Virginia Tech's Board of Visitors names graduate student representative

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 19, 2004 – The Board of Visitors named Marcus C. Ly as its graduate student representative for the 2004-2005 academic year. Ly will serve as a liaison between Virginia Tech's graduate student population and the Board of Visitors.

The two student representatives to the Board, Ly and an undergraduate representative, are appointed to one-year terms. They each sit on a committee on the governing board and serve as ex-officio members on the Commission of Student Affairs. Student representatives are non-voting members and are required to maintain contact with university administrators, including the President's Office and the Provost, as well as Tech students.

Ly, a native of Waltham, Mass., will articulate graduate student issues and perspectives to the Board of Visitors, report back to graduate students, and serve on task forces and search committees.

"I was very pleased to be chosen," Ly said. "It is a wonderful opportunity to serve and work to improve our university· I will relate topics of concern to the Board of Visitors as students share them with me. I am honored to be able to serve the students and the community in this way."

One of the most important issues Ly believes needs to be addressed for the graduate students is funding for graduate programs. "Funding levels affect how competitive departments are with those at other universities." Ly said. "Better programs attract higher quality students."

Ly also wants to address the general quality of life for graduate students. "The needs of graduate students are quite different from those of undergraduates. Issues such as having affordable health care and accessible day care need to be addressed.

Ly, a master's student in Industrial and Systems Engineering specializing in Human Factors in the College of Engineering, received his bachelor's degree in psychology from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn.

Ly traveled extensively during his undergraduate years, studying at universities in France, England, and Guatemala. In 1998, Ly was the recipient of the Freeman Fellowship, a competitive $5,000 grant that allowed him to conduct an independent project in Singapore.

The Board of Visitors, the governing authority of Virginia Tech, typically meets four times throughout the year and makes decisions regarding policies pertinent to the university as a whole. The Board is composed of 14 members, not including the two student representatives, 13 of which the governor appoints. The 14th member is the President of the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services, who serves ex-officio. The term of office is four years. In addition to statutes in the Code of Virginia, the Board is governed by its own by-laws.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech's eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top 30 research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.