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Russ College students selected as presidential leaders

Elisabeth Weems | Mar 5, 2018

Russ College students selected as presidential leaders

Elisabeth Weems | Mar 5, 2018

Two engineering students are bringing visibility to the Russ College and its “create for good” motto as part of their roles in the new, select Ohio University Presidential Leadership Society.

Alvin Chaney, a sophomore industrial systems and engineering major, and Dylan Denner, a junior with a double major in computer engineering and applied mathematics, are two of just 21 OHIO student volunteers selected to serve as official representatives of the university and Office of the President at various presidential events throughout the academic year. OHIO’s 21st president, Duane Nellis, created the group to advance presidential priorities and initiatives.

John Rogers, associate director for presidential events and the group’s advisor, said members must embody the Bobcat mentality – meaning they’re proud to be OHIO Bobcats, are humble and authentic, and truly care about the success of the university.

“Donors, alumni, government officials and community members often interact most with staff and administrators from OHIO,” Rogers said. “By engaging them with students who have been trained on how to share their unique experiences, various constituents gain an inside look at the student experience at OHIO, and the positive impact that industry partnerships and funding has on their education.”

Presidential Leaders have six major responsibilities: learn more OHIO and its history; engage with faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors and friends of the university; further the president’s strategic initiatives; share the student experience with others; elevate the university by showcasing student talents; and represent the university and president at special events on and off campus.

Rogers said Denner and Chaney impressed him with their professionalism during the application and interview process, and that their participation in the society has been valuable.

“They were respectful, communicated thoughtfully, and showed excitement at the possibilities that would be presented to them as members,” Rogers said. “Both have proven to be active participants in the society’s inaugural year.”

Chaney, who is vice president elect of the Institute of Industrial Systems Engineers, an accessibility liaison, and volunteers at United Campus Ministry, said the society embodies the five Cs of OHIO: community, character, civility, citizenship and commitment.

“I’m blessed and grateful to be part of the inaugural group of 21 Presidential Leaders and to represent the Russ College,” Chaney said, adding that his involvement has enhanced his interpersonal skills.

Denner, who is president of OHIO’s chapter of national engineering honorary Tau Beta Pi, leader of the Russ College’s student rocket design and engineering team, and national director of NASA’s intern organization, said the society has given him insight into administrative decision-making processes and enabled him to represent the Russ College community to a wider audience.

“When I was selected, I was ecstatic,” Denner said. “I thought it would be a tremendous opportunity to really extend my reach beyond Stocker Center, the Academic & Research Center and the engineering program -- to really get to interact with some of the higher-ranking OHIO officials and dive deeper into the decisions being made, and to be there to represent the Russ College.”

He added that the passion of other presidential leaders motivates his own success.

“One of my goals for participating in the leadership society is to try to create an environment of honor and pride in the form of being the best student and Bobcat you can be,” Denner said. “The first year has been terrific, and I would really recommend others to look into the organization.”

The Presidential Leadership Society is recruiting new members for the 2018-2019 school year. Students apply to serve for one-year terms and must re-apply at the end of each term for consideration. Use the presidential leadership society nomination form to nominate fellow students, or students may use the application for presidential leadership society to apply. The deadline to apply is Fri., March 9.