On his journey toward becoming an English teacher, third-year Integrated Language Arts major Beau Uqdah has been busy recruiting and welcoming students to Ohio University.
This summer was Uqdah’s first time working as a Bobcat Student Orientation Leader, and he used his experience as a transfer student to make incoming freshmen more comfortable.
“I worked with parents and guests in the College of Arts and Sciences,” Uqdah said. “That was exciting because I did start college a year later, so I was able to share my experience of being a transfer, and then also how my mom and family adjusted once I had left to come to Athens.”
Uqdah is the president of the Ohio University Transfer Ambassador Program, a group of students who serve as resources for those considering transferring to Ohio University. He also works as a student ambassador for Ohio University’s Brother’s RISE teacher recruitment initiative, a new program intended to create and increase dialogue for African American men entering the teaching field.
“Frequently, black men do not even know this is an option because we do not see ourselves represented in the field of teaching,” Uqdah said.
Uqdah is part of The Patton College of Education’s Creative, Active and Reflective Educators (CARE) Program, which allows education majors to gain field experience in the Federal Hocking Secondary School District while taking specially selected classes.
The CARE program was founded on principles of democratic education and is one of the oldest partnerships in The Patton College. Starting in the fall of their sophomore year, CARE students learn to implement innovative strategies that allow the children they teach to experience various educative processes.
“It is such a fulfilling program as we work in the same district for all of our placement hours, so we get to know more about the kids and really build a relationship with them,” Uqdah said.
Uqdah is the Fellowship Chair for Ohio University’s Epsilon Iota Chapter of Phi Sigma Pi, a National Honor Fraternity. He is also the Philanthropy Chair for Ohio University’s Gamma chapter of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity.
Alongside his academic, recruitment, and extracurricular pursuits, Uqdah works in the Stevens Literacy Center. The center, based in McCracken Hall, seeks to improve lives by researching, developing, and promoting literacy across the lifespan.
Uqdah recognizes the importance of reading, especially when reflecting on the impact that his high school English classes had on his life.
“For a long time, I did not know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, but I loved English class,” said Uqdah. “I loved reading, discussing, and writing papers that challenged me to think deeper about works of literature.”
After he graduates, he hopes to enter the teaching field and make a lasting impact on his students.
“Some of the most influential teachers I had in high school were my English teachers, and I feel that I should pay that back,” Uqdah said. “Especially for the students who don't know what they want but need someone to listen and challenge them in the classroom.”