Gov. Herbert appoints SUU Senior as 2009-10 Student Regent

Published: October 01, 2009 | Category: Academics

Governor Gary R. Herbert has appointed ¬Southern Utah University Senior Jeffrey Kinsel to become the official spokesperson for more than 173,000 college and university students statewide as the 2009-2010 student representative on the Utah State Board of Regents. 

As such, Kinsel will work closely with the Utah Council of Student-body Presidents over the current academic year, serving as their mouthpiece by providing the student perspective to deliberations that come to the attention of the Board of Regents. The Utah Council of Student-body Presidents is the governing body for the Utah Student Association which represents the interests of Utah’s college and university students from both public and private institutions. 

And though he is just days into his new appointment – and has yet to meet with his new colleagues, as the Regents do not meet again until mid-October – Kinsel feels confident and prepared. 

Kinsel, a senior communication major, spent the 2007-08 school year as diversity liaison to Southern Utah University’s Student Association (SUUSA). In the fall of 2008, Kinsel was then appointed to the post of SUUSA’s public relations director, but was soon promoted during that same school year when the position of chief of staff to SUUSA’s student body president became available. He had planned to continue on in this position for the 2009-10 school year, though he will now resign from that post to serve as student regent. 

And though his peers and advisors are sorry to see him go, they are all very confident the governor could not have selected a better student regent. 

According to Keri Lynn Mecham, director of student involvement and leadership at SUU, “Jeff has a dynamic personality that will serve him well as he undertakes this new role. Jeff takes an innovative approach to problem solving and is constantly coming up with creative concepts that have added value to SUUSA programming.” 

What’s more, adds SUU’s current Student Body President Cody Alderson, Kinsel is able to root such creative problem solving in a “vast base of knowledge and experience concerning higher education in Utah.” 

Alderson continues, “When Jeff believes in something, his dedication really shines. He is capable of accomplishing great things. Jeff will be great in this position as student regent because Jeff is really dedicated to higher education.” 

Considering Kinsel had to first pass a committee interview for the position that included the student body presidents of all of Utah’s colleges and universities, it’s safe to say such sentiments regarding Kinsel’s apparent qualifications are echoed statewide. 

According to Governor Herbert, “Jeff was selected from among a highly-qualified field of candidates. His leadership experience among students will be a great asset on the Board of Regents.” 

When asked about what he thinks he can bring to the Regents’ discussions, Kinsel explains, that he looks forward to providing what he considers a unique perspective to a board that is largely comprised of members who represent the interests of northern Utah. Kinsel explains, “In talking with many student leaders from the state’s more rural schools, there is a general sense of being out of sight and out of mind.” Among a large list of initial interests, Kinsel hopes to use his perspective as a self-defined “rural student” to address retention at the state’s schools that require students to relocate to attend school. 

Kinsel is excited to be the first SUU student in 10 years to secure the student regent position and he plans to keep a close eye on the issues that matter to Snow College, College of Eastern Utah, Dixie State College and SUU students. 

That said, Kinsel is well aware of his call to speak for all students from across the state and is hoping to coordinate individual visits with the student associations of all the state’s schools to better understand their individual concerns. 

As for his own interests, Jeff, who hopes to pursue a career in broadcast journalism, looks forward to “getting to work with high caliber professionals and to better understanding how they run meetings, make decisions and manage politics.”

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