Mar. 19, 2013

Shaping Lives of Purpose: 2013 student ambassadorships — new support


Geneseo 2012 student ambassador Melissa Graham '13 helped promote and strengthen local farmers markets last summer. There are 10 ambassador awards available to students this summer through the Center for Inquiry, Discovery and Development. /FILE PHOTO BY KEITH WALTERS '11




Last summer, Melissa Graham '13 dedicated her summer to laying the framework to boost the economy of farmers markets in Livingston County and to create more healthy living opportunities for residents. As one of the college's first student ambassadors, Graham challenged herself daily to do her best for the community.

"It taught me to be confident in what I'm doing," she said.

Graham and other recipients of the inaugural ambassadorship grants all say their learning experience was transformational. This month, Geneseo is set to extend the same opportunity to students with 10 ambassadorship awards through the Center for Inquiry, Discovery and Development. Last year, donors provided nine individual grants of $5,000 each to ambassadors in varied disciplines — leadership, innovation, business, diversity, community engagement and scholarship.

This year, Campus Auxiliary Services has established The CAS Ambassador in Entrepreneurship as part of its $500,000 pledge to Shaping Lives of Purpose: The Campaign for Geneseo. The $22 million campaign is the largest in Geneseo history and seeks to increase such outstanding opportunities for students.

"Our singular focus is to promote the mission of Geneseo," said CAS Executive Director Mark Scott. "All of us ... are joined hand in hand with the university in making sure we offer as many resources as we can for research, and to support inquiry and discovery of new ideas."

Twice as many students applied for the ambassadorships this year, said Provost Carol Long. The 2012 recipients advised students who wanted to apply and are helping to review the new applications with the center's facilitation group.

"We are extremely grateful to the donors who have made the ambassadorships possible," said Long. "They provide the opportunity for our students to grow in unexpected ways, to gain in experience and capacity, and to serve the greater community. The ambassadorships have also connected our students with post-college opportunities they might not otherwise have had."

Long said the college hopes to have an external advisory board for the center in fall 2013.