For student who won seat on ACC’s board, a singular opportunity

Nicole Eversmann, a student at Austin Community College, broke a glass ceiling of sorts on Tuesday by narrowly winning a seat on the college’s Board of Trustees. College officials say students have run for the board in the past, but they were unaware of another student who had prevailed.

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“I am honored and humbled by all the support I received throughout my candidacy,” Eversmann, 21, told me in an email. “I am excited to bring the student voice to the table as a member of ACC’s Board of Trustees. ”

She received 134,684 votes, or 51 percent, in a three-way race for Place 5, based on final but unofficial results. Thomas Miranda, an engineer who operates an Austin-based technology and management consulting firm, got 79,019 votes, or 30 percent of the tally, while Anthony Schoggins, a legislative aide to a state senator, received 51,260 votes, or 19 percent.

The current occupant of Place 5, Victor H.P. Villarreal, decided not to run for re-election.

A student since 2013, Eversmann has taken classes at seven ACC campuses. She served on the college’s Futures Institute, a panel that helped shape a “guided pathways” initiative intended to provide stepped-up academic advising and other support to keep students on track to completing their studies.

Eversmann said during the run-up to the election that service on ACC’s board would allow her to counter a stereotype in some quarters that portrays community colleges as second-rate. She regards the quality of education at ACC as quite high. She will graduate in May with an associate degree and is confident, based on her academic record, of gaining admission to the University of Texas, where she plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in economics.

Like many of those whose who ran for ACC’s board, Eversmann hopes to address parking shortages at a number of campuses, inadequate bus service and a pressing need for child care.  She sees no need to raise tuition or taxes.

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