In a concerted effort to strengthen the bridge between student experiences and administrative support, the Old Dominion University (ODU) College of Health Sciences established the Student Advisory Council. Comprised of representatives from each program, the council was formed with the primary goal of providing students with an avenue to express concerns, share information, and foster a deeper understanding of the varied disciplines within the College of Health Sciences.

At the heart of this initiative is the vision of Dean Bonnie Van Lunen, Ph.D., who recognizes the valuable insights that students bring to the table. The goal is to collaboratively set and achieve targets that not only benefit individual programs but also contribute to the overarching mission of the college: Engage learners, make discoveries, improve health.

Christina Ceniccola, an undergraduate student in exercise science, expresses her anticipation for the opportunities this council brings. Her classes are in the student recreation center, rather than in the health sciences building, so she's looking forward to meeting and hearing from students in other programs in the college who she doesn't normally get to interact with. The council serves as a platform for students like Christina to break down silos and build connections across disciplines.

Emma Davis, a graduate student in exercise science, echoes the sentiment, saying, "I'm very excited that students get to be involved, and it's a safe place to share," she emphasizes.

The first meeting laid the foundation for open communication and information sharing. Future meetings will provide students with updates on changes within the college and the university, ensuring they are well-informed ambassadors for their respective programs. The student representatives are also eager to share their concerns and ideas with the dean. Amy Vinarao, an undergraduate student in medical laboratory science, emphasizes her role in advocating for fellow students. "I'm happy to be part of the council to advocate for students. I'm always here to listen and voice their concerns." The council serves as a channel for students to address challenges, propose solutions, and actively engage in decision-making processes.

Formation of this council supports the student-centric approach to decision-making withing the College of Health Sciences. These student advocates are poised to make a lasting impact on the college.

Members of the College of Health Sciences Student Advisory Council:

  • Christina Ceniccola - Exercise Science (Undergraduate)
  • Emma Davis - Exercise Science (Graduate)
  • Amy Vinarao - Medical Laboratory Science (Undergraduate)
  • Selena Roland - Nuclear Medicine Technology (Undergraduate)
  • Jordan Wagner - Physical Therapy (Graduate)
  • Lexi Deguzman - Athletic Training (Graduate)
  • Channing Acree - Speech Language Pathology and Audiology (Undergraduate)
  • Abigail Brown - Dental Hygiene (Undergraduate)
  • Monica Puentes - Dental Hygiene (Graduate)
  • Elli Alijanpour - Kinesiology and Rehabilitation (Graduate)
  • Jay Peterson - Nuclear Medicine (Undergraduate)
  • Claire Donohue - Recreational Therapy (Undergraduate)
  • Victoria Mosley - Health Services Administration (Student)
  • Shatiera Walk - Speech Therapy (Graduate)