Austin Reid, a second year student at Capital University, is a political science major and active student leader. For the past two years, Austin has served as an advocate for religious and spiritual acceptance, both on our campus and in the greater Columbus community. Serving the Jewish community, he has traveled internationally in pursuit of education and, in turn, shares the knowledge he acquires with others on our campus. Austin's opinion and knowledge are sought after and valued in the Columbus Jewish community as he continues to grow in his faith and become an even greater advocate for religious equality. Austin's potential to impact positive change only continues to grow as he seeks out opportunities to learn new skills and connect with other populations of students and community members.
I feel that America's diversity is one of the chief reasons the United States has been a leader in the arts and academia. When people with different views are brought together, new ideas can be discovered and flourish. During my time at Capital University I have sought to give students on campus many opportunities to break down personal barriers and learn more about the beliefs of others. Some of the groups I have helped to organize events for include: the Interfaith Association, PRIDE, and a variety of political organizations. In addition, as a reporter for the campus newspaper I have made a special point to give groups such as the Muslim Student Association and the Asian American Alliance a platform for their events. The most intensive project I have taken on is reestablishing the Jewish Student Association at my university. By far the vast majority of students who attend the organization's events are not Jewish, and the group has been an important way to draw students together to learn about one of the world's major faiths. In the past we have sponsored holiday events, lectures, and workshops. I am proud that these events have impacted many.