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Professional and Leadership Development Through Undergraduate Student Ambassador Program

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Teams, Teaching, Leadership, and Technical Communications in Mechanical Engineering

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Timothy J. Jacobs Texas A&M University

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Associate Professor in Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University

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Rachal E. Thomassie Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Rachal Thomassie is a first year masters student in the interdisciplinary engineering program at Texas A&M University with an emphasis on engineering education. She also holds the position of Academic Advisor for undergraduate students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, from which she earned her bachelorette degree. She has over five years of industry experience in design and systems engineering and six years of experience in academic affairs. She founded and currently advises two mechanical engineering affiliated student organizations and manages the department’s Student Ambassador Program. She also assisted in the development of an orientation course for first-semester students in the major, which she co-instructs. She continually looks for ways to enhance student learning and career preparedness by connecting the technical education with co-curricular experiences.

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Engineering programs continue to grow enrollment and expand offerings of high impact learning experiences, such as study abroad, research and internships. As the two increase simultaneously, a need arises for student services to promote and advise students on the myriad of opportunities and guide them to pursue those most relevant to their interests and goals. To assist in this need, our department has established a student-led program providing peer-to-peer mentoring through individual conversations with both current and prospective students. The student peer mentors are called student ambassadors. In addition to assisting the department in its student advising efforts, the program creates an opportunity for the department to foster its student leader development. The student ambassadors are involved in recruitment efforts with the department, outreach to prospective and newly admitted students, and special projects that enhance the student services our department offers. Their personal growth is assessed through self-reflection pieces, which also serves to guide improvements in the program. As a result, our department is able to meet with more prospective students, has increased on-campus recruiting efforts and provides mentors for newly admitted students.

Jacobs, T. J., & Thomassie, R. E. (2017, June), Professional and Leadership Development Through Undergraduate Student Ambassador Program Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28759

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