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Board of visitors names Robyn Jones and Nicholas Onopa 2012-13 student representatives


Nicholas Onopa and Robyn Jones Nicholas Onopa and Robyn Jones

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 13, 2012 – 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

Nicholas Onopa of Wausau Wis., is a junior University Honors student majoring in public and urban affairs in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and is pursuing minors in international studies and business leadership.

Onopa started early in his role as a leader when he was part of the Student Government Association’s Freshman Leadership Experience in fall 2009. He participated in Emerging Interfraternal Leaders in fall 2010 and Passport to Leadership, a study abroad program through the University of Virginia, in summer 2011. 

Onopa served as president of Kappa Delta Chapter of Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity and as an executive member of the university’s Hokie Camp for new students. Some of his other many leadership activities have included: serving as a student alumni associate, a student teaching assistant for a freshman honors seminar, and a member of the Student Life Council. 

Onopa was director of scholarships for the Interfraternity Council and fundraising chair for his fraternity. He received the Fraternity and Sorority Life Courageous Leadership Award.

Onopa has been named to the Dean’s List and is recognized by University Honors for maintaining a grade point average (GPA) above 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) while completing 18 extra hours of extra course work.  In addition to his academics and leadership pursuits, he has volunteered his time for the BIG Event, Relay For Life, Hokie Hi, blood drives, and food collection events. He is a counselor for Boys’ State and volunteered at an orphanage and wildlife rescue center in Costa Rica.

Graduate Student Representative

Robyn Jones of West Palm Beach, Fla., is pursuing a Master’s of Education degree in educational leadership and policy studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. She earned her bachelor’s degree in pre-law and public policy in 2005 from Virginia Tech.

While an undergraduate, Jones was elected class president in 2002, the first African American woman to be elected to that position at Virginia Tech.  She was a senator and executive director in the Student Government Association as well as a resident advisor. She also served on the class ring committee and was inducted into the Order of the Gavel, an elite honors society at Virginia Tech, which inducts only 25 new members each year. Additionally, Jones was a member of the student alumni association and the Commission on Student Affairs.

Jones was a Congressional intern in the summer of 2004. Currently, she is a member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators as well as a wife and mother.

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.