This article was published in The Appalachian.

Since the Appalachian Ambassadors were founded in 1977, members of the organization have led thousands of prospective students on campus tours.

Today, 42 Ambassadors do the same, in addition to working with the Alumni Office, the Office of Admissions and the Office of the Chancellor.

Starting this week, Appalachian State University students will have the opportunity to get involved with the Ambassadors as their 2011 membership drive begins.

The Ambassador membership drive is a long process, and it’s been in the works since the beginning of fall semester.

Lauren N. Brigman, sophomore communication major, said the Ambassadors’ membership committee has been meeting since the beginning of the school year.

One of the first items on their agenda was picking a theme. The committee settled on “Dew the Drive,” with red and green posters playing off Mountain Dew’s classic advertising.
Committee members also chose a tagline, “It’s different on my mountain,” to be repeated throughout membership materials.

“It really is different being an Ambassador,” said Sarah K. Coley, senior communication major and new member educator. “Our organization is very unique and we wanted people to understand why…and what opportunities we have to serve the university.”

The membership committee – and the rest of the Ambassadors – have dedicated long hours to the organization, and prospective applicants should expect to do the same.

Assistant Director of Admissions and Ambassador Adviser Joshua S. Moll said that is one reason the application process is so involved.

“It’s important that the responsibilities of being an ambassador are clearly communicated,” he said. “There’s a great deal of responsibility and a lot is expected of [them].”

Brigman also emphasized the importance of meeting applicants in person.

“We pick 10 to 20 percent of the applicant pool…it’s important that we get to know each of the applicants,” she said. Some people don’t look good on paper, but if you’re not able to write well, that’s not going to hold you back.”

J. Adam Sensenbrenner, the Ambassadors’ vice president, said it’s also important to “be yourself” throughout the application process.

“Think about why you want to be an Ambassador, why you love Appalachian and why you want to share that with other people,” he said.

And don’t let the time commitment scare you away, Brigman said, adding that nearly every Ambassador is involved in other organizations on campus.

“There is a lot of work that goes into it, but…don’t feel like because you’re involved in another organization, you can’t be an Ambassador,” she said. “That’s what we like. To be a leader, you need to be involved.”

Many Ambassadors have found their work on behalf of the organization has been well worth it.
“It has definitely been life-changing for me,” Coley said. “I have loved every minute of it. It has given me professional development skills that will help me for many years to come.”

Sensenbrenner agreed and said he found lasting friendships through the organization as well.
“It gave me a family,” he said. “I got in as a freshman and I felt at home and found a place that I could plug into. People find it in all kinds of different ways, but for me, the Ambassadors…gave me a place where I could learn and grow.”

For more information on the Ambassador membership drive and a full schedule of events, visit ambassadors.appstate.edu/membership2011.

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