Election season might be over, but now that Andrew Powell has secured the office of Student Body President for 2014-2015 it’s time to meet the man behind the campaign! Currently a junior majoring in Math and Economics as well as minoring in Entrepreneurship, Andrew hails from Nashville, Tennessee where he lives with his parents and three brothers. He says he fell in love with UNC when he first visited the campus, but never came here planning to run for SBP. Instead he followed his passion for education and technology, and soon realized that as SBP he could be the one to bring the voice of the UNC student body back into the conversation about the future of higher education. Read on to discover how campus celebrity Andrew Powell plans to chart the way forward in 2014-2015 and learn a bit more about our leader to be!
Her Campus: What motivated you to take on the challenge of running for student body president?Andrew Powell: Over the past few years I’ve become really invested in a lot of efforts going on to address some of the biggest challenges facing the university. Whether it’s tuition increases, minority retention, sexual assault, or the athletic scandal, there are big issues that students ought to be playing a part in solving. I saw potential to make an impact through Student Government, and not only through myself but by restructuring Student Government to make it more of an organization that can affect widespread change on campus. “I certainly didn’t come to Carolina thinking I would do this but the combination of my interests and passions and skills met well with the challenges that Carolina is facing today.” —Andrew PowellHC: If you had to summarise your platform in three word what would it be?AP: Hmm…the centerpiece is just ‘enhancing the classroom experience’. That’s not three words, but that was probably the boldest and potentially the highest impact initiative that we proposed in the campaign. HC: What does that mean?AP: It means using technology to change the way we do courses here, to make a much more effective and enjoyable student and professor experience, as well as making the class experience more equitable. We’ve seen professors who have nearly eliminated achievement gap disparities in their introductory courses and we think that’s not necessarily just the product of a superhuman effort by a professor, but more so by tangible strategies and technologies that can be used and implemented in a wider set of courses. So that’s really what we wanna do, enhance course experiences.HC: Has it been difficult to choose a cabinet?AP: Yeah it was extraordinarily difficult because there was a tremendous number of qualified candidates. I saw so many people that brought a lot of different skills and interests and passions to the table and it was really inspiring to see the number of people and the sorts of impacts that they want to have, and sad to me really that I could only pick one person for each position, but now that we’ve got the team selected I’m very confident that they’ll all do a fantastic job so it’s great to have them there, I’m very excited to work with everyone!
HC: What other extracurricular activities are you involved with?AP: I was involved with the Honor System for three years, I think the student honor system is super important here. I’m a proud member of Chi Psi Fraternity, which is just a great group of guys. I have been involved in a lot of different task forces and boards and committees, particularly around education. I was on the MOOC task force for the university, the large lecture redesign task force, and I’ve helped out on system level things for President Ross particularly around online education. I’m also involved in RUF, on-campus Reform University Fellowship, as well as NC Fellows.HC: What do you hope to do after you leave UNC?AP: I’d like to work in education. I don’t know in what capacity that’ll be but I really believe that education is in a time of immense change. For one of the first times in history I think we can provide almost anyone, anywhere in the world with a really high quality education if we invest the resources. I think that there’s just tremendous potential for education to lift people up out of poverty, to really change the way that individuals and communities live, and there’s some extraordinarily exciting things going on right now with people trying to bring high quality education to the world and so I wanna play a part in that. Whether thats with a private company, a university, a foundation, or a non-profit I’m open to anything but super excited about just working in education when I graduate.HC: What is your favorite lazy day activity?AP: It’s not really a lazy day activity but I love to run. Does that even count? Is that the opposite? But I do love to run, I’m hoping to go on a lot of runs and invite students, they could come along, if anybody else is interested in running.
There you have it! Intelligent, inspiring, and just little bit nerdy, Andrew Powell seems like the perfect choice to lead the UNC student body in the year ahead! HCXO!