Rock Valley College

Student Trustee Election

The Student Trustee is the liaison between SGA and the Board of Trustees. This position requires great time, responsibility, and commitment. The student trustee is required to attend ALL Board of Trustees meetings and off campus events (i.e. conferences, state meetings, etc.) as the Rock Valley College student representative. We are excited to have two extremely qualified candidates running for the 2021-2022 Student Trustee position. 

Please learn more about them below and then vote for the candidate of your choice here.

(You will need to log in using your RVC email address- and RVC Password and then select which candidate you believe would be the best choice for Student Trustee.

Jenna Merkle photoJenna Merkle

My name is Jenna Merkle. I was born in Rockford, but raised in Stillman Valley. I am studying elementary education with a focus on special education. My future academic goals include building a strong relationship with the staff and learning as much as I can about the education field and graduating with my bachelors in elementary education and special education. After that I plan on working towards my masters in child development.

I am interested in the position because I want to get involved with student affairs and what would be going on for the students. As a student I care very much about the choices that would be made that would affect us all. I want to be involved in something that is new to me and allows me to learn in more ways than one. 

I believe I am a good candidate because I am flexible and I am responsible. The choices that would be made and how I would react to them would be based upon the students. College students deserve to have a voice of someone who will work to make them all feel included in the choices that the college makes on their behalf. I know that I will do that for them. I want to learn as much as I can and help be the eyes and ears of the students at Rock Valley College. I have a good work ethic and I am prepared for any and all meetings that I would attend. 

 I am involved in RVC intervarsity club and CAB. I joined these clubs and plan on joining a few more as the school year continues on. It makes me an excellent candidate since I am willing to work with others and meet many of the students who attend RVC. I am always willing to try new things and each club that I am involved in or plan to be involved in helps me learn new things and meet many new people. I can learn and understand how the students are feeling about the college and get their ideas for the future of the college. 

One thing that I value at Rock Valley College is the student and staff relations. My time at Rock Valley so far has been wonderful with all the helpful staff and professors. Everyone who works on or for the campus really makes the students know they are thought of while they attend school. 

Rock Valley is a very warm place. When classes were in person people would hold doors open for the people behind them even if it was winter and freezing. I love the compassion shown from the students and the staff. Rock Valley truly is a good college all around. 

A project that I would like implemented would relate to the students. I, as a student of RVC for almost two years, have seen many strides to get students involved in many events and activities. As a past dual enrolled student, I never had time for those events and could not feel as included as I should have been. A project that I am interested in putting together would be something that pertains to the new students and high school aged students who are taking classes. Everyone no matter what age they are should feel welcomed and accepted into this new step in their lives. 

Evelyn Molina MaldonadoHeadshot of Evelyn

My name is Evelyn Molina, I am a first-year student at Rock Valley College and a junior at Belvidere North High School. I am part of the Running Start Program at Rock Valley College and I am working to simultaneously complete my high school degree and obtain an associate degree at Rock Valley College. I plan to graduate in the Spring of 2022 with an Associate of Science Degree, then transfer to a four-year university with a major in mathematics. At Rock Valley College, I have focused on taking a variety of STEM related courses as well as a few liberal arts courses. In addition to academics, I was also actively involved in my student body at Belvidere North High School, holding leadership positions in the Student Council and Key Club, and volunteered in the Belvidere community where I was raised.  

I became interested in the position of Student Trustee after being introduced to it by my Speech professor. My interest further grew after I contacted the current Student Trustee, Annika Vincent. From these two sources, I was able to gather information about what this position entails, all of which I found very appealing and interesting. Advocating for my student body, getting to sit in on the board meeting, and learning more about what goes on behind the scenes are all qualities of the position that have encouraged my decision to apply.  

Qualities that make a great candidate for Student Trustee would be leadership, diligence, and responsibility. In high school, I was involved in many extracurricular activities, many of which I held leadership positions in. In terms of service organizations, I was part of the Student Council and Key Club, with the position of secretary for both. During my time in these organizations, I would plan out service projects such as book and food drives. I also held a leadership position in my high school marching band. I was the flute section leader in charge of organizing marching practices and playing lessons for my section. Throughout my academic career, I have always prioritized my studies and grades. I made sure to complete all my responsibilities with utmost diligence. Applying my strengths to the Student Trustee position, I believe I will be of great use when attending board meetings as I have previous leadership experiences and diligent work can be expected.

My first semester at Rock Valley College was spent at home, as many of my classmates did as well. Because of this I have not had many chances to become as involved at Rock Valley as I wish I could. But I am actively involved in my community. As mentioned before, I am part of many organizations at my high school, two of which specialized in community and student life-related projects. Currently, my high school Key Club is working to implement book drives and summer reading programs at our local elementary schools. The goal is to get young children reading and to expand their interests. As part of my school’s Student Council, we have planned many mini spirit activities throughout the 2020-2021 school year to make online schooling more enjoyable for the students and the teachers. One example of this would be when we organized a Fall Spirit Week in which students got to dress up and post pictures of themselves participating in volunteer projects. Additionally, I regularly attempt to volunteer at Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful, a recycling center that is always looking for volunteers.

When I think of Rock Valley College, I think of its reliable student support services. As I have gone through my high school years and into attending Rock Valley, my anxiety towards my future has slowly grown. But Rock Valley has provided me with many available recourses into taming that anxiety. The future is always scary, but with my counselor, professors, and access to many courses, I can explore my interest and figure out what exactly I am meant to study and pursue.

On the topic of our future, one project I would like to implement to improve Rock Valley College is a career fair or career advising. Many students struggle with deciding their major, their career, or even the classes they should take that semester. A career fair could be a great short-term project in which we could recruit alumni and adults in our community to speak about their journey and how they got to where they are now. I can say from experience that talking to someone who had similar circumstances to you makes all the difference when deciding on a career and in what direction to go in. If we are looking into a long-term project, setting up career advising, or counseling would be a great way to start. I know many students who are afraid to speak up about their anxieties and fears towards their careers, myself included because they are not sure about what they have chosen. If we can set up a program in which students can thoroughly explore their strengths and try out their job interests in real life, it would be very beneficial for students who are struggling on how to take their next step in life.