Seema Desai: Founder, President and Researcher

When she was a freshman at TCNJ, Seema Desai knew that once she graduated she wanted to be remembered for something other than being just a student. She wanted to create something that was her own, and wanted to forge her own path. Along with one of her close friends, Desai created TCNJ’s American Red Cross Chapter. Desai said, “I started the Red Cross Club because I wanted to create something of my own rather than just join a club and be a regular member. Building a club from the ground up and bringing something new to campus was something that was challenging but proved to be a valuable experience for me and was something that taught me what being an effective leader meant.”

Being President of an on-campus organization, Desai has learned many skills and responsibilities that have greatly impacted her life, “being President has taught me how to lead a group of people in an authoritative way while still maintaining a friendly and approachable persona. To be a successful President, I believe that you have to learn to not only be someone who is supportive of those in an organization and be someone that your members can reach out to, but also someone who is willing to enforce what is needed to make the organization thrive.”

Aside from being the co-founder of TCNJ Red Cross, Desai is also a brother and the philanthropy chair for Alpha Kappa Psi, TCNJ's business fraternity. Since Desai is a Chemistry Major and Criminology Minor, it seems interesting that she would join a business fraternity, “I joined AKPsi because I wanted to gain exposure to a new group of people on campus. As a chemistry major, I am usually surrounded by the same people in all of my classes. Besides the social aspect, AKPsi has forced me to become more comfortable speaking in public and sticking up for any ideas that I may have. It has really helped to shape my confidence as I often have to pitch ideas to the rest of my brothers and has also taught me how to work effectively with a large body of people.”

Despite being involved in a wide array of activities across campus, Desai is also conducting independent research for the head of the Chemistry Department, Dr. Stephanie Sen. “Currently my research entails developing a community engaged learning module for General Chemistry 202 students in which they use various laboratory techniques to test levels of lead from soil samples collected in the Trenton area,” Desai said.  

 As an individual open to new experiences, it is no surprise that Desai aims to forage a great path for herself in the future. She plans to “pursue a career where I can give back to people or to the community. I feel a great sense of pride when I am able to impact someone’s life in a positive way and so I feel as though I’d best be able to pursue that either in the field of medicine or as a professor that is giving back to my students (or maybe both!)”.