Salem State student named to Massachusetts Board of Higher Education

Angel Donahue-Rodriguez

The Massachusetts Student Advisory Council’s (SAC) recommendation to Governor Deval Patrick in May that Salem resident and Salem State University senior Angel Donahue-Rodriguez be appointed the student voting member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education was confirmed by Governor Deval Patrick’s office on August 9. Donahue-Rodriguez’s term begins immediately, and will run until April 30, 2012. In his new position, Angel Donahue-Rodriguez will represent the interests of college and university students across Massachusetts.

The 13-member board is the “statutorily created agency in Massachusetts responsible for defining the mission of and coordinating the Commonwealth’s system of public higher education and its institutions” (Massachusetts Board of Higher Education website). Among its many responsibilities are academic policy and program approval, financial aid, fiscal and capital planning, and research and performance measurement.

Donahue-Rodriguez, commenting on his confirmation, looks forward to the opportunity his new role provides him to contribute to the forward momentum of education within the Commonwealth. “I would like to help spearhead a financial literacy program across campuses throughout Massachusetts,” he says. “In addition to advocating for more funding for education, I plan to promote better and more effective communication among and between the colleges and universities of the state university system.”

Angel Donahue-Rodriguez is no stranger to advocacy, and has served in a number of influential leadership positions at Salem State. At present, he is the student trustee on the university’s board of trustees, where he works closely with representatives of the student body and the university, bringing the student viewpoint to the board and conveying the board’s policies and decisions to his fellow students.

In February of this year, believing that college students need to be better educated about balancing budgets, the importance of maintaining good credit, managing debt and credit, applying for loans, and saving and investing, Donahue-Rodriguez was the driving force behind an effort at Salem State to offer workshops on financial literacy for the undergraduate student body. One of only two such programs at state universities in the Commonwealth, the fully subscribed sessions were taught by members of the economics faculty.

Commenting on Donahue-Rodriguez’s appointment to the state board of higher education, Salem State University President Patricia Maguire Meservey pointed to the positive impact he continues to make on his own campus, and predicts that he will be a strong and vital voice on the board. “Angel has shown himself to be an effective leader, an inspirational motivator and a very, very hard worker,” she noted. “He knows the issues and he knows how high the stakes are for public higher education in the Commonwealth. I have every confidence he will bring great pride to Salem State and a bold voice to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education in this very important role.”

As for Donahue-Rodrigues, "I’m honored that my fellow students across the state recommended me to the governor to serve them in this capacity,’ he said upon learning of his confirmation, “and I look forward to working with members of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education on their behalf."