February 15, 2008 – The University of Virginia Board of Visitors has selected third-year student Adom Getachew to be its new student member.
Born in Ethiopia and raised in Arlington, Va., Getachew is a Jefferson Scholar, an Echols Scholar and an Honorary Holland Scholar, as well as a member of the Raven Society, U.Va.’s oldest honorary society. She is a double major in the politics honors program and African-American Studies. She has been a resident adviser for two years, an officer in Sustained Dialogue and a peer adviser in the Office of African-American Affairs' Peer Advising Program. She also serves on the executive boards of the student groups Brothers United Celebrating Knowledge and Success and Youth Uplift.
Getachew said she was motivated to apply for the position by her desire to take part in directing the future of the University.
“I think this is a really interesting time in the University’s history,” Getachew said. “It is going through a series of really exciting planning projects that I wanted to be a part of. This will be an opportunity to be involved in student self-governance and be a part of decisions made at the University.”
Getachew was chosen from a pool of 45 applicants, after two rounds of interviews. In the first round, 16 students were interviewed by a committee of University student leaders and in the second round, five students met with the executive committee of the board.
"All of the candidates were outstanding,” University Rector W. Heywood Fralin said. “Adom, however, demonstrated a poise and understanding of the student body — and of the concerns of the student body — that distinguished her. I feel confident that she will be an outstanding representative on the board in the coming year. We are pleased to welcome her as our new student member."
The nonvoting student member attends board meetings to provide the members with a student perspective on issues. Additionally, as the student representative, Getachew will sit on five committees: the Educational Policy Committee, the Special Committee on Diversity, the Student Affairs Committee, the Buildings and Grounds Committee and a committee of her choosing, which must be approved by the rector.
During her time on the board, Getachew plans to focus on academic development.
“I am really interested in helping with the planning process, specifically in the academic sphere,” Getachew said. “I am interested in internationalization, which has been one of the University’s priorities, and the expansion of graduate programs.”
Getachew will shadow the current student representative, Carey Mignerey, through the April board meeting, after which her term will begin.