A UCSB alumna and former employee was selected yesterday as the nominee for the 2004-05 student regent.

Jodi L. Anderson, a 30-year-old doctoral candidate in UC Los Angeles’ school of education, was chosen to follow current student regent-designate Matthew J. Murray, a UC Berkeley senior architecture major, as the 2004-05 student regent. Murray will replace the current UC student regent, senior UC Berkeley political economy major Dexter Ligot-Gordon, in July. The board of regents will vote on Anderson’s placement at its meeting in September. If approved, Anderson will be the 30th student regent since the position was created in 1975.

“Jodi is bright, personable and diligent, with a thorough knowledge and understanding of the various aspects of the UC system. I am pleased that our regents made such an excellent choice,” UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang said in a statement. “Our UCSB campus is proud to celebrate her selection.”

As student regent-designate, Anderson will be able to participate in all board discussions, but cannot vote until her term begins July 2004. While working for the UCSB Orientation Programs, Anderson’s goal was to create equal access to higher education for all students, Director of Orientation Programs Kim Parent said. In a statement released by the University yesterday, Anderson said maintaining access to the University for underrepresented and poor students would be a top priority.

“I look forward to serving as a student regent during this period of academic and fiscal challenges,” Anderson said in the statement. “In meeting these challenges, UC must maintain its commitment to provide access to a quality education for all current and future students.”

UCSB Associated Students President Chrystine Lawson applied for the position and was selected as one of the top three candidates but failed to get the position.

“Of course I’m a little disappointed at not being chosen,” Lawson said, “but as long as the person chosen is dedicated to the students and to serving them, that’s what is really important.”

Lawson said Anderson’s status as a doctoral student will not necessarily negatively affect her ability to represent undergraduate students who make up the majority of UC students.

“The neat thing about having a grad student as a student regent is that they have been an undergraduate,” Lawson said. “Although an undergraduate would be more in touch with undergraduate students’ needs, I guess what’s going to be important for students is that the person is dedicated to fulfilling students’ needs.”

Anderson, who received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCSB in 1994, went on to complete two master’s degrees, one in social policy and administration at the University of Nottingham in England and another in education at UCLA, prior to beginning her current research at UCLA.

“Jodi was an outstanding student, both academically and in service, graduating in 1994 with the Chancellor’s Service Award,” Yang said in his statement. “She then worked in the student service areas for seven years with extraordinary contributions to improving the quality of UCSB’s learning and living environment.”

While completing her bachelor’s degree at UCSB, Anderson worked as a student coordinator for Orientation Programs. Anderson later worked in the UCSB Orientation Programs as the assistant director of orientation from 1999 until 2001.

“She has a lot of energy, a lot of diplomacy. She was able to handle all kinds of situations in a very thorough, professional way,” Parent said. “Her passion for students drove what she did. She’s very motivated and has a genuine desire to better the student experience.”

Parent said she was excited for Anderson and is confident she will achieve her goals as student regent.

“Jodi’s going to be a excellent representative for the students of the University of California,” Parent said.” We can look forward to great accomplishments in the time she serves as regent.”