Three Students Selected to Help Represent Saint Leo to State Legislators

January 29, 2010

Three Students Selected Three Saint Leo University undergraduates have been selected as 2009-10 Presidential Fellows by Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF), a prominent legislative affairs organization.  Daniel Izquierdo ’10, Nicholas Bliesner ’10, and Andrew Van Guilder ’11 are among 47 fellows representing 20 ICUF member schools.  The Presidential Fellowship was established in 2004 to train student leaders to push for public policy that supports Florida’s independent colleges and universities. 

The fellowship attracts students from a variety of disciplines. Izquierdo, in his third year as a fellow, is pursuing a double major in international business and marketing.  Bliesner is working on a degree in history and Van Guilder is studying criminal justice.

“The program is a great opportunity for interested students to get a handle on the legislative process through the interactions with members of the ICUF leadership team in Tallahassee, the ICUF presidents and members of the legislature,” said David Persky, assistant to the president, who oversees the Presidential Fellows at Saint Leo.

The fellows will accompany Persky to Tallahassee this spring to visit with members of the legislature and encourage their continued support of proposed legislation that is important to Saint Leo and to private higher education in Florida. 

In particular, Izquierdo, Bliesner and Van Guilder will focus on the state’s continued support of the Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG) program. The grants provide financial assistance to Florida residents attending private colleges or universities in the state. The assistance is important to many students enrolled at Saint Leo’s Continuing Education Centers in Florida, as well as to Florida residents studying at the main campus.

We have been fortunate the past few years that we have had very good ICUF Fellows who have participated at the highest levels to represent Saint Leo in the program and in the Fellows Program activities, both on campus and in Tallahassee,” Persky said.  They have also led letter-writing campaigns to members of the Florida legislature in support of FRAG. 

Photo: From left to right, Daniel Izquierdo ’10, Nicholas Bliesner ’10, and Andrew Van Guilder ’11.