Although Calder Stembel is graduating this year, he hopes his time at GW will only be his first of many experiences with students and academics.
“My dream is to be an advocate for students as a university dean or a university president and focus on academics and student services,” Stembel said.
Stembel said his work with Camp Kesem, a free summer camp for children of cancer patients, has made him passionate about public service.
“It’s had a tremendous effect on me. I’ve learned how to do so many things, I’ve met so many people and I’ve tried to give back as much as I can through the organization,” he said.
As fundraising co-chair his junior year, Stembel helped raise over $30,000 for the organization. This year he served as executive co-chair and helped Camp Kesem win the title of best service organization on campus by the Student Activities Center.
Alongside his work of serving children in the community, Stembel has served undergraduate students as a representative in the Academic Advising Advisory Committee. The purpose of the committee is to share advising practices among all the undergraduate colleges and understand students’ perceptions of advising.
“I was able to make recommendation to Provost [Steven] Lerman, while representing the Columbian College and the University Honors Program,” he said.
When not conducting public service, Stembel worked part-time for the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences in the Technology Support Office. Through this, he had the opportunity to work with “many wonderful people in the College, the different academic departments and the Dean’s office, while learning technology and project management.”
“I’ve been able to not only experience GW as a student, but as a staff member, which has allowed me to branch out so much more.”
Stembel will be graduating with a bachelor’s in dramatic literature. He said he spent his four years looking for something other than the typical D.C. political experience.
“D.C. has such a vibrant arts scene which is at times overshadowed by the political events occurring around the city,” Stembel said. He chose his major after being a part of the Dean’s Scholars in Shakespeare Program, a co-curricular program at GW.
A graduate of the University Honors Program, Stembel said the program “developed into a significant community experience. I got the sense that even though I was in an urban university, I still had a small tight-knit group of peers.”
Stembel will be continuing his education at GW next fall as a student in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development. He will be studying higher education administration and also hopes to work for the University.