Delmar Dualeh started the Binghamton University chapter of SHADES, a student group that supports students of color who are homosexual, bisexual or transgender. He also has been a tour guide, resident assistant and REACH peer.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
Commencement 2013 profile: Delmar DualehTweet
Campus involvement played an important role in helping Delmar Dualeh determine his career path.
“I think all of the involvement I’ve had on campus has really shaped what I want to do in the future. Through working with students, I know I want to have an active career in social work,” he said. “In addition, I think it has prepared me professionally. Campus jobs and student groups have showed me how to work with different people, how to be a part of a staff, and has really improved my professional build.”
A human development major from Harlem, Dualeh said that he came to Binghamton University because it was affordable and among his top choices. He had been accepted through the University’s Educational Opportunity Program, a program that provides academic and financial support to underprivileged, low-income students who demonstrate the potential to succeed.
“EOP not only gave me the opportunity to be a student here, but also the resources to thrive,” Dualeh said. “The program is a support system that is unique and I can’t imagine my college experience without it.”
Ever since his freshman year, his goal has been to be involved on campus.
“I was a part of the Binghamton Association for Mixed Students. I had been a general body member during my freshman year, as well as the educational coordinator for the organization during my sophomore year,” Dualeh said.
While being involved with BAMS, Dualeh also found time to start the Binghamton University chapter of SHADES, a student group that supports students of color who are homosexual, bisexual or transgender.
“There are SHADES on other campuses, and I wanted to charter it here. The group caters to students of color who are LGBT,” he said. “The reason I created the organization is because I feel that was an underserved population on the Binghamton campus.”
In addition to his participation in student organizations, Dualeh has also engaged in other aspects of campus life. He has been a resident assistant for three years in Newing College; a member of Chi Alpha Epsilon, an honor society that acknowledges the continued success of students who were admitted through non-traditional academic programs; and he has also been active in health education programs.
“I was a REACH Peer for health services − Real Education About College Health. So we did a lot of outreach to students about health topics,” he said.
Dualeh has continued to explore his interest in health education through his internship at the Southern Tier AIDS Program (STAP), which held its annual AIDS Walk on April 21.
When he is not working at his internship, Dualeh works as a tour guide, a job that he said is a good opportunity to advise prospective students on how they can become involved during their four years at Binghamton.
“Being a tour guide is a great job,” Dualeh said. “With all of the student involvement that I have, I can use the knowledge and share it with prospective students and families. I can also show them the University, talk about my experience and answer any questions they may have about the school.”
Dualeh has also studied abroad, and spent the fall 2012 semester in Cape Town, South Africa.
“I wanted to go to a place where, for one, the people spoke English,” Dualeh said with a laugh. “And I wanted to have a different cultural experience, so I decided to go to Africa. I thought: ‘That’s going to be different than what I’m used to.’ I chose to go to South Africa, just because it has such a rich history, and I wanted to see what the country is like today.”
While studying in South Africa, Dualeh volunteered to work in one of the low-income communities, which are referred to as townships. “We helped kids with their computer and literacy skills,” he said.
Dualeh said he “definitely recommends” that students study abroad because it will be a life-changing experience. He cites his decision to study in South Africa as “one of the best things” that he has done during his college career.
Dualeh will pursue a master’s degree in social work at Hunter College in the fall. His long-term career goal is to manage an organization that helps members of the LGBT community who are both underrepresented and underprivileged.
“I would want to be an executive director of a nonprofit organization that works for LGBT youth, maybe in the field of HIV/AIDS or homelessness because those are two things that affect that community,” he said. “I can see myself managing one of those organizations, or hopefully even starting my own.”
Dualeh said that he would advise students to “take part in everything” that they can.
“Don’t just be so focused on your academics, or solely on your social life,” he said. “Be engaged in everything because that’s going to make you a well-rounded person in the future.”