Brandon Lee, a sophomore majoring in sociology with a criminology option and government and political affairs, is an engaged student leader with a proven ability to work with others to find solutions to challenges facing the Millersville University community.
As a Fellow in the Civic and Community Leaders Development Program, Brandon helped organize and promote student engagement in campus-wide events celebrating Constitution Day and assisting first-time voters with the voter registration process. During a period of racial unrest in a university residence hall, Brandon sought out a person from the Lancaster community trained in facilitating dialogue on sensitive racial issues to lead a discussion in the residence hall where he serves as resident assistant. His insight and initiative in discerning a constructive response to racial conflict played an important role in initiating social change on the Millersville University campus.
As an undergraduate research assistant at the Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change, Brandon became aware of an opportunity to become trained to identify a person experiencing an opiate overdose and to respond with the administration of Narcan. Since becoming trained, he has helped implement a program to offer this free training to all members of the university community.
At Millersville University, I have advocated for social change through my leadership positions to make a meaningful difference within my college community.
As a Resident Assistant, I encounter racial tensions among students in my living community. Although I am trained on racial issues, experts are more qualified to address these issues. Subsequently, I invited a racial equality advocate from YWCA Lancaster to host a meaningful conversation with my residents about the racial issues in my residence hall.
I observed an inconsistency in training for university staff on narcotics based on the drug use I witnessed within my residence hall. I consulted a grassroots organization, Project Lazarus, to provide education on the statistics of drug use and the need for Narcan training, a lifesaving training in the instance of a drug overdose. I used this knowledge to plan a Narcan training for all university staff and students.
In these occasions, I was surrounded by a team that enabled me to achieve the goal I envisioned. Social change is near and dear to me, but I am unable to advocate alone. The Newman Fellowship will connect me with like-minded individuals who will guide me to forge social change within my college community.