Student Trustee Candidates

Student Trustee Nominations

2022 – 2024 Candidates

Since 2015, The Cooper Union has two Student Trustee positions on the Board of Trustees. Each year, the Board seeks students who are interested in non-profit governance to serve as a Trustee for a two-year term.

Voting opens on Friday, April 22, 2022 at 8AM and closes on Friday, April 29, 2022 at 5pm. Students must log into Outlook to cast a vote and may only vote once. 

A recording of the candidate forum sponsored by The Pioneer on April 18, 2022 can be viewed here

Vote here!

Please remember that while you are voting for your first-choice candidate, you will also be selecting your second and third choice.

Elias Dills

DillsI am currently a third-year architecture student, minoring in philosophy through HSS. I was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia. My father went to the School of Architecture at Cooper in the 90’s; the legacy and presence of The Cooper Union have been in my life for as long as I can remember. As a student of the same school, it feels dutiful to become as involved in the school as possible at the highest level.

I am most closely involved with interdisciplinary ventures, including the new Civic Projects Lab and a recent Menschel Fellowship. If elected, I am committed to acting as a voice of increased interaction between the school within the sensibility of what makes The Cooper Union a renowned institution. 


Nathan Feniak

FeniakI'm Nathan Feniak, a current sophomore in the School of Art, originally from Denver. I was in the dorms for Zoom school last year, and am now taking classes in painting, photography, and graphic design. I also do work-study and am the art director of The Pioneer.

As a Student Trustee and a member of the editorial board for The Pioneer, I would act as a direct link between the student body and the Board of Trustees. As the voices of students are expressed in the newspaper, they will be expressed through my position in the highest level of Cooper's administration. I can also bring first-hand knowledge of the workings of Cooper's board directly to you as a contributor to the newspaper.

I also have a deep understanding of the history of the institution, through personal reading and work with the archive in the library. For an HSS project, I'm researching why Cooper split from the Cooper-Hewitt Museum (it used to be in the Foundation Building!), and it has involved going through lots of old Board of Trustees notes. With this background knowledge, I know how Cooper has changed in the past, and I know how I can make a difference in it today.

Read and contribute to the Pioneer, and vote for Nathan Feniak for Student Trustee!  


Iliana Lara

IlianaMy name is Iliana Citlali Lara, and I am currently a sophomore at the School of Art. Being born and raised in Queens, New York City, I have been surrounded by people from all over the world since an early age and learned to communicate and listen to the many perspectives I have been offered. I am the co-founder and president of The Cooper Union Native American Association and I have also participated in the petitioning for a plaque of land acknowledgment and for the decolonization of the HSS (Humanities & Social Sciences) curriculum here at The Cooper Union by popular demand of the student body. 

By communicating with my peers and talking extensively with professors I have been able to gather information and determine what the institution can benefit from as well as how it can help its students. Using my knowledge of this city's history and what I have experienced myself in the past few years, I have a solid understanding of the changes and their effects on the people and institutions that reside within it, and what the next steps are to improve it. 

From reforming curriculums and adding classes to be more inclusive, to investing in better support systems for students in need of financial aid, I know I can help in the betterment of The Cooper Union.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.