Eusebio Omar van Reenen is a sophomore double major in biochemistry and political science from Walvis Bay, Namibia. In this week’s Video Spotlight, he discusses how GENIUS Olympiad brought him to Oswego, his many activities for the campus, being a Laker Leader and his advice to incoming students interested in getting involved. 

Q. Why did you choose SUNY Oswego?
A. Oswego annually holds an international high school environmental fair in the summer which is called GENIUS Olympiad, which invites students who are in high school to showcase their research, their creative writing short forms and I was selected to represent my country as an ambassador and as a participant in the science fair. And after the science fair, I received a scholarship to attend the university for four years, and I took it up as a great opportunity to pursue my degree at such a fine institution.

Q. Why did you choose your majors?
I’ve always loved science. Coming from Namibia, which in Africa, with a large HIV and AIDS population. I’ve always been interested in cancer research, I’ve wanted to take biochemistry to help push science research forward in Africa. So I’ve always been in love with science. But I came to Oswego and Oswego … offers students an opportunity to have two majors or two minors and so forth, so you can explore your interests and not be defined to one. 

I came I guess at the right time when all the political movements were sparked, and I was always interested in student governance back home ... I took one class as a General Education elective in my first semester, a political science class, and I absolutely loved it. The political science department at Oswego is absolutely amazing, so I took it up and don’t regret it ever since. They are polar opposites, but they are both my passion.

Q. What are you active in outside the classroom?
From my first semester on campus, I’ve been involved with the Student Association, which is the student government of the student body on campus. I am a senator in the Student Association for the constituents of Hart Hall. I’ve been on the Hart Hall Council as an international representative and on the International Students Association as an advocacy representative. I’m also involved in the Student Assembly of SUNY, which is comprised of all the student governments of the 64 campuses and represents all our 600,000 students as a whole.

So I’m currently a Laker Leader on campus, which helps run orientation and basically helps ease students into their college life or becoming acquainted with the campus of SUNY Oswego. I joined it to help students fall in love with the campus and get involved with the campus, just as I did.

Q. What advice would you have for incoming students on getting involved?
Getting involved on campus is the best way to spend your time and is the best way to build your time management skills and your leadership skills. As far as prioritizing that time, I am still trying to learn how to do it. An advice that I can give them is to not spread themselves too thin. One motto I live by is that if you’re not going to do something right, don’t do it at all.