Amy Wyse, Ball State junior international business, economics and Spanish triple major, was in Yellowstone National Park when she missed a call from the Indiana governor’s office — a call letting her know she had moved onto the final round of interviews to fill the student representative position on the Ball State Board of Trustees.
“I didn’t have any service, so I was like, ‘Oh shoot, I missed a call from the governor’s office, that’s a big deal,’” Wyse said. “But [Michael Nossett] ended up calling me back and I made it on, so it was just really good news. I was on vacation, so I was already happy, and then thought, ‘Yay, I made it onto the final round that not many people made it on to.’”
Applications for the student trustee position were due March 1. Wyse was appointed to a two-year term as student trustee by Gov. Eric Holcomb June 30.
“I really honestly had no idea if I would get it or not or how far I would even make it,” she said. “It’s crazy to think about, it’s a really big deal — I’m just a junior in college, but now I’m on the Board of Trustees for a large, public university.”
Wyse estimated about 25 people were interviewed for the first round by Student Government Association (SGA) adviser Abby Haworth and other university staff, and 10 of those people entered a second round of interviews with Michael Nossett, deputy general counsel in the Indiana governor’s office.
On June 18, Wyse was offered the position after her final interview with Nossett and three other people from the governor’s office took place at the end of May.
“It was a really good experience,” Wyse said. “The whole thing lasted three and a half months from the start of the application to getting the news and the news being published.”
Wyse first heard about the student trustee position in an SGA senate meeting, where she has served in the off-campus caucus and academic affairs committee since September 2020.
“Being in student government, I was already really interested in helping the student body and being able to see what the student body wants and how we can improve upon it,” Wyse said. “When I heard about [the trustee position], I thought, ‘Wow, this is a really great opportunity to be able to not only help the students, but the faculty and the whole university.’”
As student trustee, Wyse said she wants to figure out ways to welcome commuter students to campus and encourage them to get involved in the campus community to lessen the likelihood they drop out.
“I want to work with how we can get them to not be one of the biggest groups with high drop-out rates, because they are from the Muncie and Delaware County community, so they belong here in the Ball State-Muncie-Delaware County community,” she said. “How do we get them to stay here and how do we get them to feel welcomed?”
While Wyse hasn’t yet attended a Board of Trustees meeting, Chair Renae Conley praised her qualifications at the July 1 special board meeting.
“She has an extremely impressive resume … she is involved in several organizations on campus, including the Student Government Association,” Conley said. “We’re very excited to have her be a board member. The role that the student trustee plays is so critical to help us as we go about our deliberations.”
Wyse said she is looking forward to representing students’ voices in board meetings and hopes to make Ball State a better place for students and visitors.
“I had the idea in mind that I would be able to help make Ball State the best university it can be for not only its current students, but for all of its future students and for everybody who steps on campus,” she said.
Chin-Sook Pak, associate professor of Spanish, said Wyse appreciates group projects and prioritizes inclusion. Pak taught an immersive learning class during the spring 2021 semester — which Wyse enrolled in — that spread awareness about Warsaw Community Schools' dual language immersion programs.
“Community work can get messy, as it requires many people coming together, while also involving unexpected situations/delays,” Pak said via email. “Unlike many high achievers who tend to be individualists, Amy embraces group ownership and understands the value of relationship building as [the] basis for effective teamwork.”
Pak said she thinks Wyse will advance the university’s goals for equity and inclusion during her time as student trustee.
Wyse said she is excited to learn from the current members of the Board of Trustees.
“I really want to learn how everything runs and what it is like to be in the behind-the-scenes,” Wyse said. “Personally, I want to be a proactive trustee instead of a reactive trustee and I want to not just show up to the meetings and vote, but I really want to help make a difference and bring ideas to the table.”