Perry selects students for board posts

On May 9, Gov. Rick Perry appointed two UH law students to serve as student representatives to governing boards affecting UH and Texas higher education as a whole.

Charles Lewis III will serve as the first student representative on the Higher Education Coordinating Board, a position created by Perry in 2007.

Perry selected Tamara Goodwin along with nine students from different Texas universities to serve as student regents on the Board of Regents until May 31, 2009.

"In creating these positions, the legislature and governor believed that input from students at this level was tremendously valuable," Deputy Press Secretary and Perry spokesperson Allison Castle said. "In addition, these students will obtain a wider view of higher education which they will carry back with them to their campuses."

Although the students won’t serve as voting members, their responsibilities are to offer a student’s perspective in decision making by participating in meetings, answering questions and relaying student concerns on matters such as tuition increases and enrollment.

While serving on the Higher Education Coordinating Board, Lewis will help with the improvement of higher education in Texas by focusing on the recruitment and success of students by providing grants to increase enrollment and degrees obtained.

"I plan to visit many different Texas campuses to get a pulse on the concerns of students across the state," Lewis said. "I also hope to help the board continue to make progress in strengthening public institutions of higher education and increasing the accessibility of college to all students, especially those that come from an economically disadvantaged background."

Lewis, who received a bachelor’s degree in government from UT Austin within three years, is a mentor at Matthews Elementary, a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the National Political Science Honor Society.

"I am enthused that the governor has chosen a student from our university," said Lewis. "It is certainly a testament to UH’s increasing prominence in higher education."

For Goodwin, being able to serve the UH community is an invaluable opportunity.

"I believe that serving in leadership roles and being a part of organizations play a critical role in your development as a student and individual as a whole," Goodwin said. "Having had the ability to serve as a leader, I am confident I will be prepared to deal with the political aspects of my future career."

Along with being a student member of UH Academic and Student Success 2008-2009 Standing committee, Goodwin is also a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters, an articles editor for Houston Journal for International law and a student member of the American Bar Association and Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.

"I am extremely honored to be appointed to represent the University of Houston system students," Goodwin said." It is my goal to represent student concerns to the Board to the best of my ability."

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