Newsmaker you should know: Cal U junior a member of board of Pennsylvania university system

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It is amazing that Chelsea Getsy ever finds time to study.

The 20-year-old junior at California University of Pennsylvania has been selected to serve on the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education board of governors. The Plum High School graduate also is president of the Student Government Association at California University, has an internship with the Pittsburgh Steelers, works at the student activities department on campus and is a member of the Student Association Inc. board of directors.

She apparently finds some time to study, however. Ms. Getsy has a 3.9 grade point average.

“I really love everything I do," she said of her multiple roles at the university. "I have learned so much about myself since coming here, and I get to work with a lot of students.”

In her new role as a student member on the State System board of governors, Ms. Getsy is one of three students serving on the 20-member board. She was eligible for the position because she is student government president at a State System university. She had to go through an interviewing process and once accepted, she had to be approved by the governor and the state Senate.

"Chelsea is the type of student that any adviser would want to have," said Melissa Dunn, director of student activities and programming/leadership at California University. "She is focused on her studies, involved on campus and has a passion for higher education."

Ms. Dunn works closely with her in student government and in the activities department. 

Ms. Getsy and the other two student members, Todd Garrett and Sara Dickson, have full voting rights on the board.

“Our main responsibility is to bring in the students' perspective on things," Ms. Getsy said. "We live, eat and breathe on the campuses and know what small things may need to be changed. This is our life."

Ms. Getsy didn’t plan on getting involved in student government. An avid softball player, she planned on playing the sport during college but was injured playing in her senior year at Plum High School.

“I asked myself if I wanted to take a risk and keep injuring myself or pursue a different path. I decided to get involved in student government and surprised myself — I loved it,” she said.

Ms. Getsy enjoys working with and for other students.

“I know it is cliche, but I like looking at what I can fix and make it better for everyone,” she said.

In her new role with the State System, she will attend quarterly meetings in Harrisburg and take part in weekly conference calls, among other duties. But the new obligations don’t worry her.

“I fit it all in. Sometimes I take a night off, but it all keeps me busy,” she said.

She isn't certain what she will do after she graduates from California University next year.

“I really love higher education and may work in a career in higher ed or go to graduate

school. I haven’t decided yet,” she said.

This summer, she will work at Walt Disney World, participating in the Disney College program.

“I love everything Disney," she said. "This truly is a dream.” 

Kathleen Ganster, freelance writer:

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