The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors named undergraduate and graduate student representatives for the 2009-10 academic year.

Each student will serve as a liaison between Virginia Tech’s student population and the board.

Two student representatives are appointed to one-year terms. Each sit on a committee of the governing board and serve as ex-officio members on the Commission of Student Affairs. Student representatives are non-voting members and are required to maintain contact with university faculty and administrators, including the President’s Office and the Provost, as well as Virginia Tech students.

Undergraduate Student Representative

Kristina Hartman of South Glastonbury, Conn., is a junior majoring in biological sciences in the College of Science will serve as the undergraduate student representative.

In this role, Hartman will articulate undergraduate student issues and perspectives to the board of visitors, report back to undergraduate students, and serve on task forces and search committees.

As an undergraduate, Hartman is extensively involved in leadership and volunteer activities at Virginia Tech. She serves as the director of community initiatives for the Student Government Association (SGA) Executive Branch, where she has been involved in the development, planning, and incorporation of sustainability into many SGA-sponsored programs, including the Green Effect Football game, The Community Picnic, The Big Event, and Relay for Life.

Hartman is also a member of Virginia Tech’s Health Education and Awareness Team, in which she volunteers to educate students through Schiffert Health Center-sponsored programs. Additionally, she serves as an undergraduate representative to the Energy and Sustainability Committee and as a member of the GREEN team, where she helps educate students on climate change, renewable energy, recycling, and energy conservation.

Hartman’s honors and awards include Leadership Tech’s 2008 Outstanding Leadership and Service Award and the Student Government Association’s October 2008 Executive Officer of the Month Award.

Graduate Student Representative

Rebecca French of Blacksburg, Va., a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geosciences in the College of Science will serve as graduate student representative.

French will articulate graduate student issues and perspectives to the board of visitors, report back to graduate students, and serve on task forces and search committees.

French earned her master's degree in environmental soil chemistry and ecotoxicology from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and her bachelor’s degree in chemistry and environmental studies from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.

French has a graduate research assistantship with the Department of Geosciences, in which she studies in the fields of environmental nanosciences and technology policy. She is also a member of the National Science Foundation Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology, a $15,000,000 national research project. French also serves on the Health Insurance Committee at Virginia Tech as a graduate student assembly representative and cabinet member, in which she works to provide better health care for students.

French has received numerous honors and awards for her work in the science field throughout her years of education, including membership in the Virginia Tech Graduate Scholars Society, the Oberlin College Harry N. Holmes Chemistry Award, and the Cornell Biogeochemistry and Environmental Biocomplexity (BEB) Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Research Grant Award. She is also a National Science Foundation IGERT Fellow.

The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors is the governing body of the university. It is composted of 14 members, 13 of which are appointed by the governor and the 14th member is the president of the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services, who serves ex-officio. The term of office for each member is four years.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Written by Megan Grubb. Grubb, of Wytheville, Va., is a senior majoring in communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.