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CLAS introduces new student board

Staff Writer

Published: Thursday, February 27, 2014

Updated: Thursday, February 27, 2014 00:02

This March, 20 students from UConn’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) will be selected to serve on the first ever CLAS Student Leadership Board. Members will collaborate with CLAS Dean and board founder Jeremy Teitelbaum to generate feedback to improve CLAS, network with alumni and promote the college and its values across campus.

The application to apply for the board is March 1. All CLAS students who are sophomores or juniors are encouraged to complete the application process, which requires an application form, a 250-word personal statement and the student’s resume.

Caitlin Trinh, Director of Alumni Relations for CLAS, said that emphasis will be placed on the personal statement when selecting candidates for the board. Trinh said that the selection committee will favor applicants who are dedicated to the liberal arts and sciences and to strengthening this community at UConn.

“We want students who will create a sense of unity in CLAS,” Trinh said. “The biggest challenge that students have right now is that they feel there is a wide range of majors (in CLAS) that don’t always connect.”

Board members will attend three meetings per semester in addition to participating in events at which they can promote CLAS, such as Homecoming, Senior Block Party, Open House, Orientation and Commencement. The board will also seek to maintain alumni relationships, as alumni are interested in students’ academics and activities, Trinh said. Maintaining this relationship will require members to staff career-oriented events including alumni career panels and reaching out to alumni by giving them campus tours or taking them to lunch to talk about classes.

Trinh said the combination of these activities will translate to roughly 12 hours of involvement with the board each semester.

Sophomores selected to the board for its inaugural year will likely serve a two-year term, Trinh said, as they will have the experience needed to lead the board in its second year.

Katie Farrington, Alumni Relations Graduate Assistant for CLAS, said a graduate student will play an advisor role to facilitate conversation among the group, but the ideas will come from students.

“Thoughts and ideas of students will drive the direction of outcomes for this board,” Farrington said.

One aspect of serving as a board member that is certain to be positive, though, are the skills students will gain in the realms of professional communication and networking, data collecting and interpreting, peer and faculty collaboration and leadership.

“Students receive an equal if not greater benefit than we do in gaining experience to market for a future employer or grad school application,” Trinh said.

According to the CLAS mission statement, the college strives to develop students into independent thinkers, lifelong learners and responsible citizens - attributes which future leadership board members should possess. In addition, as the college spans the humanities and the natural, physical and social sciences, Farrington said the board members selected will be representative of these different departments.

“We wanted a diverse group of students to come together and collaborate,” Farrington said. “‘What does it mean to be part of CLAS, and how do we work together across the different departments?’”

 

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