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Graduate assembly elects new officers

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 30 - April 27, 1995

Students from around the country will lead the Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) at Virginia Tech come May 15. The new officers, elected by fellow graduate students, are Bryan Rowland of Christopher, Ill., GSA president; Tabitha Copley of Oxford, Ohio, vice president; Andrea Lawson of Elyria, Ohio, secretary; and Mike Schroder of Purcellville, treasurer.

Rowland, a doctoral student in vocational and technical education, said he became involved in student governance because "we can do a lot of things to make a difference in students' lives. Also, I want to give back to a university that has given me a top-notch education and opportunities to hone my skills by allowing me to serve on university committees and on the TQM effort in Research and Graduate Studies. I've learned different ways to do things and about the intricacies of the university."

His goals as head of the graduate student representative body are to work closely with the undergraduate Student Government Association, involve as many people as possible to reflect the diverse opinions and philosophies among the university's 4,500 graduate students, and promote the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students regional conference, which will be here in February. "I am excited about sharing with other universities the relationship VT students have with the administration. We are doing creative things and have model programs."

Rowland's long-range goals are to shape policy as it affects that segment of the population that does not go on to college. "Seventy-five percent of all high school students do not complete a college degree. I want to encourage high-school students to seek training so their quality of life will be as good as possible."

He is president of Omicron Tau Theta, the vocational-technical honor fraternity, and is a member of the university athletic committee and the GSA lecture series committee.

Rowland's bachelor's degree is from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne in speech communication, and his master's is in vocational studies from Southern Illinois.

Copley, a first year student in the College of Veterinary Medicine, became active in the GSA in order to bring her college more into the graduate community and governance system. "When I got to the veterinary college, I became editor of the Veterinary Log and was elected as a GSA delegate. I learned how student government works, and I want to be a part of it and have input, rather than go through a middle man," she explains. She would also like to expand the GSA's visibility at Virginia Tech, "so that it is an entity that people recognize and come to if they need to."

Copley's professional goals also evolved as a result of wanting to be involved, in this case on behalf of animals. Copley's long-range goal is veterinary pathology or emergency medicine. "I like the `seek and identify' type of medicine," she says. "I want to find out what's wrong and cure the animal."

Copley earned her undergraduate degree in biology cum laude from the University of Maryland.

Lawson, a master of fine-arts student in theatre arts, also holds a leadership position with the GSA because she wants to be involved. "I went to the NAGPS southeast regional conference at Auburn, and that got me pepped up. I wanted to do more," she says.

"After meeting graduate students from different universities, I knew our GSA was better off. I learned what topics would be important and informative for the conference that will be at Virginia Tech next year."

She was elected Southeast Regional Legislative Concerns Representative for NAGPS. Her responsibility is to gather information regarding legislative issues that concern andaffect graduate and professional students, and inform the NAGPS organizations of the concerns and issues.

Lawson earned a bachelor of arts degree in music from Cleveland State University, where she studied with Lucien Joel, a member of the Cleveland Orchestra. She has played the viola for 17 years. Her long-range goals are to work with a symphony orchestra or opera company, and to start an arts-management firm for African-American artists. In May, she will begin an internship with the San Diego Opera Company, where she will be director of administration.

She is also a member of the NAACP Collegiate Chapter, Black Student Alliance, Black Graduate Student Association, and National Forum of Black Public Administrators.

Schroder became GSA treasurer "so I can help the university take advantage of the diverse talents and help place people on committees based on the individuals' interests and knowledge." He says it is also an opportunity to learn from other students and the administration.

A doctoral student in vocational-technical education, Schroder's knowledge includes a background in budget. His bachelor's degree is from Virginia Tech in hotel, restaurant and institutional management. He worked in management for Ground Round Corp., in Massachusetts. "I was involved in training and became interested in that." He is now working with College of Education faculty members to perfect educational standards and measures across the state, and conducting leadership workshops through the Virginia Department of Education.

Schroder is also a member of the American Vocational Association, American Society for Training and Development, Hospitality Management Association, and Omicron Tau Theta honor society.