AARON WILLIAMS

Position Sought: Vice President

Degree Program: ALB

What other commitments do you have or are involved in?

My most pressing commitments are full-time study (16 credits per semester) and full-time employment (Senior Administrator at a nearby non-profit organization).

What skills and/or experience do you possess that are of relevance to the position?

I have been studying at Harvard Extension since 2003 and – after dabbling in coursework for a number of years – was admitted to the degree program (Bachelor of Liberal Arts) following the Fall 2009 semester. I’ve had the experience, then, of both a casual learner and a more committed full-time Extension student. I have witnessed tremendous growth in both the school and the student association (HESA) since first enrolling – for laughs – in Abnormal Psychology and would like to bring that perspective to HESA as an officer.

My involvement with a nearby (sports and entertainment) non-profit organization since 2000 has endowed me with the requisite skills to excel as Vice President of HESA. The office requires selfless involvement, physical visibility, strong organizational skills and the ability to patiently shepherd an organization (and its constituent parts) toward greater recognition and potency.

Please visit www.AaronForHESA.com for more information.

What do you hope to accomplish next year in the case of acquiring the position?

Not surprisingly, the effectiveness of HESA as an organization tends to relate directly to the talents and commitments of its principal volunteers and – most identifiably – its officers.

Accordingly, the voting body should evaluate the motivations and, if elected, goals of each candidate before casting their ballot. What I can offer is a vision unspoiled by any involvement with previous HESA administrations – where key initiatives tend to stagnate – and a deep appreciation for the importance of our school having as strong a voice as possible within the University.

Successes in the branding of HESA and the proselytization of the student body can only represent meaningful progress if the student association, then, summons the collective voice of the Extension School and makes the University hear our concerns and preferences.

To that end, I would steer HESA’s focus away, partly, from the cosmetic concerns and social functions that play well on Vimeo clips and toward more substantial and troubling issues, particularly degree nomenclature, transparency in government, and addressing any restrictions that unduly bar Extension students from participating in University clubs, events or other opportunities.

There would remain, of course, room for – and a genuine need for – the more glamorous (if less pressing) elements. Continuing to build HESA’s social media presence and to otherwise breed awareness of its purpose among the student population are essential.

Each of us should endeavor to leave the Extension School and its student association better and stronger than when we first crossed through the gates. It would be an honor and a privilege to serve as the Vice President of HESA for the 2011-2012 cycle.

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YANIV PESSACH

Position Sought: VP

Degree Program: ALM/IT

What other commitments do you have or are involved in?

N/A

What skills and/or experience do you possess that are of relevance to the position?

I bring to the table years of experience in directly and indirectly managing projects and teams, and the ability to get things done.

What do you hope to accomplish next year in the case of acquiring the position?

I hope, as I will outline on my website on http://www.yanivpessach.com/HESA.html , to help improve the brand of HES degrees, by supporting appropriate degree naming and positioning, help smooth the process of pursuing a degree by removing obstacles and communicating with the administration, and by lobbying for expanded remote options for more classes and degree options, as well as the inclusion of both remote and local HES students in more Harvard-related extra-curricular activities. Moreover, I will help represent students with issues requiring interaction with the university administration and ensure they are treated fairly.

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PHILIPP STEINKE

Position Sought: Vice President

Degree Program: ALB

What other commitments do you have or are involved in?

Currently serving as Secretary and Deputy Chief of Staff for HESA with Philip Harding as President.

What skills and/or experience do you possess that are of relevance to the position?

Very open minded, outgoing, and passionate about getting involved in student government. It is all about the student, it is all about us. We can only make a difference if we become an active member in our student community.

What do you hope to accomplish next year in the case of acquiring the position?

Just as Harvard Extension has unbarred its gates to the Greater Boston community, 100 years ago, Harvard Extension sees itself responsible for once again leading charge to create a sense of community within and outside the gates of the University.

Ultimately, our individualistic pursuits merge together to a collective desire: We all decided to attend Harvard not only because of the fact that we got accepted, but because of its most arbitrary and revelatory capacity where people of all ages, backgrounds, color and religion come together for a single common goal – to become better people through the means of education.

Nevertheless, this phenomena—the lack of integration– has been existing at Harvard for decades, it is nothing new and attitudes and opinions are not going to change overnight. However, there has never been a better time to set a milestone for what has become a major issue not only at Harvard and other campuses around the nation, but reflects the needs and desires of all citizens.

We at HESA have worked tirelessly to establish a new and stronger sense of identity and community on the Harvard campus this past academic year. We are more confident than ever before that we can achieve this goal. Nothing is impossible, if you just believe in yourself and your team. And we truly are an amazing team this year. A team that believes that, Harvard, just as any other school, should be represented by a single voice, by a single university. By throwing in my candidate application for VP for next academic year, I am hoping to expand this started momentum. For me, it is all about the students. I am passionate to continue improving our student community next year.

We can make things work, if we all stand together. How much we can get out of the Harvard experience and how much change we can achieve, simply by setting an example to the rest of the nation, depends, most arbitrarily, on how well we define our own community.

Now is the time to lay the groundwork for a better future, for a more united Harvard. It is our community, it is our Harvard. This responsibility lays in the hands of all students, faculty, alumni, affiliates and even the administration to fill a voice in the system. Only if we decide to do so, will we be able to gain a full Harvard experience. Only then will we be able to agree on saying that we are, were and will be 100% Harvard.

One Harvard, one world! Let’s show everyone what education is able to accomplish.

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PHILIP HARDING

Position Sought: President, HESA

Degree Program: ALB

What other commitments do you have or are involved in?

In addition to currently serving as HESA President, I am taking 2–3 courses per semester. This semester I am in the student exchange program taking a course at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Next year I will be finishing the required courses to graduate. Wooo! Also, very recent news: I have been elected to the Executive Board of the Harvard Graduate Council 2011-2012 as VP Communications. This new VP role will be a great addition to the HES community on a Harvard-wide scale in the 2011-2012 academic year. I am also currently running for the Harvard/MIT Coop Board of Directors – if elected, this position will also be a great representation for the HES community. These roles will not only contribute to my role as HESA President, but also will increase HES representation, recognition and awareness Harvard-wide.

What skills and/or experience do you possess that are of relevance to the position?

Visit my re-election campaign site: http://PhilipforPresident.org Watch the student videos, hear the stories, learn more about my vision, join a live session, submit your ideas and get on board for 2011-2012. We’ve got momentum – let’s keep it going!

First, I want to thank all the hard working student volunteers who have served with the Harvard Extension Student Association this past year. The success we have achieved this year would not have been possible without their hard work, sacrifice and dedicated involvement. HESA is great because we are made up of a great body of diverse and talented students. Thank you all!

Last year you elected me based on my HESA involvement, background, experience and skills – while I was a distance student living in California. This year, with your support for re-election, I will bring even more Harvard-wide leadership experience, knowledge and expertise to this role for a second term. In addition, my new role on the Harvard Graduate Council executive board will also add to HESA’s goal of building a strong sense of community for HES students – not only within HES, but also within the greater Harvard community. HGC played a major role in the success of Harvard-wide recognition and collaboration for HESA this past year. In the coming year, the direct connections to the executive board will be a major asset for HESA.

I’ve got the drive, the energy, the experience and the vision. Together we’ve got momentum. Let’s keep it going!

What do you hope to accomplish next year in the case of acquiring the position?

While this past year has been great, filled with a long list of accomplishments, we will build on this success in the 2011-2012 academic year and keep the momentum going.

We will continue using every opportunity to increase the sense of community for all Harvard Extension students – local or distance. We will continue effective communication within the HES community using a variety of media channels (including: HESAConnect, iTunes podcast, regular video updates, live-streaming, text blasts, social media, etc.). We will continue fostering a positive relationship with the HES school and Harvard-wide university administrations. We will continue positive HESA Club/SIG reform and add even more club support. We will create even more opportunities for the clubs to shine. We will welcome new, talented students to leadership roles within the student government. We will create more opportunities to increase funding. We will continue HESA Constitution reform and bylaw updates. We will continue promoting and upholding the HES student image across the greater Harvard community. We will work with the Harvard Graduate Council to put on an even bigger Harvard Masquerade Ball event – as a follow up to this year’s sellout event. We will uphold our strong relationships with the Harvard Extension Alumni Association and the Harvard Alumni Association and other university departments. We will continue working with other the other twelve Harvard schools to increase Harvard-wide collaboration.

Thank you for your support this year. I look forward to serving you again as HESA President in the coming year.

Philip Harding

http://PhilipforPresident.org

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ROBERT CUNNINGHAM

Position Sought: President of Harvard Extension Student Association (HESA)

Degree Program: ALB Humanities

What other commitments do you have or are involved in?

I am the Director of IT for the Harvard Student Agencies (HSA)

I am on the Harvard Club Lacrosse Team and the webmaster for that group.

I am a member of the Harvard-Radcliff Science Fiction Association

What skills and/or experience do you possess that are of relevance to the position?

I have been part of the Extension School summer program, a member of the degree program and taken a total of 14 classes at Extension since 2008. I plan to take 10 more classes by the time I graduate in Spring 2012.  I have also sought to be integrated into the larger University community. Through all of this experience, I have observed issues facing Extension School students.  In addition, I bring a wealth of leadership experience to the position. In high school I was a member of the National Youth Leadership Conference in Washington, D. C., member of Student Council, member of Disciplinary Court, President of the Video Production Club, Vice President of Political Forum and Co-Chair of the Prom Committee. I also was VP of Students Against Destructive Decisions, a leader and award winning witness on my Mock Trial Team, a student member of the Board of Trustees Marketing Committee and member of the Quick Recall Team. I served on the newspaper and member of the croquet team at St. John’s College in Annapolis and was in Sigma Alpha Lambda at the University of Louisville. These various roles have given me experience in governance, fundraising, event planning, marketing, video production, technology and training. I can give inspirational speeches, organize committee work, plan and execute events, raise funds, set up technological supports, market events and brand organizations. I can also develop and lead trainings, educational forums and change policies.  I also have very good advocacy, negotiation and argumentation skills.

What do you hope to accomplish next year in the case of acquiring the position?

I want to build a greater sense of community among Extension School students, and between us and other students at Harvard University. Another of my goals is to enhance the parity of Extension School students with the other students at Harvard. I plan to accomplish these goals in several ways. I will improve the listserv, the website and the on-line forum for Extension Students, so as to better alert them to social events, issues and ways to become more involved. The listserv and on-line forums should be used to give students a place to voice concerns, ask questions or raise issues that can be deliberated among members of the Extension School community. I will raise additional funds for HESA, so that we can have more social events alone and in concert with students from the Graduate Council and the Undergraduate Council. I have already been working to ensure that Extension School degree candidates are included in the Harvard on-line Directory.  I plan to continue working with my former professor, Dean Shinagel, to eliminate barriers to equity on campus. These barriers include a lack of access to some campus organizations and facilities. Each of the restrictions involves different challenges, but I believe that each one can be overcome. I think members of Harvard College, the other graduate schools, and the various campus organizations, would welcome us if they had more ways to know us. Thus, I will serve Extension School students within our unit, and bridge the gap with other units.

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