Johnson City Press: UT Board of Trustees chooses student member from Johnson City

UT Board of Trustees chooses student member from Johnson City

Brandon Paykamian • Jun 23, 2019 at 8:03 PM

Spencer Ammen, an Abingdon, Virginia, native and Johnson City resident, was recently selected to serve as the student trustee on the University of Tennessee System Board of Trustees. 

The board makes decisions that affect all institutions in the UT system — UT-Knoxville, UT-Chattanooga, UT-Martin and the Health Science Center. 

The 21-year-old rising senior said he hopes to help foster unity between students in an era of political polarization and give a new voice to students on the board. 

On Friday, Ammen emailed the Johnson City Press to tell us more about himself and his hopes going into his new role. 

Ammen Briefly: 

Major: Finance, Collateral: Economics

Dogs or cats: Dogs

Favorite foods: Italian and Mexican

Tell us about what this new position means to you and what you hope to bring to the table?

This new position is a huge honor and responsibility for me. As the student trustee representing all the campuses in the UT system, I will be responsible for communicating the decisions and actions of the board to the students, offering the board the opinions of students on critical matters, and providing a student perspective on the day-to-day issues affecting the universities. I want to bring a calming voice that is able to see the various sides of an issue and present the sides of each party in an impartial way so we can accomplish great things for the University of Tennessee system.

What do you think are the biggest issues facing the university now?

The biggest issue facing UT, and many other universities, is the political divide among its students. This is an issue that I have witnessed in my three years at UT and was a big reason for my decision to accept this position. As the student trustee, I hope to bring unity between different student groups on campus, between the student body and administration and work to encourage compromise and compassion at all levels. I think it’s important we all realize that while we may have differing opinions on certain issues, at the end of the day we all just want what is best for our university, our state, and our country.

Who are your biggest role models? 

While there are many political and cultural leaders who I admire, the biggest role models are my dad, Marc Ammen, and my mom, Tammy Ammen. My dad’s work ethic and success as a CEO of an international company, Universal Fibers LLC, has and continues to inspire me to be my best and follow my passion. The compassion and understanding my mom has shown through her volunteer work in the community have inspired me to be grateful for my many blessings and encouraged me to help others.

What drew you to your major?

I chose to study Finance and Economics because I believe it will help prepare me for success in business, as well as public service.

What do you hope to be doing after you graduate? 

After graduating from UT next spring, I plan on attending law school. Afterward, I hope to become a prosecutor and be involved in public service. I believe this role will allow me to gain experience that I can use in public service later in life.




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