Senior Taylor Gladys has been an advocate for students at Case Western Reserve University since she first stepped foot on campus more than three years ago.
The biochemistry (pre-med) major joined Undergraduate Student Government (USG) as a first-year—serving as a representative for Tyler House—and has served as Parliamentarian and Vice President of Student Life in subsequent years.
“I joined USG as a first-year because I liked my student council experiences in high school,” Gladys said. “I enjoy advocating for people and working to make positive change.”
This year, the political science minor made the leap to president. In her new role, she is responsible for being the voice of the student body to the university’s administration. Not only does she represent students to the administration, but the surrounding off-campus community, too.
“My goal is to build community,” Gladys said “One way I want to do this is by creating a better understanding of diversity.
Gladys also wants to help students build a personal connection to the university, which she believes involves understanding diversity and embracing all the different cultures present on campus. She urges students to provide feedback and create dialogue about the issues important to them.
“I want students to understand that USG is approachable and that we’re here to help,” she said. “I want students to be comfortable to come to us with any questions and concerns.”
In addition to her work with USG, Gladys is a third-year orientation leader. She is one of the first people new students meet when they arrive on campus. For Gladys, the relationship with these students doesn’t end after orientation.
“Throughout the year, I try to go out to dinner and hang out with the students from my Orientation group,” she said. “Overall, I just want to share my love for CWRU and be a friend and mentor.”
Aside from her leadership roles, Gladys also works in Professor of Biochemistry and Medicine Michael Weiss’ biochemistry lab and is active in a sorority. How does she deal with the stress and the on-the-go schedule?
“Modern Family,” she said. “If I have a bad day, I go home and watch multiple episodes. Comedy helps to relax and take my mind off everything for awhile.”
After graduation in May, she plans to take a year off school to travel abroad before starting medical school. Although Gladys is unsure what field of medicine she’d like to pursue, she knows she wants to continue working for underserved populations.
“I love advocate for and help people because I can learn so much about other people through the process—what is important to them, what motivates them, what things in life make them happy,” Gladys said. “Being able to see these things in other people helps me to identify these things in myself, too.”
Learn more about the USG president in this week’s five questions.
1. What is your preferred mode of transportation and why? I prefer walking for the exercise and because I just enjoy being outside. Walking makes you appreciate the outdoors more.
2. What’s next on your reading list? Bossypants by Tina Fey.
3. What has been the most rewarding moment for you while at Case Western Reserve University? The most rewarding thing has been watching the students I met during Orientation transform and excel at the university. I saw them on their first day at school when they were so unsure of themselves, and now so many of them have become successful leaders. It’s awesome.
4. If you had a day to do whatever you wanted, how would you spend it? I would have an all-day Modern Family marathon. I would invite my friends over, get some pizza and Dr. Pepper, and relax.
5. What is your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve? My favorite thing about Case Western Reserve is the support and acceptance displayed by the campus community. I’ve found really good friends here.