Graduate student appointed as Kent State Board of Trustees member

Daniel Moore

Governor John Kasich has appointed Kent State graduate student Chelsea Knowles to serve as the student member of the Kent State Board of Trustees.

“I’ve always been a fan of public service, and that’s something that I want to pursue as a career,” Knowles said.

Knowles completed her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Managerial Marketing last May and is studying to receive her Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Public Policy. She said several interests led her to apply for the board position.

“I’m very passionate about Kent State and the issues that go on here,” she said. “I’m passionate about the happenings within the community as well as … how we are related to our students and our faculty and other businesses in the area.”

The 11-member board has two non-voting positions for students — one graduate and one undergraduate. Knowles replaces Katherine O’Brien, whose term ended in May, and joins Brady Ruffer, the undergraduate student trustee.

Knowles said the process of becoming a student trustee was a standard application process.

“It was actually quite a lengthy process,” she said. “It started back in April. We had to send in (a) resume, cover letter and get a recommendation letter. I got called back for an interview.”

The interview, she said, was the basic job interview with important university officials. The university could send up to five names to the governor’s office, which made the final decision.

Knowles said she was told she would find out in June or July whether she got the position, but was notified only last Tuesday.

Each student trustee has a two-year term. Knowles said she will sit on the Finance and Administration and Audit committees this year and will switch to the other two board committees next year.

President Lester Lefton said Knowles’ appointment represents a fantastic opportunity for students to see the inner processes and procedures of running a university.

“I think it’s a terrific experience for a student to be able to see how things work,” Lefton said. “It’s a great experiential learning event for them, particularly for students who are interested in going on in higher education — if only because they’ll end up having to attend all the meetings. So it’s sort of like a forced experience.”

Knowles said she hopes to gain that experience from what it’s like to serve.

“I mean, I know technically I’m not a public official, but I’m in a public position to just voice concerns from a larger body,” Knowles said. “(I’m) not speaking from a personal perspective but trying to represent the graduate student body.”

Contact Daniel Moore at [email protected].