Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recently appointed Amitoj Kaur, a first-year student, and Deborah Feldman, president and chief executive officer of Dayton Children’s Hospital, to Miami University’s Board of Trustees (BoT).
First-year Amitoj Kaur already has a long list of involvements on campus.
Kaur, a political science and emerging technologies in business + design major, is a dancer for the Bollywood Fusion Dance Team, the publicity co-chair of the Indian Student Association, a Student Orientation Undergraduate Leader (SOUL) for the upcoming summer, an Access Fellow and, now, a student member of the BoT.
Kaur will join junior marketing and entrepreneurship major Will Kulis as a student trustee and will replace senior political science and social studies education major Megan Cremeans, whose term ended this year.
Student trustees are non-voting members of the BoT that serve two-year terms. Their role is mainly to provide a student perspective on issues the BoT discusses.
To select the next student trustee, Associated Student Government (ASG) formed a committee with Kulis and Cremeans and interviewed all of the potential candidates. The committee then sent the five strongest candidates’ names to DeWine’s office for further interviews.
Two weeks after her interview with the governor’s office, Kaur found out she’d been selected.
As a first-generation American, a first-generation college student and a first-year student at Miami, Kaur said she believes she brings a unique perspective to the BoT.
“Being part of the conversation about what our unique struggles are as a university and how we’re overcoming them is really exciting,” Kaur said. “I look forward to being able to advocate for those who don’t usually get a seat at the table.”
Kaur said that, as a student trustee, she hopes to make the student body more aware of the BoT’s actions and discussions. To accomplish this, she is considering starting a blog related to BoT meetings and also plans to meet with ASG frequently.
“What I’m really hoping for is to help close the gap between the Board of Trustees and the student body and to make the knowledge of what’s going on more accessible,” Kaur said.
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Kaur acknowledged that this may be difficult to accomplish since most students won’t be on campus for the rest of the semester, but she said she still hopes to convey that information electronically.
“Though shifting to this role has been a bit overwhelming, I am absolutely ecstatic to serve the university, and I’m very thankful to have the opportunity to do so,” Kaur said.
Deborah Feldman is the current president and chief executive officer of Dayton Children’s Hospital, where she has worked since 2012. According to Miami University news and communications, Feldman “joined Dayton Children’s in 2012 and led the creation of a new strategic roadmap called Destination 2020. It involves a campuswide revitalization, services expansion in key areas, recruitment of highly specialized pediatric experts, and the integration of advanced technology.”
Feldman, an alumna of Miami’s Class of 1980, has a lengthy record of public service.
Prior to joining Dayton Children’s Hospital, she served Montgomery County for 30 years in various positions, including Director of Human Resources, Assistant County Administrator and County Administrator, where she focused on a community-wide initiative to end homelessness known as the Homeless Solutions Ten-Year Plan, which focused on producing 750 units of permanent supportive housing and ending chronic homelessness — homelessness for people with disabilities or repeatedly homeless. According to the 2015 Annual Report by the Homeless Solutions Policy Board, “549 families (1714 people), 2,610 single adults, and 79 unaccompanied minors” stayed at least one night in one of the Montgomery community’s gateway shelters.
Overall, the Ten-Year Plan saw “chronic homelessness decline by 79 percent from 2006 to 2015, and the number of new permanent supportive housing units [increased] to 80 percent of the 750 unit goal.”
Feldman additionally worked on reconnecting high school dropouts with educational opportunities and overall community economic well-being during her time in Montgomery County.
Alongside her leadership positions, Feldman is a member of the Ohio Hospital Association board of trustees and chair of the Preschool Promise board and Montgomery County Family and Children’s First Council.
Feldman was unavailable for comment because she was out of the office due to the novel coronavirus. Carole Johnson, interim director of university news and communications, was contacted for comment but did not immediately respond.