Rachel Kister, a student on the Clarion campus, has been appointed to serve on Pennsylvania Western University Council of Trustees.

Originally from Sykesville, she is a communication major with concentration in public relations, advertising and corporate communication, and minors in social media, speech communication and sports media.

At Clarion, Kister is a member of Student Senate, which has enabled her to advocate for the student body while networking with staff, faculty and administration. She was invited to join the President’s Leadership Academy in 2022 and attends weekly leadership workshops. She is the social media content curator for Clarion’s bookstore and movie theater.

Recently, she joined the Building Bridges program to extend her knowledge of diversity, equity and inclusion.

“Building Bridges influenced me when they came into my class and presented an icebreakerthat challenged my thoughts,” Kister said. “I hope to create a more social and accepting campus community through this organization.”

Kister said she sought the position as student trustee to create positive change on campus.

“I want to fulfill students’ needs and provide everyone with the education they deserve,” she said. “I aspire to learn more about our foundation on both a state and local level. This will enable me to understand decisions and communicate transparently with other students.”

She encourages students to approach her with concerns so she can address the issues head-on and provide a better educational experience for them.

Through service on the Council of Trustees, she will work to foster collaboration between the campus and the Clarion community through community service projects.

“I feel that COVID has changed the way we function as a community. It is unfortunate to see a disconnect between our campus and the community as a result,” Kister said.

The PennWest Council of Trustees consists of 15 members, including three students from each campus – California, Clarion and Edinboro. The group advises the university president on issues and initiatives that are important to the university’s success. Kister will serve until she graduates.