The Johns Hopkins University board of trustees has elected Christopher Kovalchick, a senior from Hamilton, N.J., as its newest young trustee. He will join the university's governing board on July 1.
Kovalchick, 21, is completing a rigorous dual degree program in engineering mechanics in the Whiting School of Engineering and violin performance at the Peabody Conservatory. He also is finding time for a math minor in the university's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. He has excelled in all his academic disciplines. Last year, Kovalchick earned first place in an international student paper competition sponsored by the Society for Experimental Mechanics. He is principal second violinist in the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, which consists mainly of graduate students. As a sophomore, he was concertmaster for the undergraduate Peabody Concert Orchestra. For his efforts, Kovalchick received an honorable mention in USA Today's 2006 All-USA College Academic Team competition, the newspaper's 17th annual undergraduate recognition program. The newspaper said its judges reviewed more than 600 nominees.
Every year since 1971, the university's board of trustees has elected one graduating senior to serve a four-year term. The board always has four young trustees among its membership. To qualify for consideration, candidates must be seniors in good standing. In addition to writing two application essays and securing two letters of recommendation, candidates must also receive endorsement from 5 percent of the junior and senior classes. A selection committee chooses five candidates for the board to consider.
"Chris Kovalchick is the quintessential Hopkins undergraduate — He doesn't know the meaning of the phrase 'too much' and takes on more responsibilities than any other student I know," said Ilene Busch-Vishniac, a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department. "In spite of the heavy load of two degree programs and extracurricular activities, Chris also managed to do research as an undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering and to serve as a laboratory assistant for the freshman class - and he performs at the top level in every single task. If we could bottle his energy, we could wean the nation off of our oil addiction."
"For me, Christopher embodies the very best of the hopes and expectations that gave rise to the Peabody-Hopkins affiliation," said Peter Landgren, interim director of the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. "I can hardly imagine a graduating student who is more willing to devote his considerable intelligence, talents, and energy to the good of the university, or one more deserving to receive this honor."
Color photo of Christopher Kovalchick available; contact Amy Lunday. For additional information, see trustees.jhu.edu/youngtrustees.php.
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