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February 12, 2003


Kevin O'Kelly

SPRINGFIELD - Kevin O'Kelly, a senior in economics at Northern Illinois University, has been elected as the new student member of the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). O'Kelly was chosen by the Board's Student Advisory Committee to replace Katie M. Cox, who resigned to take a position with the House Democratic staff.

O'Kelly, a native of Downers Grove, plans to graduate from NIU in May 2004. He also serves as the student representative to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), and on a joint IBHE-ISAC committee studying affordability of Illinois higher education.

"I am honored to serve on the Board of Higher Education and grateful to the Student Advisory Committee for the confidence shown in me," O'Kelly said. "Katie Cox did an exemplary job as the student representative on the Board, particularly in the areas of affordability and accountability of colleges and universities. I pledge to continue her strong advocacy of student needs."

O'Kelly has been involved in student government and higher education groups since he attended College of DuPage (COD) in 1999 to 2000. He served as vice president and president of the student body at COD, and since April 2000 has been a member of the Student Advisory Committee, which advises the IBHE on policy matters affecting students.

In addition to his studies and his involvement in higher education boards, O'Kelly serves an internship with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Lisle.

The Board of Higher Education honored Katie Cox with a resolution that praised her efforts as "a respected and influential voice for the interests of students at Illinois colleges and universities" during her tenure as student representative on the Board.


Don Sevener



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