As the student trustee on Tennessee Tech University’s Board of Trustees, Forrest Allard (accounting, economics ’18) sees an opportunity not only to help the voices of the student body be heard by the university’s governing board but also to get “invaluable experience” working with university administration.
“I have had the opportunity to talk to a lot of Tech students. One of the resounding things that is repeated over and over again is that they want to make sure that their voices are heard,” Allard said. “I have been lucky enough to have that opportunity to serve as a leader before and I am not one to pull any punches. If I feel something is wrong, I will say something about it. If I see something that needs to be fixed, I will tell someone it needs to be fixed.”
Allard, who is a 2015 graduate of Monterey High School, has served as a College of Business Student Ambassador and is director and vice president of professional affairs for the Tech chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting professional honors society.
“I wanted to be able to help my fellow students while also being able to grow myself. This is a learning experience for me.”
Allard has plans for graduate school and a Ph.D. after completing his current degree work and says he would like to teach economics at the university level, ideally at Tech someday. So, by working with the Board of Trustees, he hopes to gain insight and learn more about the administrative side of a university.
“One of my strongest skills is being able to take abstract concepts and boil them down into everyday jargon. I love doing it,” Allard said.
That’s a driver in his interest to someday teach economics.
“I love being able to teach complex ideas and breaking them down so that anyone can understand them. I do a lot of tutoring on campus. When I can explain something to someone and they get that look on their face like ‘I finally get this,’ I really enjoy seeing that moment.”
Allard, the valedictorian of his graduating class, wasn’t sure he wanted to attend Tech, initially thinking he would attend a larger school. However, one visit to the campus was enough to change his mind.
“The second I toured here, I was hooked, I knew I was going to go here,” he said. “I will never forget my very first day here. My first major was accounting, so I stopped in to see Dr. Rand and we ended up having an hour and a half conversation just about anything and everything. I could tell by the way he talked about his students that he really cared.”
In his role as student trustee Allard plans to do as much listening as possible so that he can effectively represent students.
“I am a normal student. I have my own exams to study for. I have a lot of the same issues that everyone else has,” Allard said. “The only difference is that I have been honored enough to be able to represent the student body, and I intend to do that from the ground up. My job is to listen to what the students want and honestly and accurately represent them. If they feel that there is something the university needs to know to better itself, I am available at any time.”