BU’s new student Trustee wants to impact university

For immediate release: August 12, 2008

BLOOMSBURG — The new student representative on Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Council of Trustees wants to give back to BU.

“I want to put my fingerprint on the university,” said Nicole Najpauer, who will be officially welcomed to the Council of Trustees at the Wednesday, Sept. 3, meeting. “I applied because I love BU and this is something I could help with.”

Najpauer, a senior early childhood/elementary education major from Northampton, was one of several students who applied for the position previously held by James D’Amico of Mount Carmel, who graduated. She submitted an application and went through a series of interviews before she was recommended by Gov. Ed Rendell in a process that took five months.

“The on-campus interview was much more intense than I thought it would be,” said Najpauer, after an interview conducted by a 10-member panel. “I got a call the next day, and it kind of happened in a whirlwind.”

Najpauer has begun making plans for her tenure as a Trustee. “I have different ideas on how to get more students involved in the university and have their voices heard,” she said.

Those ideas include conducting online surveys and promoting student involvement in clubs and other programs on campus. “There are so many activities for students every weekend,” said Najpauer. “But there aren’t that many students who get involved.”

The council of trustees is composed of 11 members and one student representative who meet four times a year. Each of the 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is governed by a Council of Trustees whose members are recommended by the governor and approved by the state Senate. BU’s Council of Trustees, made up of community leaders, business professionals, BU graduates and a student representative, reviews and approves policies and procedures; fees, including room and board; and contracts and purchases. They make recommendations to the chancellor regarding the president’s appointment and retention; approve schools and academic programs and conduct and annual physical inspection of facilities.

In addition to serving as a Trustee, Najpauer is an off-campus senator for BU’s Community Government Association, a member in Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society and an elementary-level tutor for Students Helping Adolescents Reach Excellence and is consistently on the dean’s list. She is the vice president and founding member of BU’s Strong, Willing and Trusting (SWAT), a group dedicated to community service projects in both the town of Bloomsburg and the university. As volunteers at events such as the Special Olympics, SWAT members have the opportunity to broaden their community awareness and intellectual motivation, she said.

Najpauer said her role in the activities helped her gain social skills which gave her confidence throughout the interviewing process. “The different groups I'm involved with on campus have each improved my leadership skills,” said Najpauer. “It really helped in the interview.”

Earlier this summer, Najpauer completed a practicum in a fourth-grade classroom at F.S. Edmonds Elementary School in Philadelphia. After graduation, she plans to teach at an elementary school.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.