Published on 08/17/20

New slate of CAES student ambassadors ready to welcome students

By Maria M. Lameiras

This year’s slate of student ambassadors at the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) face a much different semester from previous years, but they are on hand to help the college’s prospective and current students navigate both new challenges and traditional back-to-campus activities.

Thirty-nine students will serve as 2020-21 CAES Ambassadors on both the Athens and Tifton campuses. The program gives ambassadors the opportunity to develop leadership and professional skills by representing the college at events, helping with activities such as Orientation 2.0, and speaking to other students and the community on topics related to admissions and student opportunities at CAES.

Students who don the signature red blazer that identifies ambassadors have a broad knowledge of the college, their respective campuses and the university as a whole, said Pam Cummins, director of student recruitment for the college. They also benefit from weekly meetings that provide professional development activities that prepare them for careers after graduation.

“The CAES Athens ambassadors are involved in student recruitment and assist at college and university-sponsored events. CAES Ambassadors normally have the opportunity to travel, meet and network with college leaders, expand communication and leadership skills, meet potential students and network with alumni,” Cummins said. “This year will be a little different as ambassadors will not have the college and university-sponsored events to attend like they usually do. The professional and leadership development will still take place during their weekly meetings, however all will be adhering to UGA's on-campus social distancing policies.”

This is the second year as an ambassador on the Athens campus for senior biological science major Zion Eberhart.

“Being a CAES Ambassador has provided me with a platform to advocate for and share my experiences with others for a college that has poured so much into me and my future endeavors. This program has allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and develop a broader perspective of the importance of agriculture and environmental sciences in our everyday lives,” Eberhart said.

Returning ambassador Amelia Payne, also a senior biological science major, recalls the first campus tour she gave to prospective students as an ambassador.

“As an ambassador for CAES, I thoroughly enjoy meeting alumni, current students, and prospective students. Through providing advisors’ contact information as well as major brochures, I appreciate the opportunity to answer questions and alleviate concerns of prospective students and their families while tabling at campus events such as the First Look and Scholar’s Preview Admissions events,” Payne said. “I will never forget sharing about how my two study abroad experiences and internship at the UGArden have enhanced my medical school application through my biological science degree within such a supportive college.”

While traditional fall semester events like Orientation 2.0 and alumni relations events will be held on virtual platforms this year, Payne said that ambassadors will continue to build community and increase networking opportunities for students throughout the college.

“With the presence of COVID-19 and to ensure everyone's safety, this upcoming school year will look very different in terms of our programs and outreach,” said Eberhart. “Nevertheless, we are prepared to follow the guidelines set in place by CAES and UGA.”

Below is a list of 2020-21 CAES Ambassadors for the Athens and Tifton campuses:

Athens campus:

  • Pope Arline, Sophomore, Agribusiness and Risk Management and Insurance, Saint Simons Island, Georgia
  • Katelyn Bickett, Senior, Agricultural Communication, Chickamauga, Georgia
  • Laurabeth Bland, Junior, Agricultural Communication, Statesboro, Georgia
  • Courtney Cameron, Senior, Agriscience and Environmental Systems, Valdosta, Georgia
  • Aynslee Conner, Sophomore, Applied Biotechnology and Entomology, Madison, Georgia
  • Edith Copeland, Senior, Agribusiness, Fort Valley, Georgia
  • Jared Daniel, Graduate Student, Agribusiness, Bogart, Georgia
  • Maggie David, Senior, Agricultural Communication, Statesboro, Georgia
  • Grace Dodds, Senior, Agricultural Communication, Columbus, Georgia
  • Kristen Dunning, Senior, Agricultural Communication, Summerville, Georgia
  • Benjamin Easter, Sophomore, Agricultural Communication, Peachtree City, Georgia
  • Zion Eberhart, Senior, Biological Science, Ellenwood, Georgia
  • Lily Gerrell, Junior, Hospitality and Food Industry Management, Gainesville, Georgia
  • Carter Henry, Senior, Agribusiness and Agricultural and  Applied Economics, Valdosta, Georgia
  • Kenne Hillis, Senior, Animal Science and Dairy Science, Evans, Georgia
  • Nicole Hofland, Fifth year, Agriscience and Environmental Systems and Agricultural Engineering, Suwanee, Georgia
  • Morgan Jones, Senior, Animal Science, Americus, Georgia
  • Bailey Lawson, Senior, Agriscience and Environmental Systems, LaGrange, Georgia
  • Davis Mathis, Senior, Agribusiness and Agricultural and Applied Economics, Valdosta, Georgia
  • Tristan Melton, Senior, Biological Sciences, Dawsonville, Georgia
  • Amelia Payne, Senior, Biological Sciences, Euharlee, Georgia
  • Taylor Pearson, Sophomore, Applied Biotechnology and Entomology, Reidsville, Georgia
  • Brooke Raniere, Sophmore, Environmental Economics and Management, Peachtree City, Georgia
  • Lindsey Smith, Senior, Biological Sciences, Lithia Springs, Georgia
  • Brantley Swindell, Sophomore, Agriscience and Environmental Systems, Claxton, Georgia
  • Hamp Thomas, Junior, Agricultural and Applied Economics, Summerville, Georgia
  • Kelly Tims, Graduate Student , Entomology, Canton, Georgia
  • Mary Logan Tostenson, Senior, Agriscience and Environmental Systems, Moultrie, Georgia
  • Douglas Vines, Sophomore, Applied Biotechnology and Plant Science, Marietta, Georgia
  • Jackson Wadsworth, Senior, Agribusiness and Agricultural and Applied Economics, Monroe, Georgia
  • Rebecca Wallace, Senior, Agricultural Communications, Alpharetta, Georgia
  • Makayla West, Senior, Biological Science, Comer, Georgia

Tifton campus:

  • Courtney Conine, Junior, Senior, Agricultural Education, Camilla, Georgia
  • Marlyn Grantham, Senior, Agricultural Education, Columbus, Georgia
  • Makenna Mabrey, Senior, Agricultural Education, Baldwin, Georgia
  • Grace Padgett, Junior, Agriscience and Environmental Systems, Abbeville, Georgia
  • Summer Steele, Junior, Agribusiness, Concord, Georgia
  • Morgan Sysskind, Junior, Agricultural Education, Valdosta, Georgia
  • Josh Thrift, Senior, Agricultural Education, Alma, Georgia

Maria M. Lameiras is a managing editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

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