· 4 min read
Student advisory board strengthens connection with executive vice chancellor
Created in 2017, a student advisory board continues to foster strong connections and important conversations between the Executive Vice Chancellor and Husker students, even during changes in leadership and the pandemic.
"Maintaining this connection with students is a priority for me, and has been for my predecessors," said Executive Vice Chancellor Katherine Ankerson. "One of the ways we can best serve students is to first listen to them. These meetings are an excellent way to share thoughts and upcoming initiatives, learn more about what we're doing right, and most importantly, what we can be doing better."
Aside from meeting virtually during the height of the pandemic, the format of these meetings has remained unchanged: casual conversation around a meal with time for representative "report-outs" and questions. One addition to the gatherings has been the inclusion of undergraduate and graduate education deans.
"Having Amy Goodburn and Deb Hope available to answer student questions has provided the opportunity for more robust discussions, as students can ask follow-up questions in real time," said Ankerson.
Madison Hurst, political science major in the College of Arts and Sciences, found the student advisory board to be a welcoming environment in which students were encouraged to share their thoughts. "Interacting with university administration is important, but the experience was even more impactful because the Executive Vice Chancellor made it a priority to seek out connections with students and create a space for us to connect with one another. I truly enjoyed receiving updates about matters like the spring pre-session and being able to provide feedback."
"What I found to be most memorable was hearing about all of the great work of other student leaders, especially the various perspectives and discussions from students representing different organizations with vastly different goals and missions," Hurst said.
As a law student who spends his time primarily on East Campus, and as someone who did not attend UNL for his undergraduate degree, Cal Thomas, juris doctorate candidate in the College of Law, said the student advisory board gave him a stronger connection to the campus community.
"It was a great opportunity to partake in meaningful dialogue about important considerations facing the campus on a student-to-administrator basis. It also provided a unique forum for us to become aware of noteworthy events across a wide array of student groups and interests," said Thomas.
Trenton Hammond, pursuing biological sciences and health and disease majors in the College of Arts and Sciences, said he thoroughly enjoyed being on the student advisory board. "I think it is amazing that we have such great conversations about important things on campus and an understanding of what is going on behind the scenes," he said. "I also enjoyed discussing summer and future plans with all of the other amazing students."
"My experience was beneficial beyond initial belief, being able to be fully immersed in not only the preliminary discussions about projects but also the implementation of those projects," said Wyatt Koppold, biochemistry major in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. "I really enjoyed getting to come and eat lunch with everyone and discussing how and why certain initiatives work and don’t work."
"It also really helped me in my own college’s advisory board, in connecting the students to the faculty and feeling a part of their own college’s decisions," said Koppold.
Cooper Sheets, computer science major in the College of Arts and Sciences and member of the University Honors Program, enjoyed connecting with other student leaders on campus.
"I felt like the Executive Vice Chancellor was fully invested in both my organization and everyone else’s. The discussions made me feel like my input truly mattered, and I would have a hand in shaping a part, however small, in how the university operates," said Sheets.
The student advisory board meets a few times each year; in 2022-23 it was twice a semester. Members of the 2022-23 EVC Student Advisory Board are listed below by the college and/or unit they represent. New members will be selected to replace leaders who are graduating or cycling out through campus elections.
2022-23 Executive Vice Chancellor Student Advisory Board
- Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources – Wyatt Koppold, biochemistry
- Architecture – Doug Rief, architecture
- Arts and Sciences – Trenton Hammond, biological sciences and health and disease
- Business – Becky Koppelman, economics and supply chain management
- Education and Human Sciences – Heather Bateman, elementary education with a minor in Spanish
- Engineering – Lucas Rowden, mechanical engineering
- Fine and Performing Arts – Ally Akerberg, dance and psychology
- Journalism and Mass Communications – Naomi Delkamiller, journalism and advertising and public relations
- Law – Cal Thomas, law
- Afrikan People's Union – Nyagoa Deng, political science
- ASUN – Jake Drake, political science
- First Generation Nebraska – Taylor Daum, English
- Graduate Student Assembly – Katie Mowat, engineering education research
- Greek Life – Mary Foster, finance; Wil Koumaka, computer and electrical engineering; Isabella Villanueva, fisheries and wildlife
- Honors Program – Cooper Sheets, computer science
- Residence Hall Association – Madison Hurst, political science
- W.H. Thompson Scholars – Laura Perez-Villagomez, psychology and sociology