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Virginia Tech Board of Visitors names 2011-12 student representatives


Matthew Banfield (left) and Michelle McLeese Matthew Banfield (left) and Michelle McLeese

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 13, 2011 – The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors has named undergraduate and graduate student representatives who will serve as liaisons between the student body and the board starting July 1.

The two student representatives are appointed to one-year terms. They will serve as ex-officio members on the Commission of Student Affairs and sit on a committee of the governing board. These non-voting members are required to maintain contact with university faculty, administrators, and Virginia Tech students.

Undergraduate Student Representative

Matthew Banfield, of Williamsburg, Va., is a junior majoring in theatre arts and cinema in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

Banfield started early in his role as a leader when he moved in to the residential leadership community on campus for his freshman year in fall 2008. He was ring dance chairman for the Class of 2012, where he was responsible for planning and executing the annual Ring Dance and banquet. While in his first year as chairman, Banfield secured the position of associate justice in the Student Government Association. In this position, he served as a liaison between the judicial and executive branches.

Banfield is both an active leader and an active volunteer in the community. Since spring 2010, he has worked close with alumni, staffing reunions and giving tours of the alumni center as part of Student Alumni Associates. He has also been giving tours for prospective students with the Hokie Ambassadors since fall 2010. While he is not at school, Banfield works as a camp medic during summer breaks at the Jamestown 4-H Educational center in Williamsburg, Va.

Graduate Student Representative

Michelle McLeese, of Blacksburg, Va., is a doctoral student in sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

She earned her master’s degree in sociology in 2005 and her bachelor’s degrees in sociology and psychology in 2004, all from Virginia Tech.

McLeese won the Leland B. Tate Award for outstanding scholarship, leadership, and service in sociology in spring 2006. She was inducted into the Alpha Epsilon Lambda graduate honors society in spring 2009. In fall 2009, McLeese was inducted into the Order of the Gavel, an elite honors society at Virginia Tech consisting of 25 members. She is also a past recipient of Virginia Tech Graduate Woman of the Year.

In addition, McLeese is the president of the Graduate Student Assembly. She was a graduate teaching instructor for Introductory Sociology and Social Justice and Diversity courses.

The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors is the governing body of the university. It is composed 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 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $496 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 Tim Sweet. Sweet, a junior from Newtown, Pa., is majoring in communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.