Student Ambassadors Play Key Role as University Connection
Sept. 3, 2015
“You get to know new people, including University administrators and donors. You meet people that students don’t usually get to speak with on a professional level. This is definitely a prestigious program,” said Emily Luth, a biomedical engineering sophomore and a newly named ambassador.
You know them by their green button-down shirts, or white polo shirts, depending on the occasion. Not to mention their smiles.
Often considered the face of the student body, ambassadors are called upon to greet guests at University events and connect with alumni and donors who tour the campus.
“You get to know new people, including University administrators and donors. You meet people that students don’t usually get to speak with on a professional level,” said Emily Luth, a biomedical engineering sophomore in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, a Terry Scholar and a newly named ambassador. “This is definitely a prestigious program.”
Because these students represent the University, the program has a careful selection process. Of the 125 applicants this spring, the program accepted only 20 new students.
Applicants must be full-time students who demonstrate leadership and academic excellence. They must have completed at least one semester at UT Dallas before applying and have at least a 3.0 grade-point average.
During the 2015-16 academic year, 52 ambassadors will invest more than 1,000 hours of service to the University, serving at scheduled events such as commencement and the UT Dallas Awards Gala.
“It’s a way to give back to the school,” said Ali Tejani, a biology junior, who has been an ambassador for two years. “I love working the Arts and Technology Distinguished Lecture Series, seeing how guests on campus enjoy our new facility. It’s really satisfying.”
Student Ambassadors also help create traditions and shape the culture of UT Dallas. They established and organize the annual Oozeball tournament, and have led their peers in giving back to the University through the Class Challenge gift program.
But they also are needed to serve as volunteers at a variety of University functions. Many departments depend on the ambassadors’ help with their programs. During the group’s spring orientation, new ambassadors were told to prepare for each event by knowing its purpose and be willing to take on any task.
Student Ambassadors learn about UT Dallas history, personnel, programs and facilities. They are encouraged to know facts about the University, such as the cost of tuition and the student population, about which visitors are typically curious.
But they don’t have to know everything about the University. Mostly, they’re called on to share with guests their experiences as a UT Dallas student.
Ali Tejani, a biology junior in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and a McDermott Scholar, has been an ambassador for two years. Although he was already involved in Student Government, he applied because he wanted to be more active with alumni relations.
“It’s a way to give back to the school,” he said. “I love working the Arts and Technology Distinguished Lecture Series, seeing how guests on campus enjoy our new facility. It’s really satisfying.”