Colby-Sawyer Board of Trustees Elects Bonita Basnyat ’14 as Winton-Black Trustee

The Colby-Sawyer College Board of Trustees has elected Bonita Basnyat ’14 of South Kingston, Rhode Island, as its newest Winton-Black Trustee. Basnyat began her one-year term July 1, replacing Cailin Bullett ’13 as one of two Winton-Black Trustees on the board.

Created in 2009, Winton-Black Trustees are alumni of the college who graduated between three to nine years prior to election. Eligible to serve up to three, one-year terms, Winton-Black Trustees offer a unique set of perspectives as recent graduates, and, in turn, are afforded opportunity for professional growth through service as a trustee.

Basnyat, who graduated from Colby-Sawyer in three years with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, joins Nick Ciarlante ’14 as the second of the board’s two Winton-Black Trustees. Ciarlante, the budget director and investigations coordinator for the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, was elected to his third and final term in May.

“I have a diverse background as an international student and look forward to sharing my views and perspective with my fellow board members,” said Basnyat, who is originally from Kathmandu, Nepal. “I’m excited to have meaningful conversations around the issues which students today face, and doing my bit to shape the future of the college.”

Since graduating from Colby-Sawyer, Basnyat has taught psychology research methods at the University of Rhode Island, and previously worked as a health economics and outcomes research intern for Pfizer. Basnyat is currently a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at the University of Rhode Island, and plans to pursue opportunities in qualitive and quantitative patient-centered outcomes research upon graduation.

During her time at Colby-Sawyer, Basnyat served as a resident assistant and laboratory assistant in the Ivey Science Center natural sciences lab. Basnyat described herself as an eager student who knew early on that she wanted to attend graduate school, adding that she benefited greatly from professors who helped her achieve that goal.

“The board is thrilled to welcome Bonita, especially during this time of disruption due to COVID-19 and, more importantly, this time of reckoning with inequality, diversity and inclusion,” Chair of the Colby-Sawyer College Board of Trustees Lisa Hogarty said. “As the United States and higher education in particular work to embrace real systemic change in equality, recent alumni like Bonita can bring fresh ideas and perspective to the board’s work on these vital issues.”

The Winton-Black Trustee designation was named in recognition of former board chair Anne Winton Black ’73 ’75 following a unanimous recommendation from the board’s organization committee. Winton Black began serving on the board in 1995, and was its chair from 2003-11.