Student Ambassadors gain organization status
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After years of welcoming new and prospective students to PUC, the Student Ambassador Program became an official organization this semester.
The Student Ambassador Program is responsible for promoting PUC through peer assistance, illustrating student success and general community awareness. Student Ambassadors are select PUC students who volunteer and contribute their time to serve as tour guides, peer recruiters, official greeters, ushers, public speakers, role models and testimonials of student success. Some of the events that Student Ambassadors volunteer for include campus tours, PUC's open house, scholarship and recognition dinners, information stations, college fairs, community events, high school and college visits, career fairs and commencements.
Emily Mastej became the president of the Purdue Calumet Ambassadors Program after her spring internship with the Office of Admissions. At first, she gathered ambassadors for university events and set up scheduling for prospective student campus tours. When the PCA became an official student organization, Emily was promoted to president. She has participated in year-round campus tours, as well as Back to School Saturday and other banquets. She has also been involved in Building Community Through the Arts.
Mastej said her favorite activity is the campus tours.
"It gives me the chance to meet students who are interested in Purdue and hopefully get them super excited about becoming a student here. I want to put a good name to PUC and get students excited about the things we have to offer," Mastej said.
As president, Emily works closely with the tour director in the Office of Admissions to make sure each tour is assigned a guide. She serves as the primary connection between the PCA and the Office of Admissions, since the PCA is the main recruiting organization for PUC.
"I am in constant communication with all of the ambassadors about upcoming events and meetings. If you ask any of them, sometimes I have too much contact: crazy ton of emails," Mastej joked.
Mastej likes that the PCA gives students the opportunity to get involved in a prestigious organization on campus since they are representing the university. However, she wishes that more PUC students were aware of the PCA.
"I believe we are a really important organization on campus and important for the campus. Many students do not even know who we are; I hope that we can be just as easily recognized as some of the other organizations on campus," Mastej said.
Steven Gamboa joined the PCA over a year ago after he received an email about the program.
"It made me feel special that someone was reaching out to me to represent PUC," Gamboa said.
As chairman of engagement, Gamboa's responsibilities include overseeing, organizing and standing as the main leadership role of the Engagement Committee. He also plans and creates social events throughout the year. He serves as the primary link between the committee and Mastej, and he also works with her to create a goal report for each academic year.
"What I enjoy the most about the PCA program is the chance to be affiliated with the Purdue University Calumet in another way than just being a student here. I enjoy the fact that as a student ambassador, we are the faces of the university," Gamboa said.
When prospective students come to PUC for college tours, Gamboa and other student ambassadors are the first people they meet.
"We are the first students that share our experiences with those prospective students and explain to them why PUC is such a fantastic college to attend," he said. "I am ecstatic that PCA is now finally a student organization at PUC. We are finally getting the recognition for our contribution to the university."
For student ambassadors, being a member of the PCA is a good resume builder. According to Gamboa, though, it is much more than that.
"You should not join this program just for that fact alone. You should join this program because you love your school and you want to demonstrate that love by being involved in it," Gamboa said.
Gamboa said that the organization exists for students who want to be associated with PUC on a more personal level, for students who want to represent PUC in a professional manner and for students to strengthen their communicative and leadership skills.
PUC also benefits from the program because it is promoted in a fun and respectful way.
"The prospective students visiting the campus benefit from this program because they are one step closer to deciding which college is the one right for them,"Gamboa said.
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