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Leadership and networking opportunity

By Zachary Araki
On February 22, 2018

Sophomore early childhood education major Rebecca Armanini tells people about DSA Ambassadors at a tabling event. Zachary Araki/The Lion’s Roar

Senior political science and communication major Eugene Davis became a DSA Ambassador to meet more people. Zachary Araki/The Lion’s Roar

Being a Division for Student Affairs Leadership Ambassador offers opportunities for networking, leadership skills, personal development and camaraderie.

“I have become very fascinated with DSA,” said senior political science and communication major Eugene Davis. “It has allowed me to be able to connect with other students on campus in a way that I haven’t before I joined, and I’ve learned a lot as a student. I’ve learned a lot as a leader, and I’m still growing.”

The ambassadors help with recruitment, development of leadership, education and promotion of school spirit.

“The DSA Leadership Ambassadors volunteer their time to plan out different events for leadership development such as the ‘Lions LEAD Retreat,’ and we also share our experiences with incoming college students,” said sophomore kinesiology major O’Livia Shaw. “We help service our campus as well as our community, and we’re always supporting Southeastern and making our school known.”

Sophomore early childhood education grades PreK-3 major Rebecca Armanini became interested in being an ambassador after attending a retreat last year.

“I saw it on the SGA page, and I was like, ‘Oh, this looks like a lot of fun,’ so me and a couple of friends signed up for it,” said Armanini. “And I went on it, and I was like, ‘Wow, I’d really like to be an ambassador like this.’ Sooner or later, one of them emailed me like, ‘Hey, this is the link to sign up to be an ambassador,’ so I signed up. And I got interviewed, and here I am working it now.”

For sophomore biological sciences major Pawan Shrestha, being an ambassador helped cultivate his leadership and English-speaking skills.

“It helped me to move forwards, so I can now speak in front of people and tell them about myself,” said Shrestha. “And then, I can just talk freely right now. It helped me so that I could go in front of everyone. Even in a crowd, I could go in front and just talk.”

Shrestha shared why he became an ambassador.

“I chose to join it so that I could help others, also so that I could help teach others, help them to learn the leadership skills,” said Shrestha.

According to Armanini, networking and getting to know campus organizations is an advantage of the position. 

“Anybody who’s interested in being involved on campus, but maybe they don’t want to start off at SGA like a high position, this would be a good place to start ‘cause you can work with a lot of other organizations through DSA and kinda learn and get a feel for the campus itself,” said Armanini. “So, maybe you’re, ‘Oh, I wanna stick with DSA this year,’ but once you learn about the other organizations, you can be like, ‘Wow, I like this one a lot more. I think I’ll do both next year.’ And then, kinda build your leadership and just everything else you wanna do through that.”

Armanini cited the people she works with as her favorite part of being an ambassador.

“I enjoy everybody that’s in DSA,” said Armanini. “There’s not a person that I don’t like in it. They’re all really good friends. I know I can call on them whenever, and they’ll be there at my side. Or if we need something for like the table, I can call anybody. As long as they’re not in class, they’ll come and help us. It’s just the people that make it the best.”

Junior social work major Raegan Varnado enjoys planning the “Lions LEAD Retreat” with Graduate Assistant at the Office for Student Engagement Tyron’E Hawkins though the task poses challenges such as time put into the planning.

“We have four or five meetings a week trying to make decisions,” said Varnado. “So, it would be me and Tyron’E at one point. Then, it would be us and our committee at another point, and then it would be us and the higher ups, kind of deciding over different things. And then, also all the ambassadors together, so that’s a bunch of things.”

Armanini described other challenges she has faced beyond preparing for the retreat.

“We faced some budget cuts through SGA this year, so that means we as DSA face them as well,” said Armanini. “So, we don’t have as much money for the retreat this year, but it’s gonna work out thankfully.”

The ambassadors can also be found on Instagram at the Office for Student Engagement’s official page SoutheaternOSE. Anyone interested in becoming an ambassador is encouraged to attend the “Lions LEAD Retreat” scheduled for March 2-4. 

“If you’re interested, go to the retreat and see what it’s like,” said Varnado. “Then ask us questions about our side of it, and at the end of the retreat, we’ll tell you how to apply for it.”

Each of the ambassadors encouraged anyone interested to apply.

“It’s a fun thing to do,” said Davis. “It’s a great way for you to build leadership skills if you don’t have many or if you want to know more about becoming a leader. If you are already a leader and you want to be able to pass those skills or talk about those skills, better your skills as a leader, this is a great organization for you to join.”

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