Chelsea Reome's campus work includes Educational Opportunity Program tutor, a campus tour guide and director of High Hopes.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
Commencement 2013 profile: Chelsea ReomeTweet
College is fun and exciting, but it’s not always easy. First, simply deciding where to attend and what to study is tough. Then writing assignments, studying for tests and dealing with the heightened stress of classes, friendships and relationships on your own for the first time can be daunting. Sometimes what gets you through is the friendly face or voice of a peer who wants to help.
One of those faces belongs to Chelsea Reome who has seemingly popped up everywhere. She’s an admissions tour guide and scheduling supervisor, director for the High Hopes crisis and information hotline, an Educational Opportunity Program tutor and − sadly for the University community − a graduating senior.
Reome, who is a double major in human development and psychology, apparently doesn’t know what free time is. “For a long time I took 20 credits a semester and had 14-hour days,” she said. “It was the most exhausting time of my life. Then I took a couple steps back.” In the next breath she mentions her work with the Student United Way (she was president last year and treasurer as a senior), and her research with the Interdisciplinary Research Group for the Study of Sexuality. She was also on the board of advisors for the College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA).
“She’s the kind of student we describe in our dreams,” said Patricia W. Ingraham, founding dean of CCPA. “She personifies in so many ways all of the values and attributes that we want our students at CCPA to have. She’s not only a fabulous student, but devotes an inordinate number of hours a week volunteering in the community. That’s really her life’s mission.”
A quality apparent in the mere fact that, even as her senior year has wound to a close, her EOP tutoring in psychology and writing has picked up. After two years as a tutor, most of her students are repeats and she wants to see them through. “You don’t always think about all of the things you’ve been afforded,” she says. “I went to a decent school with small classes and teachers that supported me and were able to give me attention, so I excelled. My students have been told their entire lives that they’re not smart or they’re not able to do something. Although a lot of us see college as a necessity rather than a choice, it’s a privilege to them. It’s humbling and gratifying to improve their confidence and their abilities, and it makes me proud to know I had a positive impact on someone.”
Her dedication to helping others hasn’t gone unnoticed. In April, Reome received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence at an awards ceremony in Albany. “It was a really happy day. My parents were proud, and I was pretty proud of myself, too. And I got to take a photo with Chancellor Zimpher. It’s my Facebook photo right now,” she laughs.
She also received the President’s Award for Undergraduate Student Excellence this year, after receiving honorable mention as a junior.
“I’ll miss my classes and learning the most,” she says about Binghamton, and notes that even sickness never kept her from class. “I love being taught by someone who knows everything they can know about a subject, and I feel privileged for them to impart their knowledge on me. But it’s enough learning, I want to start doing.”
A week after graduation, Reome will start a six-month Americorps position with the local United Way. As part of the Healthy Lifestyles Coalition, she’ll work to alleviate childhood obesity that plagues Binghamton’s North Side. “I’ll be doing community development to help people voice their concerns about the community and also hopefully create healthy changes to improve their overall health through outreach such as education on healthy food preparation and gardening.”
With her newfound free time post graduation, Reome plans to read (for fun!), knit, crochet and catch up on “Breaking Bad.” “The new season is coming out this summer and I’m really looking forward to it! ‘Breaking Bad’ is really important to me,” she jokes. “’And Arrested Development’.”
Then she smiles and adds, “But I know I’ll probably start volunteering and won’t capitalize on the leisure time. But that’s OK.”