Christopher Meyer embodies the spirit of SPEA. He thrives on making our communities better. Despite being visually impaired, he still sees the need in this world – and he responds. This commitment to community and service is just one of the reasons Chris is being honored as one of IUPUI’s Top 100 students.
Each year, the IUPUI Office of Alumni Relations honors 100 outstanding undergraduate students. These students have a record of demonstrating academic excellence, campus leadership, and community engagement. Meyer and two other SPEA students will be honored at this year’s Top 100 Award Dinner on April 13.
1) What was your reaction to being selected for a Top 100 award?
My initial reaction was one of gratitude to my God, knowing that He gave me a lot of strength throughout my years at IUPUI to make it to this point. I also have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised to have been chosen, because the award is notably a competitive one and many great candidates applied.
2) Why did you choose to attend SPEA Indy?
I struggled initially to find the right course of study for myself at IUPUI. Like many SPEA students, I tried the business school track and found it didn’t match my socially-minded career goals — plus, accounting is my bane. The SPEA Management program gave me good leadership training and organizational awareness to enter the nonprofit and government sectors, so I jumped on-board.
3) What has been one of your most memorable projects in SPEA?
Professor Marshawn Wolley’s Indy Community Development Network course really impacted me and honed my understanding of complex social, economic, and political realities in our city. I’m so grateful for the networking and for the kindness of professors who create opportunities for us to thrive early on in our careers.
4) What advice would you have for students just starting out in SPEA?
My suggestions are perhaps nothing new: build good community around you always, find friends who make you laugh and by whom you are challenged, identify one or two mentors among your professors and stick close to them, and take a Sabbath rest day once a week. Also, reach out to me directly if I can be of any help in your progress. Asking for help and admitting our human limitations is vastly undervalued these days. Best of luck!
5) What are your plans for after graduation?
First and foremost, I want to convey to others that they are loved by God, which is enough of a life goal to commit to alone. Practically, I’ve been pursuing self-employment by 3D printing Braille and large-print maps and models of the world around us to provide accessible and cost-effective solutions for legally blind people like me. I continue to grow in my passion for mobility access for people with disabilities and for larger public transit improvements statewide. After a few more years in the entrepreneurial world I will likely return for my MBA or MPA to go further in business and local government.