“Being an ambassador allots me the opportunity to help fellow students on campus who are having a difficult time adjusting to campus life,” said Ariel Hudson, a senior from Meridian, Mississippi. “Becoming a student ambassador was one of the best things I have done. Getting involved on campus as a student ambassador is impacting the lives of the students for the better, which I am elated to be included in.”
Launched during the 2021-22 school year, CHASSE student ambassadors offer mentorship to prospective, new, and current students within the college. They work with students to address concerns and questions, connect to campus resources, help promote a sense of belonging, and offer guidance about CHASSE majors, careers, and opportunities.
“We started the CHASSE Student Ambassador program because we know that peer mentoring can be critical to student success,” said Dr. Sarah Beth Estes, dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education. “We wanted to create a cohort of students who bring their academic experience to bear in the areas that are most important to this success, including academic support, career exploration, and contributing to a sense of belonging. We are thrilled with the students in our inaugural cohort. And we thank the CHASSE donors who have allowed us this opportunity.”
The donors are Martha and Warren Stephenson, of Little Rock, who have long funded a scholarship to support students in English and history (Martha Stephenson’s undergraduate majors) and political science programs. Now they have extended that generosity to fund the CHASSE Student Ambassador program, which includes all major areas in the college.
“Our donation supporting student ambassadors is another way to show our enthusiasm for the outstanding students in the College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education,” Ms. Stephenson said. “These students have devoted their time, skills, and enthusiasm to building a better and brighter future for their fellow students.”
The new cohort of CHASSE student ambassadors includes:
· Ahmed Elkhattabi, a sophomore mass communication major with an emphasis in journalism
· Ariel Hudson, a senior music major and Spanish minor
· Isabella Miller, a sophomore double majoring in history and English with an emphasis in creative writing
· Shalonda Nelson, a junior interdisciplinary major with concentrations in applied communication studies, mass communication, and sociology
· Amber Sartain, a senior pursuing middle childhood education with concentrations in language arts and mathematics
CHASSE student ambassadors have received a variety of student support and career services training in order to provide them with all the skills necessary to help students in their college.
“Our inaugural CHASSE Ambassadors have completed training in counseling services, career services, career exploration, resume and cover letter development, interviewing skills, job and graduate school search strategies, social media etiquette, professionalism in the class and workplace, and salary negotiation,” said Brittany Straw, director of Career Services at UA Little Rock. “These ambassadors are excited to mentor and guide future and current students through their career and academic advising.”
Shalonda Nelson, a junior from Little Rock, said that being a student ambassador has allowed her to attend school with a deeper purpose of loyalty to her university, education, and fellow students.
“These are trying times seeking an education during a pandemic, but our college has a team of ambassadors to help cheer others through it,” Nelson said. “I met with a student concerning her fear of not doing well in a class. I was able to share student to professor skills of communication, the importance of setting a timeline, and resources in her degree program she could utilize to assist her. We even developed a bond and promised to stay in touch with each other.”
Fellow student ambassador Amber Sartain, a senior from North Little Rock, agreed that she was excited to be an ambassador. She felt being an older student could help her connect with fellow nontraditional students.
“As a nontraditional (a.k.a. older) student, it is important for me to make any student comfortable, no matter what time in their life they are in while attending college,” Sartain said.