Rachel Iwicki, a double major in mechanical engineering and Russian, has been named the undergraduate student representative of Virginia Tech’s Board of Visitors, the university’s governing body. Her term will begin July 1.

Iwicki will serve a one-year term as a non-voting board member. She will represent all undergraduates at the university’s highest level of governance, and she will be an ex-officio member on the Commission of Student Affairs.

As a first-year student, Iwicki seemed destined for campus leadership. She was named the freshman chair for the Student Engineers’ Council, and that gave her confidence to discuss her classmates’ ideas and concerns with engineering administrators, including the college’s dean. Now as a junior, Iwicki is president of the council.

Iwicki, who is from Springfield, Virginia, is also a resident advisor and an undergraduate recruiter for the College of Engineering Dean’s Team.

Iwicki said representing Virginia Tech’s undergraduates for the Board of Visitors was a natural progression from her role with the Student Engineers’ Council. She adds that studying abroad in Russia, Moldova, and Estonia while speaking Russian sharpened her communication skills.

“Sometimes the people who could offer the most valuable input are afraid to offer it or do not know how,” Iwicki wrote in a personal statement for her board application. “I enjoy sitting down with my peers to hone and sharpen their opinions, then help voice their experiences so that we can work together to make a change.”

Through her work with the Board of Visitors, Iwicki said she wants to push for the expansion of mental health resources on campus and advocate for an inclusive environment at the university.

Adapted from a story written by Jenny Kincaid Boone; photograph by Courtney Flickinger