2016 News Releases

Gov. Abbott appoints Monica Mathis as university’s new student regent

Photo of TWU student regent Monica Mathis

Texas Woman's University's new student regent Monica Mathis. Photo by Diana Gomez.

Monica Mathis says her Texas Woman’s University experience has transformed her from a shy, soft-spoken student into a confident leader with a strong voice that she plans to put into use as the university’s new student regent.

“If you had told me at orientation that I would eventually be student regent, I would have laughed and thought you were joking,” said Mathis, a 21-year-old senior kinesiology/pre-physical therapy major from Sherman.

“However, the support and opportunities I have received as a TWU student and as an Honors Scholar and a Terry Scholar have given me opportunities to believe in myself and my leadership abilities.”

Mathis served as the 2015-2016 president of the TWU Terry Scholar Student Organization, the students selected to receive prestigious full-ride scholarships from the Houston-based Terry Foundation. She is serving as the president of the TWU Pre-Physical Therapy Club for 2016-2017, the social chair for the Terry Scholar Student Organization, and is a member of the university’s kinesiology club. Mathis also is an active TWU Honors Scholar, which is one of the state’s most selective Honors programs. She graduated from Sherman High School in 2013.

It was in her role as president of the TWU Terry Scholars that Mathis said helped her grow as a leader.

“When I had to speak to a large crowd of students, parents, university administrators and community leaders at the Terry Banquet, I realized that I could stand and talk and, most importantly, be heard,” Mathis said. “After that moment, I knew that my voice was important and mattered.”

Mathis says she wants to use her voice to speak on behalf of students who don’t have the opportunity to be heard.

“I want students to know that I am here for them and will be their voice to the rest of the TWU Board of Regents,” Mathis said.

A former track and field athlete, Mathis wanted to be a veterinarian until a knee injury and subsequent physical therapy caused her to change her career interests. She says she chose to attend TWU because of its reputation as being among the best kinesiology and physical therapy programs in the nation.

“The moment I stepped onto campus, I felt like I was at home, and I knew TWU was the place for me,” Mathis said. “Being a student here, you are supported and mentored by faculty and staff who want to ensure that you succeed.”

Mathis will graduate from TWU in May 2017 and hopes to go on to graduate school for physical therapy at TWU’s T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences–Dallas Center.

Mathis will attend her first TWU Board of Regents meeting as regent in August in Denton. She is replacing TWU student regent Neftali Gomez of Dallas.

In 2005, then-Gov. Rick Perry signed legislation mandating that each public university board of regents include one student member. Student regents have the same powers and duties as the other members of the board, with the exceptions of voting and being counted to determine a quorum.

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