Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Leadership lived: Graduate student finds confidence as a leader thanks to UIS

When Tommie Redmond came to the University of Illinois Springfield, as a freshmen, he thought the campus was “too small” and there wouldn’t be anything to do. He soon discovered the abundance of leadership opportunities awaiting him at UIS.

“Actually being able to put myself out there has made me realize anybody can be a leader and you shouldn’t just have one mindset,” said the Chicago native.

Redmond earned his bachelor’s degree in social work from UIS in May 2018 and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in public administration. As part of that degree, he’s interning in the programming unit at the Illinois Department of Transportation through the UIS Graduate Public Service Internship Program (GPSI).

On campus, Redmond is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the Black Male Initiative. He is also a Necessary Steps Program mentor and an orientation leader.

“I chose to be a part of Alpha Phi Alpha because of the networking opportunities and the brotherhood,” he said. “Also, I feel as if Alpha Phil Alpha has a strong presence. I know a lot of strong black men who came out of Alpha.”

Redmond says he’s most passionate about his work as a social work intern and case evaluator at the Illinois Innocence Project. At the project, he reviews requests from people who say they were wrongfully convicted of a crime and presents that evidence to attorneys.

“I think this work is important because there are a lot of people who get convicted of crimes they didn’t do and I feel everybody needs a voice and I want to serve as that advocate for people,” he said.

Following graduation from UIS, Redmond would like to work for the FBI as a victim support specialist or in Student Affairs on a college campus.

“I think I’ve grown in being confident in what I do here at UIS,” he said. “Being able to advocate for myself and my peers, I feel that shows great leadership.”

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