Tre King (Class of 2021)

photo of Tre King

  • senior major in Media & Culture, with an Arts Management co-major (Entrepreneurship concentration)
  • from Cincinnati, OH
  • participated in the Bridges, LSAMP, and Summer Scholars Programs
  • performs with Miami University Gospel Singers; member Miami Activities and Programming; former Secretary, Black Student Action Association; 2019 Summer Scholars Program counselor
  • Marketing Director, Miami Television News; former Undergraduate Assistant, MAC 143 - Introduction to Media
  • studied abroad with Arts and Culture: Barcelona, Spain program (January 2020)
  • recipient of the 2020 Miami University Love & Honor Cup
"Choose what you want for yourself and not what somebody else wants for you. Make sure you're passionate about it and that you can wake up 30 years from now and be glad you made those choices."

Why Miami?

"Back in 2016, when I was a rising junior in high school, I did a two-week summer program at Miami called Summer Scholars. It allows high school juniors and seniors to come to Miami for about two weeks and immerse themselves within a typical college simulation. I joined an engineering module because at the time I was settled on studying mechanical engineering. I loved the experience so much I came back the next year and had a completely new experience! It was life changing, and I met some of my closest friends there — we're still good friends to this day.

"The Summer Scholars program was only one of the major turning points for me in choosing Miami. It's ironic, considering last summer I served as a counselor for this same program as a way to give back to the experience that made me want to come to Miami. I also did the Bridges Program, which invites high school seniors to Miami overnight to participate in active dialogue and diversity training sessions about what diversity and inclusion mean to them and their unique perspectives. Last month I took advantage of the opportunity to lead as a former Bridges participant by becoming one of the diversity dialogue student facilitators. Participating in those two programs as a high school student were the major reasons why I chose Miami."

Best Miami Experiences

Tre King and SOULmates

"Some of my favorite aspects of Miami are the organizations that I am a part of: the Miami University Gospel Singers, Miami Activities and Programming (MAP), and the former secretary of the Black Student Action Association (BSAA), to name a few. Academically, I served as an undergraduate assistant (UA) last year for the Department of Media, Journalism & Film, under the leadership of professor of media and culture & strategic communication, Ron Becker.

"I became a UA to expand on my passion for analyzing media. This experience allowed me to expand on my critical analysis skills and leadership capabilities in pursuit of graduate school next fall. I'm also a third-year resident assistant (RA) at Hawks Landing, a member of the executive board for Miami Television News (MTN), and a former Student Orientation Undergraduate Leader (SOUL). One thing is for certain, I stay busy! I love being able to utilize my leadership and organizational skills to be the positive change we all strive for. These experiences and more have enabled me to connect with and serve other Miami students so that they succeed academically and professionally.

"As a SOUL, I actively worked to ease the transition process of over 4,000 first-year students and families in the Miami University class of 2023. While operating within various roles, I utilized vulnerability, leadership skills, and personal experiences as an involved Miami student to bridge the gap between the incoming first-year students and their unique undergraduate journey. I am grateful for how large an impact the students in my small groups had on my growth as a student leader and resource. Working and growing alongside 23 other influential SOULs and several dedicated mentors, I created personal bonds with each of them as well as a strong network I will always be able to rely on. I can confidently say this experience has changed my life, not only as a Miami student but also as an individual continuously learning and embracing the beauty of vulnerability.

"I came to Miami originally as a declared STEM major and a two-time Summer Scholars Program participant. I was able to move in about ten days early via the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program. During that program I met many different people of color, including Black, indigenous, and other marginalized groups. Being a minority myself, it was incredible to engage in various social and professional activities, learn more about Miami, and connect with each other in different ways. Many of the people I met in this program remain some of my best friends today, so right off the bat I had a transformative freshman year experience!

"When I decided I wanted to change my major from mechanical engineering during the spring semester of my first year, at first I didn't know what I wanted to do. I knew I didn't want to stick with engineering — not because I couldn't do the work, but because it wasn't the best for me. It wasn't something I found myself being passionate about, and I knew it was time for a change. I talked to my advisor, different friends, and other academic advisors to get their perspective.

Tre King proudly displays his Love and Honor Cup.

"That's when I came across the media and culture major, from a close friend who was already in the program. She shared with me her experiences, and it led me to conduct some further research on it. Looking at the curriculum, I realized everything was the right fit for me. My intuition was telling me to go with it. Since the major requires a second major or co-major, that's where I started looking at arts management because I want to do something within the business field while still showcasing my creativity and bold personality. By giving myself the freedom to follow my heart, it helped jumpstart my goal of becoming my best self.

"I was also recently chosen the recipient of the 2020 Miami University Love & Honor Cup, also known as Homecoming King. This has been my most humbling experience thus far, and it reflects the value of my strong background in the areas of consistent student service, on-campus involvement, and academic excellence throughout my Miami journey. Also, this award serves as a symbol of the pride I take in empowering myself and other students, both in and out of the classroom. I am grateful to those who voted, supported, and stood by my side throughout the long process, including my fellow recipient and Homecoming Queen, Keresa Murray. Being the first Black King and Queen to win Homecoming Court at Miami in the same year has sent a strong message about the power of representation, and I look forward to seeing how more positive change will continue to have a lasting impact on Miami University."

Miami and the Liberal Arts

Tre King on a 2019 Career Services field trip to Nashville, Tennessee

"I love how flexible my media and culture classes are. There's a lot of diversity in the material, such as screenwriting, film and video production, media aesthetics, and more. The versatility of the different coursework really prepares you to go into any sector within the media field, which is a multitude of various careers. I consider it a giant umbrella with different sections under it. Exploring those different areas helps you discover what you love and what you desire to accomplish with a media-based career.

"My creativity is also displayed in my studies within my co-major, arts management. I have had many hands-on experiences outside those classes. For example, in one of my arts management classes, we actually worked on a creative management project for the production of the critically acclaimed play, Dear Evan Hansen in Cincinnati. At the end of the semester, we traveled to see our project displayed at the Aronoff Center in downtown Cincinnati, where we also attended the show. Seeing not only the play but also our project displayed for all of the guests to observe was honestly pretty incredible, knowing that we had an impact on the production as a whole."

Exploring Spanish Arts and Culture

Tre King in Barcelona, Spain

"This past January, right before the pandemic hit, I participated in Barcelona - Arts & Culture, a two-week study abroad program offered by IES Abroad through the College of Creative Arts. Our 10-person class went to Barcelona, Spain to get a better understanding of the historical, social, and cultural impacts that European art, in the context of Spain, has on local communities and the world as a whole.

"Places we visited and studied outside of Barcelona included Girona, Figueres, Santes Creus, and Tarragona. One of my most memorable moments while there was being able to tour La Sagrada Familia as a way to interpret and analyze its long-standing history and rich cultural impacts.

"Having never been to Europe at the time, this travel experience allowed me to venture out and study from a new perspective of the type of arts and culture I'd never been exposed to before this. Although this was not my first time outside of the United States, it was a powerful experience being able to learn more about myself, about the arts within the European context, and what all of that means to me as an American citizen. At the end of the trip, a classmate and I researched and presented a final project on the global impacts of European culture and fashion, and how that allowed us to grow as young individuals."

Advice to Students

"One thing that I tell people, in general, is not to be afraid to try new things. I know that sounds cliche, but what I mean is that you need to create experiences outside your major, regardless of what it is. Make connections to people outside your major and the classroom, because those are going to count in the long run. Most of us are only in class for about 15 hours a week, so getting involved in extracurricular activities and creating relationships, especially in your first two years, is going to be crucial in your Miami experience. College is not the place to be limiting yourself. Learn from your vulnerabilities and mistakes, and use that to your advantage to become your most authentic self.

Tre King modeling for UP Magazine

"For example, I recently got into modeling, something I at first didn't realize was something you could do in college! I was proud to be featured in the Spring edition of UP Magazine this year, one of Miami's largest student-run magazine publications. Additionally, I'm grateful that one of my closest friends, who served on the same UA team last year, asked me to be one of her models for her recent photography project on Black culture and representation. Without taking a chance on myself, I would have never realized how powerful modeling makes me feel!

"I had to learn to embrace change when I came to Miami, and that allowed me to get this far in my undergraduate journey. Putting yourself out there is important because you never know what could happen the moment you decide to take that leap of faith. Step out of your comfort zone and embarrass yourself a few times. It may take you much farther than you think. Most importantly, choose what you want for yourself and not what somebody else wants for you. Make sure you're passionate about it and that you can wake up 30 years from now and be glad you made those choices.

"Finally, do your research. Don't be afraid to talk to your professors and advisors, whether on Zoom, phone, or face-to-face, when things get back to normal again of course. Utilize the Career Center for Student Exploration and Success; they are here for a reason. They are more than happy to prepare you for your dream internship or career path. Remember, it's not always about what you know but about who you know, so that networking aspect is a crucial turning point in your experience too!

"Overall, my Miami experience has many highs and lows, but every moment has helped me grow into the student and leader I am meant to be. I know that my impact will continue to empower students for generations to come."

[December 2020]