Diverse group of college students to advise state on policies

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Students on campus wearing masks during day to day activities. Photo by Pete Comparoni | UKphoto

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education has named 22 college students to a new advisory panel that will offer diverse perspectives on student concerns and policies in higher education.

The Student Advisory Group is set to begin this month and continue its work through June 2021. CPE policy leaders hope to glean insights from the group on both high-level issues and matters that may need more attention from student government or campus boards.

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Members may also help out with events, public engagement and policy development at CPE.

“Students are facing the most challenging academic year in memory, and this group provides an invaluable opportunity to understand their unique needs and circumstances,” said CPE President Aaron Thompson. “We’re eager to learn from their experiences and engage on the issues that matter most to them.”

The group is comprised of students from public, two-year and four-year institutions across the state. All of them have completed at least one year of college credit, and their areas of study range from biology and physical therapy to agribusiness, communications and political science, among others.

Participants cited a broad spectrum of ideas, reflections and concerns in their applications to CPE, including college affordability, more access to mental health services, more inclusion and equity on campus, and stronger supports and resources for student success.

“As a member of this board, my goal is to bring about bold dialogue, progressive reforms, and uplift the marginalized to bring about an ever-changing, equitable future for postsecondary education,” said Noah Young, a political science major at the University of Louisville. “Making the state of postsecondary education an optimistic, equitable, and prosperous enterprise, not only benefits our great state, but the country as a whole.”

Another member, Eyouel Mekonnen, an English and political science major at Eastern Kentucky University, pledged to advocate for students on the margin.

“Students in our commonwealth need representation and a sustainable support system,” he said.

The group will hold its first meeting on Aug. 13 to discuss goals for the year.

Members include:

  • Ethan Clark Allen, West Kentucky Community and Technical College
  • Rachel Burns, University of Louisville
  • Priyadarshini Chandrashekhar, University of Louisville
  • Cameron Davis French, University of Kentucky
  • Taylor Hoffman, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Molly Logsdon, Murray State University
  • Te’Asia Martin, University of Kentucky
  • Eyouel Mekonnen, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Scott Nelson, Western Kentucky University
  • Aaron Anthony Nethery, Murray State University
  • Nadia Pacheco, West Kentucky Community and Technical College
  • Jason Brent Parsons II, Morehead State University
  • Mallory B. Quisenberry, University of Kentucky
  • Trevor Daniel Schooley, Somerset Community College
  • Mahogany M. Shelton, Kentucky State University
  • Walter Steely, Murray State University
  • Abigail Nicole Stewart, Jefferson Community and Technical College
  • Afi Henriette Tagnedji, University of Louisville
  • Michaela Taylor, University of Kentucky
  • Clay Wallace, Morehead State University
  • Gregory Thomas Wieland, Northern Kentucky University
  • Noah Young, University of Louisville