Eric Wilcots, dean of the College of Letters & Science, released a statement welcoming the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s third cohort of Dean’s Ambassadors this month.
The L&S Dean’s Ambassadors program is made up of student volunteers who assist in helping the College of Letters & Science with a variety of projects to help foster a greater student community.
“Dean’s Ambassadors are volunteer student leaders who advise me on the day-to-day experiences of our student body,” Wilcots said in his statement. “This year, our ambassadors asked that we focus on community building within the college to address the feelings of isolation that so many students have experienced recently. With their help, we’re planning regular fun, engaging events this year that will help all of our students feel at home in L&S.”
The current cohort is made up of 31 students according to the College of Letters & Science. These students are asked to commit to at least 10 hours of ambassador-related projects each semester. These projects include monthly meetings, homecoming events, winter commencement, Day of the Badger annual giving campaign, spring commencement and more.
Current member of the cohort, Zoe Wittenwyler explained some of the duties of an L&S Dean’s Ambassador.
“Dean’s Ambassadors are expected to be active participants in monthly meetings and to lead one of these meetings,” Wittenwyler said. “The meetings are laid out so that half of the time is spent discussing an L&S topic and the other half is a conversation with Dean Wilcots.”
Wittenwyler also highlighted how she feels the program looks to create a space for students to feel more understood and connected at the university. She also emphasized the importance of service in the program.
“Outside of these monthly meetings, Dean’s Ambassadors are responsible to provide ten hours of service each semester,” she continued. “The service component can take a variety of forms and there is a lot of freedom to choose opportunities best suited to your interests. For example, I spoke with an architectural firm to provide student input on the new Data & Information Sciences building.”
Ultimately, the Dean’s Ambassadors program seeks to leave students with a better understanding of the college’s role at UW-Madison.
“Students should leave the program having gained a greater understanding of a liberal arts education and its role in preparing students for any career regardless of their major,” according to the UW-Madison College of Letters & Science.
To be considered for a position in the Dean’s Ambassadors cohort, there are various qualifications. Students can apply to be a part of the program at the College of Letters & Science Dean’s Ambassadors site.
“This program has been especially valuable emerging from the pandemic. With over a year of remote learning, it became hard to find a sense of campus community,” Wittenwyler said. “However, meetings with campus leaders and service projects with the greater campus community have provided me with a sense of connection among fellow Badgers.”
L&S Dean’s Ambassadors will develop a range of skills and experiences that are beneficial to any career, according to the College of Letters & Science. These skills include advancement and development, networking, mentorship, leadership, communications and social media, project management and evaluation skills.