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Empowering Black Students

At Mount Saint Vincent University, we want you to always feel connected and comfortable. While our overall campus atmosphere is already welcoming, friendly and diverse, the aim of Black Student Support Office is to complement this atmosphere by connecting African Nova Scotian/Black students with individuals who share similar values, culture, background and experiences. 

Whether you are a Black Canadian, African Nova Scotian, or an international student, there will likely be times that you need support at the Mount. Our Black Student Support Coordinator is here to help.

Black Student Support Coordinator


"Welcome to the Mount! My name is DeRico Symonds and I am an African Nova Scotian male. I attended Mount Saint Vincent University from 2007-2012 and completed an undergraduate degree in Child & Youth Studies. I have also completed a master’s degree of Education in Counselling at Acadia University in 2018. While at MSVU I was a member of the men's varsity basketball team and was actively involved in the MSVU community.”

"I am always excited to meet new people and see when and where I can help. Come stop in and see me today!" - DeRico Symonds 


Black Student Support Assistant

Nayo Upshaw

"My name is Nayo Upshaw and I’m the Black Student Support assistant. I graduated from Saint Francis Xavier University with a Bachelor of Arts (Joint major) and a Bachelor of Education (Secondary). While I was at STFX I volunteered for various programs and continue to do so now that I’m in Halifax. I’ve had the privilege of facilitating and speaking at numerous events and working with young adults and students to improve their university experience. Feel free to contact me anytime, for a meeting, advice or just to chat. Looking forward to meeting and working with you all!"