Alumni and community relations is seen as one of the most important aspects of a strong college and President John Comerford and his wife Rachel know this as they were eager to suggest the return of the student ambassador program here at Blackburn. The previous student ambassador program ended in 2012 but is being resurrected and will start in the fall of 2016.
Comerford has asked for the assistance of Coordinator of Alumni Relations Dr. Mark Zobel in making this program possible. Faculty members have nominated students to be named ambassadors and students are now being asked to nominate themselves if they have the credentials.
The student ambassador program is a volunteer leadership opportunity coordinated with the office of the president. This is an opportunity for twelve to fifteen current students to act as liaisons between community members, alumni and others present at college events. The main duty of the ambassadors will be to talk to those attending events that are waiting to speak to the president. Zobel stated, “We want the students to be a visible presence to the alumni. The alumni enjoy seeing and hearing what is happening on campus and we want to make that more accessible to them.”
To be a student ambassador you must be enrolled full time, live on campus, be employed in the work program, maintain a 2.8 GPA, and not have been on either academic, social or work probation for at least two semesters prior to application or during time as ambassador. You must also have good communication skills, be willing to talk to alumni, government officials and others and be willing to travel (all expenses are paid by the college). Zobel stated, “Ambassadors are going to get to know a lot of people very quickly. It is an amazing networking opportunity. We are moving from the old regulations which only allowed presidential scholars to participate to allowing a very wide range of students to take advantage of this great opportunity.”
Both Zobel and Comerford are excited about this program and have high hopes for success. Comerford stated, “It is also going to be a great experience for the selected students. They’ll get special access to our alumni and friend network, training on professional socializing and something great for their résumé.” Zobel stated that he is working with Director of Career Services and Experiential Learning Suzanne Krupica to get into contact with alumni members in the corporate world to make strong connections with current students.