Governor appoints NAU student to Arizona Board of Regents

Student regent Kaitlin Thompson

Gov. Jan Brewer has appointed Northern Arizona University political science major Kaitlin Thompson as the next student member to serve a two-year term on the Arizona Board of Regents.

Thompson’s appointment, confirmed today by the Senate’s education committee, will go to the full Legislature for a decision in the coming weeks. If she is confirmed, her term will begin July 1.

Thompson will earn her bachelor’s degree in May and is expected to continue her studies
at NAU as a graduate student in public administration next semester.

Prior to her sophomore year at NAU, Thompson spent the summer as a public policy intern for the governor, conducting research, drafting speeches and writing press releases. She learned of the student regent position through her involvement in drafting the release announcing appointment of NAU’s last student regent, Jennifer Ginther, whose term ended in June.

Thompson said the internship afforded her “a great deal of knowledge as to how education in Arizona functions at all levels, and especially how it functions at the university level.” She said her passion for public policy and advocacy drove her to apply for the student regent position.

Thompson volunteers at the Northern Arizona Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity and the Arboretum at Flagstaff. She is a member of the Blue Key National Honor Society, the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Division and is an elections commission member for the Associated Students of Northern Arizona University.

NAU President John Haeger said Thompson’s active involvement in the university and the local community has positioned her to be a well-informed advocate for college students in Flagstaff and throughout the state. “Kaitlin has first-hand knowledge of the intricacies of public higher education in Arizona and is certain to bring a new perspective to the board.”

Thompson will begin her two-year term when William Holmes’ role as student regent for the University of Arizona ends June 30. She will serve the first year of the appointment alongside Tyler Bowyer, the student regent from Arizona State University, who is entering his second year on the board.

“I look forward to challenging decisions that lie ahead,” Thompson said. “I understand it is a huge responsibility and commitment, and the students I represent deserve someone who will take a detailed, informed look at the university system.”