Student Trustee Samantha Reid ’18 is graduating a year early, with a 4.0 grade point average, an impressive list of accomplishments, and a clear vision for her future: to practice law, to become a judge, and to serve as an "agent for justice."
As Student Trustee, Samantha represents the more than 76,000 students across the 5 campuses of the UMass system—with a focus on raising concerns specific to students at UMass Dartmouth. She sits on the Academic and Student Affairs Committee and the Committee for Advancement.
"My position yields the ability to create innovative proposals to provide students with additional opportunities, such as free legal services on campus," she said.
"The greatest challenge I faced as Student Trustee was learning the ins and outs of politics," Samantha said. "Being a leader on campus and being a leader working with some of the Commonwealth’s top professionals carry very different expectations and require different skills. Many of the people sitting on the board have years of experience in their industries and politics.
"I have been able to learn quickly through observing and mentorship from the other trustees and UMass President Meehan."
Samantha initially became active in campus student government in 2015 as a student senator for the Class of 2019 and was elected class president. As it became apparent that she would graduate with the class of 2018, she moved from those positions to Student Government corresponding secretary. One of her duties was to coordinate "Shake the Ship," an open forum for students to raise issues with campus administration.
"I made multiple modifications to the event and was told that it was a lot more welcoming and effective than previous Shake the Ship events," Samantha said.
"My leadership experiences have taught me that leadership is not just action but also reflection."
Awards & scholarships
Samantha has consistently earned Chancellor’s List honors and a Chancellor’s Merit Scholarship in addition to a number of other awards and scholarships. She was also recognized for the highest sophomore and junior grade point averages in the Political Science Department for 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Samantha was recently named to key Model United Nations committees after undergoing an extensive interview process and assisting more than 200 delegates in learning the practices of Model UN.
The UMassD Model UN delegation, led by Samantha, earned the title of Distinguished Delegation.
Internships & research
To advance her interest in the law, Samantha has served as a legal intern in different capacities.
In the summer after her junior year in high school, she traveled to Fairbanks, AK and worked as an intern with rotations at a legal practice, a public defender’s office, and a judge’s chambers.
"This experience marked the catalyst of my journey for justice, the exact moment in which I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to becoming a judge," she said. "I became fascinated by the role of the judge and the power she had to shape lives for the better."
Currently, Samantha is a legal intern for the Worcester District Attorney’s Office. She also completed a legal internship at Dominica Maritime Registry, Inc., in Fairhaven, and was a volunteer youth attorney for the Fall River Youth Courts.
Through her work at the youth courts, Samantha learned the importance of finding common ground.
"I was able to be a more effective attorney when I could more fully understand my clients. Although I recognize that I may not always be able to empathize with my clients, I will always strive to work as hard as I can to find common ground."
On campus, she has served as a teaching assistant for the Political Science department and as a tutor for Writing & Reading Center.
She also worked on research with Prof. Kenneth Manning of the Political Science Department on a peer-reviewed article, "Politics and Decision-Making in the Massachusetts Federal District Court."
Next step: law school
Samantha’s immediate next step is to attend law school in the New England area.
"I’m excited to continue to develop my leadership skills in the legal profession as an attorney with a final goal to become a judge. I have applied to a number of law schools and, so far, have already received acceptances and offers of full scholarships. This is really exciting. I cannot thank UMass Dartmouth and the Board of Trustees enough for preparing me to become a top candidate for law school."