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Paul Reeder

P. Reeder

Paul Reeder’s career experience includes being an enlisted paratrooper in the Army, a cybersecurity consultant in the White House, running a division of a systems integrator, helping grow a small business from 15 to 100 people, and several roles at Amazon. He is currently senior manager for Amazon Web Services. But long before all that, Paul was a resident advisor and a head RA at Virginia Tech.

Though he volunteered as an elementary school teacher’s aide and worked with Business Horizons and the YMCA, Paul said he felt the most community in Student Affairs. He made lifelong friends who were also RAs, he met his future wife through the RA program, and he formed lasting and impactful relationships with Student Affairs staff. He considered then-Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Edward Spencer a mentor.

Paul said, “My approach to building relationships today is firmly grounded in my experience in Student Affairs. Student Affairs programs really make the college experience special. There is no substitute for the practical skills that I got from my experiences outside the classroom at Virginia Tech, particularly for building relationships and learning to organize around priorities.”

A 1997 Virginia Tech management major, Paul has been an active and effective member of the Student Affairs Alumni Advisory Board for more than a decade.

John Graham, a fellow board member, said, “When I think of Ut Prosim, I think of Paul. I view Paul as a force for good and we are so lucky that he continues to share his leadership skills with our great university. Paul encouraged us to stretch our goals for fundraising and, in doing so, we exceeded our expectations.”

In fact, it was a Paul’s generosity and leadership of Student Affairs that made this spring’s Giving Day a wonderful success. Our students benefit greatly from the support of alumni like Paul.

Paul said, “We often look for opportunities to serve a greater good in a defined capacity, such as public service, volunteering, and other activities. More and more I believe that there are opportunities to serve ALL the time. Every day we have opportunities where a kind gesture or word, expression of understanding, quick offer to help, or simply listening to another person can make a difference in their day and their life. Ut Prosim then becomes a continuous theme in our lives with continuous opportunities to be graceful and supportive to other people in a way that, in the aggregate, really makes the world a better place.”

Paul’s advice to students is, “The challenges which seem overwhelming as a student are really opportunities for growth and are necessary experiences that prepare us to live our best lives. This can be hard to imagine when you’re in the middle of a tough semester with exams and projects due while going through a bad break-up. That actually happened to me at the beginning of my Junior year, which was also when I first started as an RA. That semester felt like it was going to be overwhelming, but in the end taught me a lot about myself as a person, enabled me to be more empathetic to others when they feel overwhelmed, and was an opportunity to learn how to focus on things that I could control while letting go of the rest.”

Paul has been married for 23 years to Jennifer Foster Reeder, a 1999 Virginia Tech mathematics major. The have two sons, Maxwell Isaac, age 17, and Elijah Michael, age 12.

Paul -- I can’t begin to tell you all the ways I see you making a difference on campus. Thank you for serving on the Student Affairs Alumni Advisory Board for many years, for leading the Campaign Committee to achieve new heights of service, and for being a passionate advocate for Student Affairs and Virginia Tech.

Student Affairs is honored to present you with the Alumni Aspire! Award for EMBRACE UT PROSIM AS A WAY OF LIFE.