Gatepost Interview: Ethan Feuer, Director of Student Involvement and Leadership Development

(Courtesy of Ethan Feuer)

What is your educational and professional background?

I am from the New York area. I went to undergraduate at Brandeis University. I student taught here at Framingham High. After that, I started working at Brandeis University in their admissions office doing general admissions, multicultural recruitment, college access work – I did that for four years. After that, I went to the University of Michigan for grad school, where I also worked in student leadership training and advised a range of their organizations. After that, I worked at MIT doing student activities and renewable energy work. After that, I went to the University of Mary Washington, down in Virginia – Fredericksburg – a small public university, similar in size to Framingham. I directed their Office of Student Activity and Engagement.

What attracted you to FSU?

It was a range of things. One, my student teaching experience here [in Framingham] was really positive. I really enjoyed working in the community. … We actually brought some of our students here for a college access program. I remember we got lost on our bus and all the students stopped us and said, ‘Hey, do you need directions?’ And so, it’s always just seemed like a very friendly place. Two, I love working at a public university, especially a small public university because there’s not a whole lot of them out there. And third, the combination of student programming and student leadership that this university offers was very attractive to me.

In your own words, what is SILD and what is your role in it?

To me, SILD is to believe in informal education and the experience you gain from outside the classroom. We’re obviously here as students to graduate and to get our classes and to work with professors, but we’re also here to learn from getting involved outside the classroom. In fact, I’m a huge believer in the statistic that students who are more engaged outside of the classroom have a higher rate of graduating and have a higher GPA, statistically speaking. So, to me, it is incredibly important. Whether it’s one program a month or a club every single week, getting involved equals college success. So, I think that’s what we’re trying to support.

What is something students would be surprised to know about you?

I’m teaching myself how to fix mopeds. So, I woke up one day and I was like, “I need to know how to fix a car.” And my friend was like, “Maybe you should work on a moped first.” So, I’ve been teaching myself how to fix really old mopeds. Not the most successful. And I also do improv comedy in the Boston area.

Do you ride a moped?

Not to work, but I do ride one around the Boston area – when they work. These mopeds are 40 to 50 years old. Only one has caught on fire.

What advice would you give to students?

Though this is clichéd, it’s get involved outside the classroom. College is a really quick period of time in your life. When else are you going to have the opportunity to get involved, to work with peers with different backgrounds? Do conflict management, do agenda setting, set up projects. I know we all have work. I know we all have classwork. It’s super important to get involved outside.

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