Student ambassadors inspire future Dolphins


Janna Gaskins, Staff Writer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.— Think back to your first college campus tour. Did the person giving your tour play a role in your decision-making?

These impactful student ambassadors can be found driving golf carts all around campus, but this is far from being their only responsibility.

Student ambassadors are hired each year to assist the admissions office. One of the main purposes of an ambassador, and most well-known, is giving tours to potential students, but their job entails much more.

A four-year presidential student ambassador, Cassidy Baker explained more about the responsibilities of this position.

“There is a lot of behind the scenes as well, such as planning events such as Accepted Students Day, creating visitation packets specific to the student visiting, and working presidential events for JU board members and ASPIRE donors,” said Baker.

ASPIRE is an alumni-driven campaign that collects funds for different initiatives around campus.

Along with these tasks, these students still have time to focus on their main responsibility, giving tours.

“This job is about being a student who can best represent the university in every light and make connections with those who come to visit,” she said.

While giving these tours is a serious responsibility for our ambassadors, they still manage to have a good time while doing so. Baker has experienced this firsthand.

When giving a tour to a family on the golf cart, Baker took a bit of a sharper turn than usual. The mother of the student jokingly said, “You just ‘whip whip’ and ‘nae nae’ this golf cart all over the place.”

“I was laughing so hard and I am pretty sure the student was super embarrassed,” said Baker.

With all the exciting events and fun moments these ambassadors get to experience, it’s no wonder there is always a list of applicants waiting to apply for this position each year.

One of the newly hired ambassadors this spring, Grace Alexander, tells why she decided to apply for the position.

“I wanted to apply to be a student ambassador because I want to help ease the minds of potential students when making their decision on where to go to college,” she said.

With the next freshman class about to make their way onto campus, ambassador training has already begun.

“We had a full day of training and now we are training as we go, with a checklist, to fully be able to give tours in the end,” she said. “I have been able to give walking tours, assist in giving a golf cart tour, and do many various activities in the office.”

Being a student ambassador goes beyond just learning the information needed to give a tour. The position teaches students more about themselves and gives them the skills and friendships they will have for the rest of their lives.

“I learned that being a student ambassador is not just about giving tours,” said Alexander. “Once you are a student ambassador, you become a part of the family of admissions.”

A student ambassador of one year, Caleb Gill, agrees.

“I have gained so much confidence over this last year,” said Gill.  “I have learned that talking to people and getting to know their story and interacting with them is priceless.”

The student ambassador program is about making connections between current students and potential students. Ambassador Cassidy Baker has seen this connection go beyond her giving a tour.

After giving a potential student a tour, the potential student accepted her admission to JU and the two ended up having a class together the following year.

“She told me that I was the reason she came to JU, and that makes being an ambassador all worthwhile,” she said.

After four years in the ambassador program, Baker leaves us with the most important role a student ambassador at JU.

“One of the main responsibilities as a student ambassador, of course, is giving campus tours, but this position is much more than that,” said Baker. “It is about creating the best visitation experience for all our guests, prospective and admitted.”