On March 3, the Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity hosted a talk with actor and journalist Reed Alexander. Students may recognize him as Nevel Papperman, a popular and comedic antagonist from the hit Nickelodeon show “iCarly.” Nevel, who had an obsession with Carly, would often interfere and sabotage the main characters’ web show in his appearances. Since then, Alexander has pursued a career in journalism and discussed his journey from child actor to his current life, on Zoom, with over 70 participants attending.

The event was run as a dynamic conversation moderated between Alexander and the attendants by TKE executive board members. A key theme throughout the talk was Alexander’s focus on mental health. After graduating from New York University (NYU) with a degree in media studies and broadcast journalism, he dove into reporting on and editing stories about mental health for Retreat Behavioral Health. Using the umbrella of “mental well-being” throughout his talk, Alexander discussed hosting panels in the past on trauma recovery and the ethics of journalism for covering traumatic events and their effects on survivors of traumatic experiences.

“People always call journalists out for exploiting trauma victims or trying to get the quote, which is at the expense of making a really hard situation worse for someone who survives something really terrible,” Alexander said.

Alexander investigated the 2018 Parkland, Florida shooting two years after the event and reported on the inadequate mental health resources for the survivors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School through South Florida’s Sun-Sentinel. Alexander found these discoveries troubling and something that needed to be amended.

“Their mental health had gotten worse in the absence of really satisfactory mental health resources to support them and help them rebuild to pick up the pieces,” Alexander said.

These findings vexed Alexander because of the changes that occurred in Parkland after the shooting. He hoped to spread awareness on how small towns like Parkland cope in the years following a tragedy and make sure the helpful resources are present for those who need it.

A decent portion of the talk was dedicated to Alexander’s time on “iCarly,” which he said was more significant than just another child actor job. There were problems that Alexander addressed, like the pressure of being an actor at such a young age. Moreover, the demand for high-level performances and having millions of people watch were critical pressures on him. Overall though, Alexander spoke fondly on the experience working with the cast.

“It was a real family environment and I think that helped because we were able to lean on each other,” Alexander said.

Alexander said his time on “iCarly” also pushed him to pursue a career in journalism. While attending NYU, Alexander was met with new challenges and had nowhere to go but up. Alexander said the different environment pushed him to work hard and fully explore this new facet of his life. His exposure to reporters at a young age also contributed to his curiosity in journalism. By 2020, Alexander obtained his master’s degree in journalism at Columbia University.

Jared Lake, social chair and secretary of TKE and a sophomore majoring in business administration, has been friends with Alexander for almost two years. Lake wrote in an email that he was happy to see the turnout and pleasantly surprised by the questions the participants asked. He found Alexander’s vast knowledge of different topics to be enlightening for attendees.

“Whether they just came to meet Nevel from ‘iCarly’ or came to hear Reed’s advice and experiences with dealing with mental health, everyone that attended got at least something out of the event,” Lake wrote.

Currently, Reed Alexander is a financial reporter for Business Insider, researching Wall Street, financial markets and more. Even with his fully realized career, he never forgets his roots as the beloved fan-favorite character Nevel.