Nine students were chosen this Fall for a new CCEE Student Ambassador program. The program will provide students with an opportunity to strengthen their communication and leadership skills, while filling an increasing need of the department. “We get a lot of requests from groups ranging from the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, to high school science classes, to civic groups, who would like to tour the department or find out more about what we teach and our research” said Dr. Rudi Seracino, Professor of Structural Engineering and Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs. “We also have prospective students and their parents who come to campus for tours and would like to know more about our department and the profession. Our student ambassadors can provide meaningful insights and perspective to their peers,” Seracino continues.
The student ambassadors will also represent the department at College of Engineering events such as the Open House held annually, as well as other career fairs, information sessions, and classroom visits. The students were chosen in part based on their ability to speak confidently and knowledgeably about opportunities within the department. “We expected students to have personal experience with programs such as study abroad, undergraduate research, co-op and internships, as well as leadership within student organizations,” Seracino said. They also have to be committed, flexible, collaborative and proactive. Each will be expected to participate in about 5 events per semester.
Three of the nine student ambassadors are Seniors this year, four are Juniors, and two are Sophomores. They include civil, construction, and environmental engineering majors and their areas of interest range from general contracting, to structures, water resources, alternative energy, and sustainable infrastructure. Jennifer Badra is a Junior who plans to graduate in May of 2019. She is in the civil engineering degree program with an interest in structures. “I am involved with the student ambassadors program because I want to be able to reach out to undecided or misinformed students on what civil, construction, and environmental engineering really is and help them with their career decisions,” Badra said. “I want to share my knowledge and passion with them and I think in turn I’ll learn more about my major and career opportunities.”