Trustee race narrows to 8 semifinalists

The Young Trustee Nominating Committee announced late Tuesday night the eight semifinalists left in the race for the undergraduate young trustee position, a three-year term on the Duke Board of Trustees.


The committee, chaired by Duke Student Government Vice-President for Community Interaction Andrew Wisnewski, narrowed the field of applicants from 16 to eight after a three-hour selection meeting.


The semifinalists--who will be narrowed to three finalists during a committee meeting on Feb. 2 after personal interviews--have all served the University community in some capacity in a variety of major student organizations. The DSG body will vote Feb. 11 to select the young trustee.


"The [selection] committee is comprised of major leaders on campus," Wisnewski said. "What they looked for is someone who can provide a broad perspective of Duke and beyond."


The number of applications was comparable to previous years and each application was initially read name-blind. "I was very pleased with the way the committee acted--they acted in a very respective manner," Wisnewski said.


While there are still two rounds of selection left, Wisnewski said that any of the semifinalists would serve exemplary. "I am confident in the pool we have that whoever becomes the final candidate will serve as an exceptional trustee," he said. 

  • Taylor Collison graduated with a BA in public policy studies in December 2003. A native of Winter Park, Fla., Collison is the acting finance chair for the Duke University Union. 

  • Clifford Davison, a senior from Durham, N.C., is majoring in biology, minoring in chemistry, and earning a public health policy certificate. Davison is the current executive vice president of DSG, a member of the Senior Class Council, and co-chair of the 2004 Class Fund. 

  • Alex Garinger currently serves as editor of The Chronicle and president of the Duke Student Publishing Company. A former University Editor, Garinger hails from Greenwich, Conn., and is a senior earning an AB in Literature and certificates in the journalism and film/video/digital programs.  

  • Devon MacWilliam, of Lexington, Mass., is the outgoing president of the Panhellenic Association, outgoing chair of the First Year Advisory Council and represented students on the University's presidential selection committee. Macwilliam graduated in December 2003 with a BA in public policy studies. 

  • Katie Laidlaw is a senior from Katy, Tex., and is majoring in French and European Studies. Laidlaw is currently president of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and served as executive vice-president of DUU in 2002.  

  • Hirsh Sandesara is the acting political chair of Diya, Health and Safety Chair of Duke Red Cross and chair of the AB Duke Scholarship Recruitment Committee. Sandesara is a sophomore majoring in chemistry and public policy studies with a health policy certificate and calls Glenview, Ill., home.  

  • Matt Slovik currently presides as president of DSG and has served the campus organization for four years, including as a past vice president of facilities and athletics. Slovik, a Newton, Mass., senior, is majoring in public policy studies.  

  • Mary Washington, a public policy studies and African and African-American Studies double-major also earning a Secondary Education Certificate, lives in Washington, D.C. Washington is president of the Black Student Alliance, sits on the President's Council on Black Affairs, and is student-teaching at nearby Riverside High School.


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