Creating opportunity at UNT

Tyler Smeby outside of Transportation Services officeTyler Smeby, a senior majoring in Criminal Justice, almost didn’t come to UNT.
It’s hard to believe because now he fits so well into the community, both in his studies and at Transportation Services where he works full-time.
It wasn’t always his plan to work in Transportation Services, much less attend university. Smeby had planned to join the Marines, but due to his Type 1 Diabetes, he wouldn’t be given the opportunity to be a Marine. Thus, he decided to come to UNT and major in Criminal Justice. He doesn’t regret this decision.
“I like it here better than I probably would have in the military just because I’ve met a lot of new people and new friends at the office and it’s opened me up to other opportunities with different police departments that I probably wouldn’t have had before,” he says.
 With hopes of being a Police Officer, Smeby went into the Transportation Services job thinking his new co-workers would also be Criminal Justice majors since the job offered some hands on experience for careers they could venture off into.
“I figured everyone else was gonna be a criminal justice major, but I’m the only one, that I’m aware of,” he says. “Luckily, I’ve been able to get to know some of the UNT Police officers who patrol around the parking lots and they’ve given me some good career advice.”
On top of being a full-time employee and student, Smeby enjoys hunting when he can. It had been something he had always wanted to try, and after an invitation from a friends to come to Nebraska and go pheasant hunting, he took the opportunity and has loved it ever since. During Winter Break, he and his friends drive up to Nebraska to spend a week hunting. From sunrise to sunset, they spend all day hunting.
“Some days, we don’t even get a single bird.” Smeby says, “But it’s just a lot of fun to go through the fields and just talk and hang out with each other.”
On top of all that is going on in his life, graduation is fast approaching and Smeby is thankful for the opportunities he has received in his years at UNT.
“Being able to do the Parking Enforcement in Transportation allows me to get out and actually walk around and interact with the community. Doing that is kind of like a foot in the door, it allows me to get a little bit of relative experience,” he says.
Story by Jubi Valadez