reach a wide audience
Ambassadors for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences — students who help promote the College and recruit students — have given an unprecedented 1,300 hours service this year in the program’s fourth year.
“It’s just phenomenal what these students have taken on and accomplished,” said Sharon Ramsey, executive director of the College’s Alumni Society, who was in charge of the program until May. The new director is Tricia Buddin, career adviser for the College.
This year’s 35 Ambassadors have met with high school students visiting the College during Spend-a-Day-at-State tours. They participated in a number of events to promote the College to a wider audience, including “Legislative Ag Day,” a “Goodness Grows” celebration and “Food ... for Thought!” discussions about the importance of agriculture to North Carolina. Some Ambassadors work as peer counselors, helping fellow students plan careers and develop resumes.
While the College benefits from the exposure of having top students sing its praises across the state, the Ambassadors also benefit, Ramsey said.
“They learn leadership skills, people skills and public speaking skills. They become representatives of the College,” she said. “And they have the opportunity to interact with other students who share similar interests.”
Cynthia Eudy, of Concord, was recruited as an Ambassador during her first year as a student in the Agricultural Institute. After earning an associate degree, she continued in the College and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business management, enabling her to spend four years as an Ambassador. In her senior year, she gave 140 hours of service to the program, far more than the five-hour-a-month required minimum.
For high school students choosing a university and a major, the opportunity to talk with students from the College is very helpful, Eudy said. “Ambassadors can give a student’s perspective on what it’s like being on N.C. State’s campus.”
“It makes a big difference in recruiting” to have College students on hand to talk with prospective students, Ramsey said.
While Eudy’s selection as an Ambassador was based on professors’ recommendations, the process now is more selective. Students who hold at least a 2.9 grade point average apply to be Ambassadors for the following year. They are chosen based on an application and resume.
“A lot of these are the stand-out students,” Ramsey said. They have studied abroad, participated in honors programs and are well versed in the land-grant mission and the changing face of agriculture.”
Next year, the Ambassadors program will change a bit. One group will continue the campus recruitment duties, and another will assume responsibility for off-campus enhancement events. In addition, the program will reinstate its “speakers’ bureau,” which provides student speakers on a variety of topics to interested groups. The speakers’ booklet and accompanying Web site will be updated.