Many STEM students are busy with school, social lives, and part-time jobs. Eric Shehadi, a junior mathematics student, is one of those students. While he does more than just his school work and hang out with friends, Eric finds time in his busy schedule to help with various clubs and organizations.
Community involvement is one of the most important aspects of Eric’s education. He is often found coordinating volunteer events for various organizations he participates in; for example, he brought a crew of STEM Leadership Society (SLS) members to help build a new Idora neighborhood park. Eric currently holds one of YSU’s student trustee positions, as well as serving on the McDonald School Board. He was also the student coordinator the 10th and 11th Annual MathFests. In addition, he is a member of University Scholars, Sigma Tau Gamma, and Pi Mu Epsilon.
Many would wonder why a mathematics student would be so involved with community and politics, but for Eric, it comes naturally. During his senior year of high school, Eric debated on whether to study mathematics or political science. While he had passion in both, he chose to come to YSU to study mathematics because of the encouragement of former chair, Dr. Nate Ritchey and the ability to participate in SLS.
While he has been at YSU, he has focused on conducting research, which he has presented before the city of Youngstown and the Mathematical Association of America. He was awarded with excellence in student exposition and research for his work, “Prioritizing Vacant Residential Properties for Demolition in Youngstown, Ohio.”
Eric has also held internships for neighborhood development with the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation in collaboration with Youngstown City Council and also through the WCBA Center for Non-Profit Leadership, whose Summer Honors Internship Program was supported by the Raymond John Wean Foundation. In his internship, he met two of his mentors, Fourth Ward City Councilman Mike Ray and YNDC Deputy Director Ian Beniston. He attributes much of his success to Mr. Ray, Mr. Beniston, Dr. Ritchey, and his parents, Emily and Richard.
Eric enjoys working with the local government, like his project that prioritizes vacant houses for demolition, to find different ways of collaboration. He will be following his ideal career by incorporating math with politics, but on a somewhat larger scale. This proud STEMian and Penguin is looking toward the future and looking into masters programs.