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Faith Voinovich, a sophomore studying chemical engineering and part of the Cutler Scholars Program, is the new student trustee. She invites students to stop by her office hours as she hopes to represent the ideas of the student body as best she can. (LIZ MOUGHON | PHOTO EDITOR)

Faith Voinovich hopes to get students involved as new student trustee

Faith Voinovich said the first person she called after she was announced as Ohio University's new student trustee was her mom, Dina.

“My mom started screaming and yelling that she couldn’t believe it,” Voinovich said. “I called her first because she had asked me earlier in the day to make sure that she was updated the whole time.”

After talking to her mom, Voinovich spoke to her dad, George, and the two shared “happy tears” over the news. She said the first person her dad would have wanted to tell was his father, Ohio University alumnus and former U.S. Sen. and Ohio Gov. George Voinovich, who died over the summer.

Before the new student trustee was announced at the Leadership Gala on April 5, Faith said she knew all the candidates were qualified to fill the position. When she was announced, she was emotional in the moment.

“It was an exciting thing that I was chosen, but it also reminded me to utilize the resources this campus has because one person can’t do it all,” Voinovich said.

As student trustee, one of her biggest goals is to make sure students are aware of what’s going on at OU. Faith said she hopes to reach out to organizations she’s not a part of that would like to be represented by her as the new student trustee. She also hopes students will reach out to her and get involved in the Board of Trustees.

“You might not necessarily know who I am, but I am more than willing to represent what you have to say,” Faith said. “I want to hear from people.”

Along with reaching out to students, Faith hopes to continue the communication that has improved over the past couple years. She thinks it’s important the trustees are aware of what’s going on at OU because they aren’t on campus all the time. Coming in as an outsider, she is interested in seeing the potential changes that are possible.

The Board of Trustees also works with Student Senate to help improve OU for the students, faculty and staff. Zach Reizes, another candidate for the position and a member of next year's Senate, said he looks forward to using his friendship with Faith to help improve the relationships between OU students and administrators.

Though the Board of Trustees works toward long-term goals for OU and Student Senate works in short term, he knows Voinovich will be able to focus on both.

“As I know Faith, I think she is excellent at both small picture and big picture planning,” Reizes said. “I know she will be an excellent advocate for immediate student interests and for long-term student interests on the Board of Trustees.”

Brooke Mauro, who is studying abroad in Budapest, will work with Voinovich as the other student trustee next year. In the meantime, Voinovich is working with P.J. Roden, who is one of the current trustees and helping her learn the ropes. Roden told her what to expect from her first meeting with the trustees and advised her not to be afraid to speak up.

“These meetings are a huge part of the student trustee position and how we communicate with the different faculty and relay the information we are hearing on campus,” Roden said in an email. “I have answered numerous questions to Faith about what to expect in the meetings, and I know she will be extremely prepared for the position.”

Voinovich, a sophomore studying chemical engineering on the biological track, is involved in the Cutler Scholars Program, a scholarship program that is involved with the Honors Tutorial College. She is also involved in C-Suite, a student-run initiative to increase creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship on campus.

Voinovich, who is from Hudson, is interested in gaining a master's in chemical engineering and a dual MBA through a program at the university. After graduation, she hopes to start her own business.


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