Tyrese Reed is a Knox College junior who embodies the spirit of engaged citizenship and pursuit of the public good that is a Newman Civic Fellow. He is an athlete, scholar, volunteer, leader, and mentor on the Knox campus. He dedicates hundreds of hours to helping other students as a writing tutor, teaching assistant, and McNair Peer Mentor. Tyrese helps support new McNair Scholars by mentoring them through their research, helping them navigate cultural challenges, and equipping them with the tools they need to succeed at Knox. During school breaks, Tyrese also serves as a mentor to young athletes at his high school in San Diego, California.
Tyrese seeks to engage students on all sides of an issue because he genuinely wants everyone to be heard. His research on the voting behaviour of in-state and out-of-state college students seeks to understand how education, socioeconomics, and civic engagement contribute to a young person’s voting decisions. He intends to expand his research to identify other socioeconomic factors that may affect voting behavior, and he hopes his work can help increase voter turnout.
A lot of my passion for social issues comes from being a person of color, and knowing there are others who do not get a fair opportunity because of some form of their identity. On my campus, Knox College, we pride ourselves on being a place for social justice, yet not enough people are familiar with how to navigate these areas or have a space for these dialogues. Here on campus I have used my position as Vice President and Social Chair in my fraternity, Beta Theta Pi (Xi chapter), to help find places for these conversations and to help educate and support students who are passionate about social justice. This includes meeting with groups and clubs that deal with social issues. For example, all of our cultural clubs, as part of the solution, are being educated on each social struggle before joining in the push for justice. In addition, there have been meetings with Common Ground, an LGBTQ+ activist group. In order for us to push for change within institutions that have social issues, it is imperative that we educate ourselves first, so we can join in the discussion.