Sean Lewis and Lauren McKenzie will serve from June 1, 2019, to May 31, 2020.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott seems to have his eye on Texas Tech University students.
Late last week, Abbott appointed Sean Lewis as the student regent for the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents and Lauren McKenzie as the student representative on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. They both will serve from June 1, 2019, to May 31, 2020.
Lewis, originally from Detroit, is pursuing a juris doctorate from the Texas Tech School of Law. He received his bachelor's degree in history, with a minor in political science, from Texas Tech earlier this month. Lewis becomes the 14th student to serve on the Board of Regents and is the fifth student regent from Texas Tech.
"I am pleased Sean has been appointed to the board and look forward to continuing the working relationship we developed while he was an undergraduate student," said Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec. "Sean's experience as Student Government president during the last year and his familiarity with members of the board will greatly benefit his transition into this role. Our student regents share unique perspectives and reflect the student body's viewpoints, which are critical in guiding the board's direction."
While serving as Student Body President of the Texas Tech Student Government Association (SGA), Lewis advocated for students in both Washington, D.C., and Austin, meeting with elected officials, agencies and industry professionals regarding college affordability, diversity, health care and mental health.
Lewis served as a political affairs intern at The White House in the Executive Office of the President in Washington, D.C., during the summer of 2017. He assisted the White House regional political director with outreach to influential stakeholders.
He also served a one-year stint as a campaign assistant for Rep. Jodey Arrington from 2015 to 2016. He volunteered for the 19th Congressional District and served as a liaison between the Texas Tech student body and the campaign.
"Sean has proven himself a leader during his time at Texas Tech including serving as SGA president this past year," Texas Tech System Chancellor Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell said. "He will be a great voice for more than 54,000 students in our system, and I look forward to working with him."
Lewis's first Board of Regents meeting will take place Aug. 8-9 in Lubbock. He replaces Jane Gilmore of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC), who was appointed in 2018.
McKenzie, originally from Montgomery, Texas, is pursuing a bachelor's degree in human sciences from Texas Tech. She is scheduled to graduate in May 2020. She recently was appointed as the director of political affairs for the SGA. She previously represented the College of Education in the SGA and served as chair of the College of Education Committee and vice-chair of the Academic Committee.
McKenzie becomes the third student from a Texas Tech University System institution to be appointed a student representative on the coordinating board. Christina Delgado, a TTUHSC student, was selected in 2015, and Heather Morris, a Texas Tech student, was selected in 2009.
The student slot was created in 2008 with the governor appointing one student in the state to serve as a non-voting member for a one-year term on the nine-member board.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for Lauren to serve, and I am confident she will be a strong advocate for students across the state of Texas," Schovanec said. "Lauren has been an active leader in several campus organizations, investing time and energy into the people around her, and her experiences will make her a wonderful addition to the coordinating board."
In addition to her leadership role with SGA, McKenzie serves as president of Delta Gamma Fraternity. She is a membership committee member of the President's Gender Equity Council's Women's Leadership Initiative and previously served as a student member of the Student Union Advisory Board.
"It is quite an honor to have a Red Raider serving as the student representative on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board," Mitchell said. "I know Lauren will represent us well on issues impacting students all across our state."