UT System Student Regent Applicant: Jessica Faith Carter


Debby Garcia

Jessica Faith Carter, special education graduate student. 

Christine Ayala

Gov. Rick Perry will appoint a nonvoting student to the UT System Board of Regents at the end of the academic year to serve a one-year term. Jessica Faith Carter, a special education graduate student, and history senior Joshua Tang are two UT-Austin students among the seven finalists from across the UT System vying to replace the current student regent, Ashley Purgason, a doctoral student at UT-Medical Branch at Galveston. The Daily Texan obtained information about the student regent applicants through the Texas Public Information Act.

Jessica Faith Carter, a special education graduate student, said her experience at four universities throughout her studies and experiences as a middle school and high school teacher have provided her with well-rounded knowledge of education to convey student and faculty concerns to the board.

“Being able to work and serve not only UT but the other institutions that make up the system would give me a unique opportunity to use my background in education to advance the needs of the students here as well,” Carter said. “My background is pretty much 99.9 percent in education, but I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.”

Carter is a multicultural special education doctoral candidate, a campus facilitator of undergraduate students in special education and a member and undergraduate mentor in UT’s Black Graduate Student Association. Carter is an education policy intern for state Rep. Helen Giddings, D-DeSoto, and she holds degrees from Rice University, Prairie View A&M University, Texas Southwestern University and Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Phyllis Robertson, clinical associate special education professor, said Carter has a meaningful impact as a mentor and would represent student concerns well to the board. 

“As a facilitator, she’s very responsible, very engaged with her students,” Robertson said. “She has a lot of insight. She’s had a lot of academic experience. She has the understanding of both undergraduate and graduate students.”

Audrey Sorrells, associate dean of students for research and associate education professor, said Carter works to be a positive influence to everyone she interacts with and as student regent would connect to various communities to best represent students.

“She understands balance and does an amazing job of blending graduate school life and personal and professional life,” Sorrells said. “She is ready to tackle really tough problems and to engage and communicate with a variety of constituents.”

Published on February 25, 2013 as "Representation refresh".