Meet the new student trustee: Zachary Michel

By Kristina Aiad-Toss, News Editor

There are two student trustees at The University of Akron. They are non-voting members of the Board of Trustees, and are supposed to give input on pertinent issues from a student’s perspective at Board meetings, as well as represent UA students at events and meetings.

Student trustees are appointed by the governor of Ohio to two-year terms, offset so that a new student trustee is appointed every year.

Zachary Michels, this year’s new student trustee, was appointed in July. He is from Canton, Ohio, and is a fourth-year student studying history education.

Michels says his goal is to become a high school history teacher and a coach for football and lacrosse, eventually becoming a school administrator like his father.

One of his favorite books is “Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court” by John Wooden. He enjoys the Batman and James Bond movie series, with his favorite classic movie being “Cool Hand Luke.”

He has been involved with numerous campus organizations and activities, including Emerging Leaders, Residence Hall Government, Sigma Lambda, National Residence Hall Honorary, New Roo Weekend, LeBron James Family Foundation College of Education Ambassadors, and University Ambassadors. Last year Michels co-founded a nonprofit called Akron Hope, which works with Akron Public Schools to inspire hope in the next generation.

1)Why did you apply to be a student trustee?

To work with my fellow trustees, administrators, faculty, students, and community to advance our beloved University. UA is one of the great assets of the State of Ohio, [and] is full of phenomenal students who go on to do amazing things post-graduation. I look forward to continuing to help create these success stories.

2) What, typically, are the duties of a student trustee?          

I [work to] advance the institution. This can include hiring the president, setting the budget, and working with administrators, faculty and students. [The Board has] five primary committees: Academic Issues & Student Success, Finance & Administration, Audit & Compliance, Rules, and Strategic Issues. I expect committee assignments soon, [and] will, along with [fellow student trustee Darnell Davis], bring the student perspective to the Board.

3)What changes would you like to make on the Board in the future?

I am still learning about the Board and the University. Since I have joined, we have appointed Interim President [Matthew] Wilson and I believe that has been a very positive move.

4) How are you representing students and reaching out to them to get their opinions on things? How will you represent and know their interests?
I am on campus every day, [and] I hope to see many students at our athletic events, student organization-sponsored activities, or even [at] lunch in Rob’s or the [Student] Union. I also attend many of the student government events including Thursday’s [Undergraduate Student Government] Senate meetings. I challenge students, if they ever see me, to please stop and talk to me, if they would like, and to voice their comments, concerns, and questions. We have such a diverse campus with so many stories to be told. Reach out to me via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @Zach_Michel_