In November, Halie Vilagi will become the first undergraduate student in Ohio State history to be allowed a vote at the board level on the university’s Board of Trustees.
Vilagi, a third-year in public affairs and political science, was appointed to the board by Gov. John Kasich after a lengthy, three-round interview process in the summer of 2015 and will serve until she graduates in 2017.
“I was at my internship when the governor’s office called with the news,” Vilagi said. “I was overwhelmed with both joy and responsibility — I had worked for nearly a year to accomplish this goal.”
The trustees serve as the chief strategic and fiduciary body of the university. While many students in the past have served on the board, Vilagi is the first undergraduate to have the same voting rights as the other trustees, Vilagi said.
Vilagi said she wants to keep transparency alive between the trustees and students. To accomplish this, every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:40 a.m. to 2 p.m. she will be available to discuss matters and obtain student feedback in Room 3070 of the Ohio Union.
“It is the greatest gift of my life,” she said. “I have the honor of representing students who have hundreds of passions and hail from all around the world. Every Buckeye is unique.”
Vilagi’s experience includes her time as an Undergraduate Student Government senator and serving on the John Glenn College of Public Affairs’ Budget and Strategic Planning Committee.
“She has been instrumentally involved in providing a student perspective on some of the major strategic choices facing the college,” said Trevor Brown, dean of the Glenn College. “She is incredibly service oriented, she reflects the university’s commitment of education for citizenship, she is a leader and an exceptional communicator.”
Vilagi also is involved in Politics, Society and Law Scholars, the John Glenn Civic Leadership Council and YoungLife.
After graduation, Vilagi said she hopes to study public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, with the long-term goal of working in the federal government in Washington, D.C.