Lake Land College students elected engineering major Katherine "Katie" Greuel, Windsor, to serve as the student trustee for 2021-2022. In this role, Greuel will serve as a liaison between the student body and the Lake Land College Board of Trustees. She will also have the ability to make and second motions and will have an advisory vote on the board.
"I am very excited to be given this opportunity," Greuel said. "I want to represent and speak for the students as best as I can."
Greuel will officially be seated at the May 10 Lake Land College Board of Trustees regular meeting, taking over the role from Lucas Duduit, Pana. Duduit will be transferring to Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois in May 2021.
At his final Lake Land Board of Trustees meeting as student trustee, Duduit expressed gratitude to the trustees, President Josh Bullock and the members of the cabinet for his time and experiences as student trustee.
Greuel said she plans to continue to support students' access to mental health resources, as this was one of Duduit's strongest areas of focus. Greuel also said she would like to advocate for more exploratory opportunities in some programs.
Having spent three years in the Navy after graduating from high school, Greuel was training to be nuclear machinist mate when a training injury led her down a different path.
"To be honest, I was absolutely petrified to transfer back to civilian life after being in the Navy for so long," Greuel said. "All the staff and students at Lake Land have been very helpful, very comforting and have made it very easy for me to adapt."
During her time in the Navy, Greuel took on a leadership position. As a Leading Petty Officer, Greuel oversaw 100 to 700 sailors at a time, acting as a liaison between the sailors and the Upper Level Enlisted.
"I gained a lot of important life skills and leadership skills," Greuel said. "I made a lot of good contacts, mentors and friends, and I wouldn't change it for the world."
Greuel said she believes this leadership role was a good precursor to her time as student trustee, as it gave her experience liaising for a large group.
"I took questions, comments and concerns," Greuel said. "I always tried to help the sailors any way I could. I think the student trustee position will be a similar in that I will be speaking for and communicating with hundreds of students and communicating their questions and concerns to the people who can best address them."
English Instructor Matt Landrus suggested Greuel run for student trustee, leading her to ultimately run for and earn the position.
"Katie is a hard-working, responsible, intelligent, community-oriented person with great problem-solving skills," Landrus said. "Anyone who interacts with her will immediately be impressed by her affable and approachable demeanor. I was confident that if she chose to run for the position, the college and her peers would benefit from her insight and stick-to-itiveness."
Greuel said if Landrus had not suggested she run, she may have never given the opportunity a second thought.
"It means a lot to me that he thought I would do well in this role," Greuel said of Landrus' suggestion. "I'm really glad there are staff like him here at Lake Land who care so much about the students, not only in how they perform but in their wellbeing and personal life as well."
Lake Land College District 517, located in Mattoon, Illinois, serves the second largest community college district in the state, with a total population of 189,869. The Lake Land College district comprises all or part of 15 counties and 31 public school districts in rural east central Illinois. Counties served by Lake Land College include: Christian, Clark, Clay, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Macon, Montgomery, Moultrie and Shelby.