Student Ambassadors Spring 2016

Another round of interviews for new members of the Salus University Ambassadors program was just completed. Soon, a select few will be notified that they will become an ambassador - and will be a part of the group of students that represent the University in a variety of areas.
 
Chosen after an application process that includes essay questions and several interviews, the first year students interested in becoming ambassadors must have served in similar roles at their undergraduate institutions. The new ambassadors will play an essential role in serving various departments on campus with the primary objective of promoting the University through events and other activities. Ambassadors must be dedicated to the mission of Salus with a strong emphasis in recruiting and welcoming students, retaining University-wide relationships, and engaging alumni and community constituents.
 
During their most recent interview, ambassador hopefuls filled the Bennett Lounge in the Hafter Student Center during a meet and greet. The group setting was meant to assess each candidate’s individual ability to interact with various constituents in a new setting. The University’s administration members and current ambassadors mingled with the students before breaking-out in smaller groups for a round of more specific interview questions .
 
According to Puja Patel, ‘21OD and ambassador student coordinator, some of the important traits of an ambassador are: respect, confidence, professionalism, along with school spirit - to name just a few.
 
Last year, Patel applied to be an ambassador because she felt homesick and knew volunteering and being a part of something with classmates would begin to make her feel more comfortable. By spring, Patel took on the lead ambassador student coordinator position that requires her to conduct bi-weekly meetings, recruit volunteers, meet with Monae Kelsey, associate director of Student Engagement/assistant director of Admissions to organize upcoming events; and other administrative duties as needed.
 
To Patel, being a Salus Ambassador is to be the collective face of the University.  “We have a diverse group of individuals who have plenty of school pride and want to make Salus proud,” she said. To her, it’s almost like being part of a big family.
 
When Kelsey brought the need of student ambassadors to the University’s attention, she wanted to make it different from other ambassador programs, more accessible across the University, and not just as an admissions tool. The first cohort, in 2015, was able to attend 80 to 90 percent of the events that they were requested at, which set the precedent for the coming years. In regards to the ambassadors so far, Kelsey said, “I’ve never had to question how they represent Salus, and I look forward to the new group we bring in to follow in the same steps.”

As part of their role, Ambassadors volunteer for many events both on and off campus. One of Patel’s favorite events she volunteered for last year was the “Looking Out for Kids” (LOFK) charity fundraiser. “It was an unbelievable experience - being able to assist Salus in making the event successful made me proud to be a Salus student,” she said.
 
Even to those not interested in becoming an ambassador, her suggestion is to  find something interesting outside of classes. “Get involved. School is extremely stressful and time consuming, that an outlet is necessary,” she said. “Life is all about juggling and balancing and I would never want someone to regret not being involved and missing out on an opportunity because they think they’ll have the following year or the year after to do so.”