ATHENS, Ohio (July 3, 2006) -- Gov. Bob Taft has announced that Lydia Gerthoffer will be Ohio University's new student trustee. The junior began a two-year term on the Ohio University Board of Trustees in June.
"Lydia has really been an outstanding citizen on campus," said Alan Geiger, assistant to the president and secretary for the board of trustees. "The fact that she is involved in so many campus organizations will strengthen her ability to be a good student trustee."
Gerthoffer, a native of Yellow Springs, Ohio, is a political science major and communications studies minor. She has played an active role as a member on the Ohio University Review and Standards Committee, the East Green Residence Life Council and the Biddle/Lincoln Hall Complex Council. She has also worked as the facility assistant at the Ping Center, resident assistant for the Department of Residence Life and supplemental instruction leader for the Academic Advancement Center.
While student trustees are not offered voting privileges, they serve on various board and community committees, and they attend and participate in the five annual Board of Trustees' meetings. They provide a voice for students by raising important concepts to the board and by communicating with campus and community contacts. Involving students as trustees continues a tradition that shares a key Vision OHIO concept: incorporating students in various functions of the university to help them learn outside of the classroom and work collaboratively.
To receive an appointment for the position, students must go through a thorough application process. Students must submit an application form, their resume, two personal essays and three letters of recommendation. Five finalists that make it through the interview process held by Ohio University Student Senate are then sent to Columbus to interview with the governor's staff.
"We have always been blessed with outstanding student trustees because of the process involved to determine them and because of student senate leadership," Geiger said. "It has been a blessing to have young men and women on the board in many ways. One is that we have had outstanding young men and women who have their finger on the pulse of this campus. Another is they have a gained a great deal of personal credibility and have a high degree of involvement based upon that credibility."
Aside from involvement on campus and within the community, students should possess certain skills that will make them valuable representatives to the board.
"Maturity," said Micah Mitchell, current senior student trustee. "There is a lot of tact, honesty and directness involved. You need to be the type of person who has personal relationships with faculty members, administrators and other people around campus to be able to tap into those resources."
Gerthoffer has prepared for the position by keeping up with university and local news, reading the agenda for the first board meeting and seeking information and tips about the position through Mitchell as well as other trustees.
During her time as student trustee, she wishes to contribute a thoughtful and mature student perspective on many of the issues facing the university.
"It is important for students to see that there is someone to reflect a student perspective on different policies and issues," she said. "I would like to be a great person to work, someone who other members can respect and value," she said.
Gerthoffer is especially interested in discussing and tackling issues between the campus and community, matters concerning diversity and relations between faculty and administrators.
To learn more about the Ohio University Board of Trustees, visit www.ohio.edu/president/trustees.cfm.
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