The ISE Department has a long history of student participation in various ambassador programs around campus. None more so than the College’s Engineering Ambassadors Program, where ISE students usually outnumber all other engineering majors — currently 12 members. As the Department continues to grow and increase its outreach to potential students, Drs. Julie Swann and Kanton Reynolds decided it was time to harness that spirit of volunteerism and create the ISE Ambassadors Program.
The Ambassador Program
“We created the departmental-level ambassador program so that some of our most engaging students could help showcase the ISE department,” said Swann, ISE department head. Ambassadors host prospective students for campus visits including lab tours and lectures while providing an overview of the program. This includes areas of undergraduate research, student groups, and potential areas of specialization like minors and certificate programs. “I wanted to promote ISE to people because it is not as well-known as other engineering fields and is as significant in the world,” said ISE sophomore Liya Thomas.
The ambassadors serve as portals to the department in giving feedback to faculty and staff members on potential improvements. “The ambassadors serve as departmental host for a variety of functions and as a ‘voice’ for the student community to share their needs and desires,” shared Wendy Blue, ISE academic advisor. “I hope to make a real impact in improving the department both externally and internally,” said ISE junior Jackson Proctor.
Finally, they host guests and take part in events like University and College of Engineering Open House, Fall/Spring Graduations and other special events. “Having an ambassador program has already paid tremendous dividends through increased interest in the department,” explained Kanton Reynolds, ISE Director of Undergraduate Programs. “They provide clarity on why ISE should be the major of choice.”
“This first class of ambassadors has had a profound impact in such a short period of time,” said Reynolds. “They were a needed investment into expanding the reach of our department.”
What Does it Take to be an Ambassador?
All ambassadors should have at least a 3.0 GPA and have completed the CODA process into the department. They should have no academic integrity or disciplinary issues. “We expect ambassadors to be outgoing, engaging and willing to answer questions or assist interested students in finding the solution,” explained Reynolds. “Being able to articulate their own journey in becoming a part of the ISE department is critical in the identification of the ambassadors,” said Blue.
“I like to share the reaction of alumnus Larry Bowman, who made a remark after meeting two ISE ambassadors for the first time, ‘My faith in humanity has been restored’,” shared Swann. “What a powerful statement to the energy and positivity that our new ISE ambassadors bring to our Wolfpack community.”