Raaheela Ahmed Appointed as Student Regent

Adelphi, Md. (Sept. 29, 2014) -- The University System of Maryland (USM) welcomes Raaheela Ahmed to the USM Board of Regents as the student regent for the 2014-15 academic year.

Ahmed is in her senior year as a member of the Honors College at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) and is scheduled to graduate in May 2015 with a double major in finance (from the Robert H. Smith School of Business) and economics. She is the recipient of numerous scholarships. In addition to her membership in the University Honors Program, Ahmed has participated in the Hinman CEOs Technology Entrepreneurship Program, the Emerging CFOs Fellows Program, the Rawlings Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program, and been selected as a Smith School Fellows Ambassador, all while maintaining membership on the Dean List.

Beyond her accomplishments at UMCP, Ahmed has demonstrated business acumen, political leadership, and community involvement. In her late teens she served as CEO of SendWithMe.com, an online platform for people to send or deliver packages. As a first year University Honors student she received more than 23,000 votes as a candidate for the Prince George's County Board of Education.

Ahmed has identified three priority issues on which she plans to focus during her term as student regent: college affordability, financial literacy, and mental health.

"A number of students have lost financial aid and work study due to federal cuts. This puts the pressure on the state government to maintain certain levels of affordability in this time of need. Affordability has and will continue to be a main concern for students in the long-run. I plan to act as a voice for students on this front," Ahmed said.

"I also firmly believe in empowering individuals to become positive social change agents in society. I've been advocating for financial literacy in high schools since my 2012 political run for the school board in Prince George's County, and look forward to bringing personal finance curriculum, policy or programs to my fellow college-going peers."

Her interest in raising awareness regarding students' emotional challenges stems from a desire to change outdated perceptions.

"Mental health is often one of those issues that is not discussed nearly enough because of the negative stigma attached to its victims. It's time that we remove shame, fear and stigma from the equation and admit that this is a problem in our universities," Ahmed said. 

A 17-member Board of Regents, including one full-time student, governs the University System of Maryland. Appointed by the governor, the regents oversee the system's academic, administrative, and financial operations; formulate policy; and appoint the USM chancellor and the presidents of the system's 12 institutions. With the exception of the student member, each regent is appointed for a term of five years and may not serve more than two consecutive terms. The student regent is appointed for a one-year term and may be reappointed. Regents serve on the board without compensation.

The University System of Maryland comprises 12 institutions, two regional higher education centers and a system office. USM provides access to excellent higher education opportunities, performs groundbreaking research, offers vital services to communities and individuals and fuels economic and workforce development.

For more information about the board, visit http://www.usmd.edu/regents/

Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719
Email: mlurie@usmd.edu