By Zach Taylor, University Relations Student Writer
Robert Fisher, Student Government Association (SGA) President and a Brock Scholar, recently added to his already lengthy lists of achievements.
After a nearly unanimous nomination by the SGA executive board followed by a thorough interview process, Fisher was recently appointed to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) as the student representative of the University of Tennessee System.
Fisher received the phone call regarding his appointment when he was in Washington D.C. over the summer, where he was taking part in the Institute for Responsible Citizenship’s leadership program and working as an intern at the Center for American Progress.
Since arriving at UTC, Fisher has been frequently involved on campus and in the community, serving on the Freshman Senate, as co-chair of the recruitment committee for the Brock Scholars Council, as Treasurer for the SGA in 2012-13, and as a mentor through the School of Education’s Post-Secondary Awareness with Success (PAWS) Program at Brown Academy, a local elementary school.
Despite actively pursuing a wide range of activities and roles, Fisher was surprised by his appointment to THEC.
“With the exception of THEC, most of the roles I play now, I planned to take on relatively early in my college career. In fact, one of the very few things I did not anticipate was a shift in career focus. For the as long as I can remember I had always wanted to be an attorney, but after engaging in interesting policy discussions around campus and after a particularly enlightening summer in D.C, I am now considering pursuing a master’s in either public policy or public administration,” said Fisher.
As a member of THEC, Fisher will stay informed on issues and trends impacting higher education across the state of Tennessee. He will participate in all commission meetings and work sessions to expand this knowledge in order to pass along pertinent information and form a meaningful dialogue with his fellow SGA leaders across the five campuses of the UT-System.
“Through my experience as a member of THEC, I hope to gain a better sense of how state wide and national policies impact college students in and out of the classroom, particularly my peers in the UT System. Most of all I am looking forward to learning how to be an effective representative of all my peers in the UT System. That may prove to a cumbersome task given that the system includes nearly 50,000 students, but I am always excited to learn a new lesson,” said Fisher.
Dr. John Delaney, Vice Chancellor of Student Development and administrative advisor for SGA, has seen Fisher work on both a campus and statewide level as a member of SGA.
“Robert is a very worthy student representative for appointment to THEC. Robert has been involved with campus and system-wide conversations during his time with SGA, and he has clearly demonstrated a very solid grasp of the complexities involved in any discussion about financing higher education in Tennessee, the Complete College Tennessee Act (CCTA) and its direct impact on two- and four-year colleges across the state, and the long-term benefits of this legislation for our state. Robert is a passionate advocate for students, and will always bring a voice of reason, his probing questions, and insightful observations to bear during his work on the THEC Board. I am confident that Robert will be an outstanding rep for UTC and for all Tennessee students during his time on the THEC Board,” said Delaney.