This spring, Malinda “Lindy” Reed’s smiling face was plastered on posters all over campus as she campaigned for student trustee.
So what’s behind that face?
A scholar’s mind, a social justice advocate’s passion, a formidable work ethic – and a winner.
Starting in July, Reed will begin her term as the student trustee representing UMass Lowell on the University of Massachusetts Board. She will also have a vote: Each year, two of the five student trustees (one from each campus) have voting privileges, and this year the Lowell campus gets a turn.
Reed’s platform: keeping college affordable by opposing increases in tuition and fees, lobbying the legislature for better funding and working with professors to use open-source textbooks; seeking a student voice in new building and major renovation projects; and expanding co-ops and other career-building resources.
Reed, a rising junior in the Honors College who is double-majoring in history and English and minoring in legal studies, grew up in Lowell and graduated from Lowell High School in 2014. She’d thought of going away for college to broaden her horizons, but she applied for – and won – the Paul Tsongas Scholarship that covers all her expenses here, including room and board.
“I love it here. I still feel like I’m getting the full college experience,” she says now. “I’ve been really happy living on campus, with the friends I’ve made and the clubs I’ve joined.”
She started her freshman year in the Hall of Justice Living-Learning Community. Reed, who is interested in becoming a lawyer and working in immigration law or international human rights, also joined the Student Government Association, the Pre-law Society and the Mock Trial team.
She was part of the winning effort that saw the Mock Trial team advance from the regionals to a qualifying tournament for the national championships for the first time in the university’s history this spring, beating teams from Bowdoin, Colby, MIT, Wellesley and Northeastern. The team finished in the top half in the qualifying tournament, too, ahead of Harvard, Brandeis, Boston College, Wesleyan and Williams.
Reed has also worked as a research assistant with Asst. Prof. of History Paul Keen at the Center for Lowell History. Starting last summer, she went through dusty boxes full of travel identification documents for Greek and Turkish immigrants who came to Lowell between 1890 and 1920, scanning the originals and entering the immigrants’ names and other information into a database. She’s nearing completion of a LibGuide website cataloguing the documents.
She was inspired to apply for the research assistantship because it matched several of her interests: research experience, immigration and Lowell history. She also had Greek friends in high school and was curious about the historical and cultural background of the city’s large Greek community.
“My prom date was Greek and he and his family went to Greece every summer,” she says.
She finished by researching two prominent members of Lowell’s Greek community, store owner Harry Houpis and attorney Thomas Noucas, who helped translate many of their fellow immigrants’ documents from Greek to English. Her research is helping preserve the history of Greek immigration to Lowell, while learning more about the regions of Greece where most of the immigrants originated.
That chance to do hands-on research is just one of the reasons Reed has never second-guessed her decision to attend college in her hometown.
“Everything has just worked out so perfectly for me,” she says. “I’ve had all kinds of amazing opportunities.”