Engineering Ambassadors celebrate 10 years of leadership
The room was filled with excitement as students from middle and high schools watched a hovercraft glide across the floor, a concrete canoe attempt to float on water and an animatronic hand wiggle its fingers one at a time at the annual Freshman Engineering Design Day (FEDD) at the McKimmon Center on NC State’s campus.
First-year engineering students work on projects during their first semester on campus to learn the basics of the engineering process and work in teams to present their results at FEDD. Older engineering students in red polo shirts assisting these young students and answering questions about projects are Engineering Ambassadors.
The Engineering Ambassadors (EA) team, which formed in 2006, is an initiative that puts the College’s top students at the forefront of its recruiting, mentoring and marketing efforts. Of the 54 students on the 2015-16 EA team, 34 are University Scholars, 12 are Park Scholars and nine hold University Honors. All 54 are on the dean’s list.
“When you take a step back, our team of 54 phenomenal students are some of the College’s strongest leaders, almost one percent of the undergrads, and they are so committed to everything we do — namely student success — our number one priority,” said Brian Koehler, the College’s director of student engagement.
Ambassadors must have an outstanding academic record with a grade point average of at least 3.0 and have joined one of the College’s 18 degree programs. Applicants must display a high level of personal and professional character, demonstrate a willingness to develop leadership ability, be committed to serving on a team, show dedication to delivering more than what is asked and be enthusiastic about the impact of engineering, the College and NC State.
EA Taylor Forbis, a sophomore studying civil engineering, learned about the program in her E101 Introduction to Engineering and Problem Solving class. Forbis says she has loved what being part of the team has taught her.
“Helping young students, grading papers, showing others what NC State is about, info sessions, working with parents – we are creating a support system not only with each other, but for (first-year students),” Forbis said.
Alberto Quiroga, a sophomore aerospace engineering major and current EA, saw a great opportunity in joining the team.
“It has been an incredible experience. I have definitely grown a lot since I was accepted. It has taught me to really value my education more and truly come to love such a great team. I learned so much to become a better team member and leader in the community – definitely an experience of a lifetime.”
Ambassadors participate in a long list of activities that range from K-12 STEM nights at local elementary schools and an egg drop contest with the Boys Club of Raleigh to the NC State Engineering Career Fair and FEDD. Ambassadors also act as teaching assistants for the E101 course, which all first-year engineering students are required to complete.