona, University Communications. 


Graduate Commencement: May 2 at the Greensboro Coliseum
Undergraduate Commencement: May 3 at the Greensboro Coliseum

Graduates and their families are encouraged to share their accomplishments on social media by tagging the University accounts and using the hashtags #UNCGGrad and #UNCGWay. Visit UNCG’s digital swag page for graduation-themed graphics, filters, and templates.

Mention @UNCG in celebratory posts on Instagram and X and @uncgreensboro on TikTok.  

Three masters graduates pose for a selfie in cap and gown.


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