Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

CPE's new student advisory group begins work with education policy leaders

September 01, 2020

Top, L-R: Aaron Nethery, Abigail Stewart, Afi Tagnedji, Jason Parsons, Cameron French, Clay Wallace, Taylor Hoffman and Te'Asia Martin. Middle, L-R: Ethan Allen, Eyouel Mekonnen, Gregory Wieland, Molly Logsdon, Mallory Quisenberry, Mahogany Shelton, Trevor Schooley and Walter Steely. Bottom, L-R: Michaela Taylor, Nadia Pacheco, Noah Young, Priyadarshini Chandrashekhar, Rachel Burns and Scott Nelson. Photos submitted.

With the fall 2020 semester well under way, a new 22-member student panel has begun advising the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education on a diverse range of student concerns and policies, such as online learning, campus equity and mental health.

The Student Advisory Group held its first meeting in August and is set to continue its work through June 2021. CPE policy leaders hope to glean insights from the group on both high-level issues and matters that may need more attention from student government or campus boards.

Members may also help out with events, public engagement and policy development at CPE.

"Students are facing the most challenging academic year in memory, and this group provides an invaluable opportunity to understand their unique needs and circumstances," said CPE President Aaron Thompson. "We're eager to learn from their experiences and engage on the issues that matter most to them."

The group is comprised of students from public, two-year and four-year institutions across the state. All of them have completed at least one year of college credit, and their areas of study range from biology and physical therapy to agribusiness, communications and political science, among others.

Participants cited a broad spectrum of ideas, reflections and concerns in their applications to CPE, including college affordability, more access to mental health services, more inclusion and equity on campus, and stronger supports and resources for student success.

"As a member of this board, my goal is to bring about bold dialogue, progressive reforms, and uplift the marginalized to bring about an ever-changing, equitable future for postsecondary education," said Noah Young, a political science major at the University of Louisville. "Making the state of postsecondary education an optimistic, equitable, and prosperous enterprise, not only benefits our great state, but the country as a whole."

Another member, Eyouel Mekonnen, an English and political science major at Eastern Kentucky University, pledged to advocate for students on the margin. "Students in our commonwealth need representation and a sustainable support system," he said.

Members include:

Last Updated: 7/21/2021