“We live in an increasingly digital environment and our students need to have a specific set of skills to function in society and to succeed in any career,” says Jian Qin, professor and program director of the master of library…
Learning and Leading: Seth Reed Is Mission in Action
Seth Reed has a generous philosophy about his experience at Syracuse University: “What I learn here is not just for me,” he says.
A third-year chemical engineering student in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, Reed says he feels an obligation to share his knowledge—specifically in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)—with a future generation of students. He gets to do that every Friday at local middle schools as an outreach coordinator for the Engineering Ambassadors, a literacy initiative of the University’s Mary Ann Shaw Center for Public and Community Service.
Reed and six co-coordinators facilitate interactive lesson plans on topics such as the physics of roller coasters, properties of acids and bases, Popsicle stick bridges and more, to promote literacy and discovery-based learning on STEM topics. “Seeing the young students’ perspective expands my own, and I like learning with a community beyond campus,” Reed says.
He also goes out into the community to play keyboard in a musical group at Abundant Life Christian Center and as a member of the CRU campus ministry. Playing men’s club volleyball and conducting research on calcium batteries with Assistant Professor of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering Ian Hosein are other major components of his self-directed involvement in the classroom and beyond. “I can’t isolate myself if I want to make the most of my education,” he says.
Reed got an early start in community service at Syracuse his freshman year after he was accepted as one of 24 participants in Orange Seeds, a first-year leadership empowerment program designed to help students become confident campus leaders. Every Saturday during the fall semester, Orange Seeds students use their free time to volunteer with Vera House, Meals on Wheels and other community service agencies. “We served together as a community, for the community,” Reed says. “The motto is ‘learn, grow, lead,’ and it’s accurate.” After volunteering throughout fall semester, Orange Seeds students plan and execute a major campus-wide service event for spring.
The program boosted Reed’s time management and teamwork skills, and he was well prepared for his next role as an orientation leader. Following in the footsteps of his sister and role model, Brittany Reed ’18, Reed’s in his second year serving as a resource to new students, helping them transition to university life. He says it’s another way he can help now, at the same time he is learning too. “I don’t have to wait to pay it forward,” he says.
Members of the University community are encouraged to donate their time and talent in the greater community as part of the University’s sesquicentennial celebration. To record your service hours, visit the 150 days of service webpage.