For Tariq ‘TQ’ Humes, joy springs from helping others.
While a student at FGCU, Humes (’10, Communication) worked in Campus Recreation and helped to start the football program at the nearby Canterbury School, a private K-12 college preparatory school in Fort Myers. After graduating, he spent five years as Intramural Coordinator at Duke University, facilitating student involvement in extracurricular sporting activities.
Now Humes is back at Canterbury, teaching seventh-grade history and serving as Director of Activities for the Middle and Upper Schools. “I love every aspect of helping students,” he says. “Whether it’s high school students or college students, I like being an ear for the kids, someone who will listen to them and help them learn and grow.”
Humes knows firsthand how powerful a helping hand can be. The Florida native graduated from a magnet school program at South Broward High School in Hollywood, and was offered a football scholarship to Maryville College in Tennessee. He was ready to accept, then decided to make one last school visit – to FGCU. “I came to the university, met a bunch of friendly people, saw the dorms on the beach, and said to myself, ‘I think I can be done with football,’” he recalls. It’s a decision he’s never regretted.
“FGCU was a great fit for me,” Humes says. “I’m so glad I decided to give up playing college football and come to this university because I was able to create an educational experience that was uniquely mine.”
He credits the university for the flexibility it offers students wishing to try new things and lauds faculty for their supportive attitudes. “The university’s size is manageable, and the student-to-professor ratio is great for building relationships,” he says. “I got to know my professors well and they got to know me. Every instructor I had was welcoming and down to earth. They encouraged me to venture outside my comfort zone and try new things like joining a fraternity and taking a job in Campus Recreation.”
Humes says Michael Howard, his former boss in Campus Recreation, was particularly supportive. “Michael was a very important mentor – he treated me as a friend rather than an employee. He saw me for who I was and encouraged me to push myself.” The two developed a strong relationship that continued when the men found themselves together again at Duke, where Howard is now Managing Director of Recreation Facilities. “We shared Thanksgiving dinner together this past year,” says Humes.
“When I returned to Canterbury, I felt like I had come full circle,” he continues. “The successes I’ve realized in my career are a direct result of my experiences at FGCU and my wife (alumna Elizabeth (Miller) Humes, ’12) and I feel like we’re home again. We’re happy to be back near the university – we met in Campus Recreation – our families are nearby, and I have a history with Canterbury.”
“In my opinion, FGCU provides students with an educational experience that is second to none in the state of Florida,” Humes says. “I refer to the university as ‘FGTQ’ because I made it my own. FGCU helped me to develop into the person I am today – I’m very grateful to the school for all it’s done for me.”