Departmental ambassador programs promote leadership, strengthen communication skills

ISE Student Ambassadors

In an effort to create more peer-to-peer representation, each of the College’s nine academic departments have established student ambassador programs.

“We wanted a diverse and dynamic group of students to represent the department to prospective students and their families, industry representatives and the community at large,” said Elizabeth New, undergraduate student services coordinator for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and advisor to the ECE Ambassadors.

The newest program began in fall 2019 in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE), thanks to an endowment by CBE alumnus Quint Barefoot, ‘85.

These student ambassadors host and participate in various events for their home departments, ranging from lab tours and Engineering Open House to professional development events, social and networking opportunities and more.

Each department has its own list of qualifications and duties — but across the board, each department shares that students who become ambassadors are given an opportunity to enhance their leadership, organizational and public speaking skills, as well as develop and strengthen their professional networks.

“These well-rounded students go above and beyond what is expected in the classroom and are engaged in various other activities in the department, on campus, and in the local and global community,” said New.

For each department, the ambassador program is a way to not only interact with students who are on campus within their departments, but also with prospective ones.

“For prospective students, we want to provide a clear vision of how they would fit within the department, as well as a roadmap to how they can achieve their personal and academic goals by leveraging the department’s resources and relationships,” said Dr. Kanton Reynolds, director of undergraduate programs, and an associate teaching professor in the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE), and co-advisor to the department’s ambassadors. “For current students, we want the ambassadors to serve as mentors and role models by providing timely advice and assistance in how to become their best selves in the context of our department and their intellectual pursuits and interests. We purposefully select a broad cross-section of students including transfers, students from rural areas and students who started out in a different major, so that we can capture all of the possible experiences our students may bring to the table.”

For ISE senior Jasmine Cooper, being an ambassador has given her many takeaways from the experience.

“I have a deeper understanding of how to work with different people, how you need to work with them to meet their needs,” said Cooper. “For me, being an ambassador has been a rewarding experience because I am able to help my peers to be the most successful students they can be.”


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