Students come to Weber State University with dreams both big and small. Many leave feeling they have more or less accomplished what they hoped, and then there are a select few who have the privilege of getting the best possible outcome.
That’s what happened for Tarl Langham, a 40-year-old single father and WSU student who was recently accepted into the Master of Information Systems Management program at Carnegie Mellon University.
Langham said he worked as a mechanic for 12 years before he realized that he felt like he was wasting his potential. Langham decided to uproot his life and enrolled at WSU.
“People say ‘if you haven’t done it by 30, then you haven’t done it,’ and Tarl said ‘no way,’” said Randy Boyle, a WSU professor who Langham assists in cyber privacy research.
Langham came to the university when its slogan was, “Weber is worthy of your dreams.” He took that to heart and gave it his all.
Langham’s original plan at WSU, though, did not include pursuing a master’s degree, but after meeting the right people who inspired him to reach his goals, he decided to take the next step: graduate school.
Langham encourages other students to set their goals high and to never give up.
“The difference between success and failure is the last 10 percent,” Langham said.
It was a two-year process for Langham to get into Carnegie Mellon, and upon discovering that he had been accepted, he couldn’t believe it. His hard work had paid off.
Beyond the disbelief and elation, Langham said that getting accepted to CMU solidified his belief that students can achieve their dreams at WSU.
“We can still accomplish amazing things here at Weber,” Langham said.
Langham said he is an average student, but he is also one of many non-traditional students to attend WSU.
According to Langham, the Nontraditional Student Center helped him “come out of his box.”
However, the center did more than help Langham succeed — it gave him with a job. Langham has worked at the center for three years, initially as a peer mentor and now as the lead math tutor.
George Davis, one of Langham’s co-workers at the Nontraditional Student Center, said the center strives to remove roadblocks that commonly prevent non-traditional students from succeeding.
“Tarl is the epitome of students helping students,” Davis said. “He’s a very giving person.”
Langham said he wouldn’t be where he is today without the help of the Nontraditional Student Center.
In addition to being a student and employee at WSU, Langham also served on the student and faculty senates in 2015.
Debbie Cragun, Langham’s supervisor at the Nontraditional Student Center, said Langham is a compassionate and hardworking individual, who motivates others by example.
Boyle believes that Langham is a highly motivated, very intelligent person. “He really is an exceptional student,” he said.
As he leaves his fellows Wildcats for Carnegie Mellon, Langham said students should take advantage of the resources that WSU offers and continue to go after their dreams.
“Go big,” Langham said. “Dream big, and then go big.”