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Student Profile

All About the Honors Ambassadors

A group of University Honors Program Ambassadors smile for the camera in the Honors Quad.

The Honors Ambassadors are a valued group of University Honors Program (UHP) student leaders who are responsible for facilitating Honors Forum, UHP programming and representing Honors students at various university and partner events.

They have the distinct privilege of serving as role models for first and second year UHP students and they continuously strive to ensure that everyone feels welcome and appreciated in the program.

As official employees of the University Honors Program, the Ambassadors have the opportunity to enhance their professional and personal development. The Ambassadors program is unique in that it has a heavy emphasis on community, with the primary job responsibilities being representing the UHP at university and program events, organizing and attending program and partner events and mentoring current students.

The enthusiasm that the Ambassadors have for their role is contagious, with many attesting to how regularly attending UHP programming has enhanced their college experience. Senior Andrew Otelsberg spoke to this, saying: “Working in the Honors Program excites me because there’s never a dull moment. Every day is something new and different to experience. I genuinely believe there is no other job on campus as unique or as exciting as being a UHP Ambassador.”

For some, becoming an Ambassador is an opportunity to continue their involvement in the Honors Program, and demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning, even after fulfilling their program requirements. Second-Year Allison Charney reflected on how UHP events inspire her.

“I am excited to work with the Honors Program because I feel like I learn something new at every event I go to,” she said. “Whether I find a new interest, or pick up a new book, I am always learning something new at each event I work, regardless of the topic.”

The Ambassadors clearly have boundless enthusiasm for their role, and are also heavily invested in the UHP community. When students first get to campus, the Ambassadors step up to ensure that they are aware of the many resources and opportunities that are available to them. Second-year Jordan Holcomb believes that this can make all the difference in a student’s UHP experience.

“I feel it is important to encourage new students to get the most out of the UHP that they can. I don’t think people realize what great opportunities the program offers until someone lays it all out there for them.”

Taking on the responsibility of developing the UHP community is a critical role played by Ambassadors. Third-year student Amanda Cease has utilized this responsibility to develop friendships within the program, whilst facilitating growth for others.

“My role as a leader is the most important,” Cease said. “The role of an Ambassador is much more than leading students to and from events on or off campus. It is also about leading and facilitating conversations amongst the groups so that commonalities can be discovered and friendships can be sparked.”

Personal growth and interdisciplinary perspectives are key to UHP’s core values of “curiosity, connection, and humility.” Thus, it makes sense that the Ambassadors are also responsible for helping their peers embrace these values. Fifth-year Elizabeth Poinsette described her role in the program as that of an advocate who creates a safe space for UHP students to get to know others, as well as themselves.

“I’d say the most important role is giving the students an atmosphere to be themselves and know that there is someone out there who cares about their journey,” she said. “I enjoy talking to the students before, during, and after events and helping to encourage them in their goals. I can offer advice with the opportunities and struggles I have had across all my years at NC State as well as learning new things myself. Just as the UHP events span across many disciplines, so too does the program accept all uniquenesses of students. I strive to make that clear in my interactions with every student I come into contact with.”

As Poinsette described, the Ambassadors also have a lot to gain from their time on the job. For many, the program serves as a way to stay engaged with a community that they care deeply about.

Second-year Salia Buser described this experience with diversity, and how it has widened her global perspective, saying: “My favorite part of being an Ambassador is having conversations with other students. I love that so many of the students are in a different major than me, and offer a different perspective. The UHP is a great place to have stimulating intellectual conversation, or to just connect over small talk and common ground.”

Whether they’re leading Forum events, philosophical discussions, or engaging with their peers in a casual environment, the Honors Ambassadors are a critical component of the UHP community.