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Academic All Star

Academic All StarTufts senior Jesse Levey was named to USA Today's College Academic Team, which recognizes the country's top undergraduate students.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [02.28.02] After reviewing the accomplishments of the country's top college students, USA Today selected 60 undergraduates -- including Tufts senior Jesse Levey -- to its prestigious 13th annual All-USA College Academic Team.

"We honor these students for all they have done to take their college education above and beyond," USA Today editor Karen Jorgensen said. "As undergraduates, they have already used their skills to improve society in original and wide-ranging ways."

Levey -- who was nominated by Tufts political science professor Jim Glaser -- was one of 20 students to be named to USA Today's College Academic Second Team.

"I am honored to be selected, particularly after reading about the accomplishments of the other members," Levey said. During his four-year career at Tufts, he carved out a unique path for himself.

A political science major with a particular interest in political engagement among young people, Levey created a non-profit organization to encourage young adults to take an active role in politics.

"I started United Leaders my freshman year at Tufts because I saw a growing disconnect between young people who are actively engaged in their communities through volunteer service but who are not engaged politically," he said. "Virtually 80 percent of Tufts graduates will have done some form of community service before graduation. United Leaders bridges the gap between traditional forms of service and political service."

Currently the chairman of United Leaders, Levey practices what he preaches.

During the 2000 U.S. Presidential Campaign, Levey worked as a youth coordinator for Senator John McCain's bid for the White House. He was also elected to the University's student government, serving terms as the Parliamentarian and Chairman of the Administration & Budget Committee.

"Tufts has continually supported me in my own efforts and has given me the freedom to make Tufts my own experience," Levey said. "I have also been extremely fortunate to get to know most of my professors on a personal level, as well as many administrators."

Citing Glaser and Tufts president emeritus John DiBiaggio as two important role models for him, Levey credited the close student-faculty relationships with helping to shape his four years at Tufts.

"These two men, as well as my whole Tufts experience, has strengthened my feeling that it is so important to give back," he said. "I have been very fortunate here at Tufts and throughout my life and I believe it is very important to give back to my own community that has been so generous to me."

He plans to start giving back immediately after graduation.

"Next year I will serve as the CEO of United Leaders and I will spearhead our expansion plan. We are opening two new offices -- one in San Francisco and one in Washington D.C.," he said. "Eventually I would like to go to law school and I hope to use my law degree in the public sector."

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