Student Life & Leadership Example

October 2019

Section 1

October 2019 - Reema Saad

An image of Reema Saad, October 2019 Spotlight winner.

Name: Reema Saad
“We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist." – James Baldwin
Year
: 3rd
Major: Sociology, Political Science
Hometown: Redondo Beach, CA

Involvements at UCI:

  • Campuswide Honors Collegium (2017-present)
  • College Democrats at UCI – Treasurer (2018-19), Vice President (2019-20)
  • KUCI News – Intern (2018)
  • Planned Parenthood Generation Action at UCI – Co-Founder & President (2018-19), President (2019-20)
  • Womxn’s Hub – Student Assistant (2019-20)

What would you say is your greatest weakness? What steps have you taken to overcome it?

My greatest weakness has been saying ‘no’ to additional involvements. When I first started taking on leadership positions at UCI and in the greater community, I thought it was so important to have a laundry list of involvements to make me competitive for the job market. However, I realized eventually that it is more important to get involved with and dedicate your energy to those things you’re most passionate about. I had to remind myself that in addition to being a leader, I am a student with needs, such as proper rest and a (decent) social life. Moving forward, I will only take on roles in which I can have a great impact and that value me properly for the skills I am able to bring to the table.

What is your proudest accomplishment to date?

My proudest accomplishment to date was being recognized by the Humanities Core program and UROP for my research paper titled “The Afghan Girl’s Role in Creating a Pathway for White Feminism and American Intervention in Afghanistan.” After receiving this Student Award in 2018, I was able to hone my speaking and presentation skills at the Humanities Core-UROP Symposium. Being recognized for my work on the research paper has encouraged me to take research in my academic classes seriously. I am also considering graduate school because of how much I enjoyed working on the topic I selected.

Who is your role model at UCI?

My biggest role models at UCI are my peers and fellow campus leaders who continuously do amazing work to make UCI a better place for all students and faculty. Day in and day out, student leaders at UCI are tasked with overcoming structural barriers to success, and it is often a physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting task. On a mission for a more positive campus climate, these student leaders spend their time making sure all students’ needs are met by advocating in the classroom, to administration, and to their respective organizations.

What is something that you have learned in college that you would like to share to the other students at UCI?

Something all Anteaters should do before leaving UCI is take advantage of all the amazing resources made available on campus! Student Health and Wellness Promotion Center offers a variety of health-related services, the Division of Career Pathways will go over your resume and provide interview skills, and the various resource and identity centers host educational programs. We all pay to be here, so the best thing we can do for both our academic and professional development is use these sources made to guide us.

If you could drop all of your responsibilities for a day, what would you use this free time to do?

I’m a sucker for libraries and bookstores. I tend to pile on a large reading list and buy books without ever getting to them. If I could drop all of my responsibilities for a day, I would read as much of this list as possible and rekindle a love for reading that I had before becoming so busy with academics and leadership at UCI.