New student in Tod Hall

By Shianna Gibbons

Natalie Dando was appointed as a student trustee by Gov. Mike DeWine over the summer for Youngstown State University’s board of trustees.

Dando is a junior double majoring in chemical engineering and mathematics. Dando’s term as student trustee runs through April 2025 and she’s expected to graduate from YSU in fall 2025.

Julie Centofanti, senior biology major, is the other student trustee that serves on the board. Dando said Centofanti told her about the application and encouraged her to become a student trustee. 

“I’ve been really thankful for my time here at YSU and it seemed like a really unique and impactful way to give back to the university,” Dando said.

Dando said she believes the student trustee position has impacted her and her future.

“It’s helped my networking and communication skills so much already. It really takes some getting used to talking to such important people,” Dando said. “We all are passionate about YSU and so it helps with [the job] but it’s going to help with those soft skills as well.”

Living in the Akron area, Dando chose YSU for “head-and-heart” reasons.

“I wanted somewhere in-state and somewhere affordable. YSU checks both of those boxes for me,” Dando said. “When I visited the campus, the vibe was just so friendly and I really could see myself fitting in here.”

As student trustee, Dando’s responsibilities consist of providing student perspectives for the board to make informed decisions. Dando attended the special meeting held Aug. 18, which approved the recent three-year faculty union contract.

Dando said she’s hoping to provide more insight for the meetings held Sept. 19 and 20.

Dando said if any students are interested in giving their input for campus-related events, contact Student Government Association.

“I’m in communication with [SGA] and that’s a good place to go to see if [SGA] can help you directly, or if it’s something that needs to be relayed to me, and I can give it to the board. Students can email me as well,” Dando said.