SMU graduate Warren Seay ’10 has been named a third-team member of the USA Today All-USA College Academic Team. Judges selected the three teams of 20 students who “excel in scholarship and reach beyond the classroom to benefit society” from among hundreds of college juniors and seniors across the country.
Seay earned a political science degree from Dedman College in May and plans to attend Dedman School of Law this fall. In May 2009 he won election to the DeSoto, Texas, school board, becoming the youngest elected official in Dallas County and one of the youngest in Texas history.
Also in 2009, Seay was selected as a Truman Scholar, a prestigious national award that recognizes college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government or elsewhere in public service. Out of more than 600 candidates nationwide, he was one of 60 awarded the scholarship, which provides up to $30,000 for graduate study, in addition to leadership training and internship opportunities.
Seay, who was a Hunt Leadership Scholar and president of Omega Psi Phi fraternity at SMU, called the Truman Scholarship a testament to the guidance he received from his professors and mentors. “It represents the type of service-learning that SMU offers and that I want to be part of in the future.”
Seay also participated in the 2008-10 Institute for Responsible Citizenship, a leadership program in Washington, D.C. As one of only 24 students nationwide selected for the institute, he interned in summer 2008 with the Department of Labor and met political leaders including former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
As part of his application for the USA Today All-USA College Academic Team, Seay highlighted his research work with Sociology Professor Anthony Cortese on affirmative action.
“I had the opportunity as an undergraduate to write a book chapter about the history of affirmative action and how its goals have not yet been achieved,” he says. “That opportunity inspired me to look deeper into the issue, to run for the school board and to work to increase young minorities’ access to education. We must close the achievement gap.”