Sept. 16 – ATHENS – Pope Arline, a fourth-year student from St. Simons Island, sits at a long conference table inside Conner Hall as fellow ambassadors from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences introduce themselves for their weekly Tuesday meeting. As the rest of the 32-student team catch up on the week and find their seats, Arline explains what he loves about being a student at the University of Georgia.
“There’s such a sense of community here – I’ve always felt my professors really cared about my success, not just in their classes, but also in thinking about life after college,” he said. he declares. “At a college like CAES, you can make connections with your professors, advisors, and classmates that you might not be able to do at a larger on-campus college.
“I come from a small town and UGA can be a pretty overwhelming place, but I found my home at CAES. I couldn’t think of a better way to give back to the place I call home. than being a representative of CAES as an ambassador.”
Founded in 1989, the CAES Ambassador Program is UGA’s oldest student ambassador group and focuses on student recruitment, student engagement, and community outreach. Students with a major in CAES and at least two semesters of college are eligible to apply and participate in the interview process, all with the goal of being selected to wear the program’s signature red blazer. These students are experts in all things CAES – for prospective students from across the state and nation, Ambassadors provide insight into student life in Athens and Tifton, as well as the variety of learning opportunities practice available in agricultural and environmental sciences.
“Giving tours to prospective students is one of my favorite parts of being an ambassador,” said Anna Cook, a fourth-year Fitzgerald student. “For me, it’s exciting to show students what I love about being a student not only at UGA but also at CAES.”
Pam Cummins, Director of Student Recruitment for CAES, leads students through their year of service, guiding them and arranging professional development opportunities for the group. Although these students come from diverse backgrounds and have unique career goals, it is their passion for CAES that brings them together, she said.
“All of our Ambassadors are very proud to be CAES students and are passionate about helping other students and community members learn more about the work we do here,” Cummins said. “They are able to not only work alongside prospective students, but also increase their own confidence in public speaking, network with UGA leaders, and develop deep relationships with fellow ambassadors. .”
For Hampton Watkins, being a CAES Ambassador allows him to bring together two of his passions: science and connecting with others. A third-year animal science student from Rome, Watkins begins his first year of service as a CAES Ambassador this fall.
“I’ve always loved the opportunities to talk with people who are different from me, who have different career goals,” he said. “For me, being an Ambassador allows me to bring together my passion for science and connect with others – CAES has given me a great opportunity to be part of the exciting things happening here.”
Excitement was high among the group as they began classes at the Athens and Tifton campuses, knowing that they are not only pursuing their own training in agricultural and environmental sciences, but also supporting the next generation of CAES students through meaningful outreach.
The CAES 2022-23 ambassadors are:
Arline, fourth year, agribusiness and risk management and insurance, St. Simons Island
Megan Cherry, fourth year, agricultural communication, Chatsworth
Ariana Cohen, Third Year, Biological Sciences, Cumming
Aynslee Conner, fourth year, applied biotechnology and entomology, Madison
Cook, Fourth Year, Biological Sciences, Fitzgerald
Grant Cook, fourth year, biological sciences and entomology, McRae
Molly Cooney, third year, agricultural communication, Grimes, Iowa
Jada Daniel, fourth year, biological sciences, Danville
Chloe Dela Cerna, Fourth Year, Agrisciences and Environmental Systems and Agricultural and Applied Economics, Tifton
Ashley Dombrowski, Masters Student, Entomology, Newnan
Maya Dubos, Fourth Year, Hospitality and Food Management, Acworth
Benji Easter, fourth year, agricultural communication, Peachtree City
Kate Fouts, fourth year, animal science, Hoschton
Brenna Gassman, fourth year, animal science and biological science, Evans
Reilly Grady, second year, agribusiness, Dalton
Kaitlyn Hart, Fourth Year, Hospitality and Food Management, Moultrie
Anna Hightower, fourth year, Macon Agribusiness
Paul Kellam, third year, biological sciences, Dublin
Bella Kerbers, fourth year, agricultural communication, Katy, Texas
Justin Loedding, fourth year, agribusiness and agricultural and applied economics, Dawsonville
Haley McMillan, fourth year, environmental resource science, Dacula
Hank Murray, Fourth Year, Agribusiness and Agricultural and Applied Economics, Folkston
Spen Oliver, fourth year, agroscience and environmental systems, Pine Mountain
Taylor Pearson, fourth year, applied biotechnology and entomology, Reidsville
Olivia Phillips, fourth year, agribusiness and agricultural and applied economics, Fitzgerald
Brooke Raniere, fourth year, environmental economics and management, Peachtree City
Grayson Swindell, second year, agribusiness, Manassas
Audrey Thacker, fourth year, agribusiness and agricultural and applied economics, Malibu, CA.
Douglas Vines, fourth year, applied biotechnology, Marietta
Hampton Watkins, Third Year, Animal Science, Rome
Tyler Westbrook, fourth year, agribusiness, Jasper
Will Woodard, fourth year, agribusiness, Madison
Bailey Rayfield, fourth year, agroscience and environmental systems, Adel
Kylie Whitworth, fourth year, agricultural education, Royston
Kristen Edwards, fourth year, agricultural education, Pelham
Miller Hayes, fourth year, agroscience and environmental systems, Brinson
Lindsey Herrin, Third Year, Agribusiness, Adel
Applications to become a CAES Ambassador 2023-2024 open on November 20. To learn more about the Ambassador Program, visit caes.uga.edu/students.