Ambassador Story – Where Are They Now?
From the Midwest to the Deep South, provided a pathway
and a purpose for one former Ambassador

By Amanda Martin

Editors Note: Many of our readers who have been long time followers of have probably heard of the Ambassador Program. If you are new to, the Ambassador program is one of the many components of the college and university relations initiatives. Students are hired to help promote and our Partnership level clients at various campuses throughout North America. This program has been in place at for the past 7 years and to-date has included 34 different student ambassadors. The following is an update from a member of our 2007 Ambassador Team.

Being from a small town in Southern Illinois (and by small I mean 250 people) attending college was a huge step for me! I was a first generation college student and wide-eyed to the opportunities that were before me. I was lucky to have an outstanding agri-science teacher in high school that helped push me to pursue higher education and who educated me on the unlimited opportunities in the agriculture industry—thanks Julie Bond-Ledford! After visiting campus several times, I knew that the place for me was in College of Agricultural Sciences (COAS) at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). This was the place that I felt at home.

While at SIUC, I majored in Agribusiness Economics and became actively involved in the recruiting program. I became very dedicated to helping students find their way in the College of Agricultural Sciences and helping educate other first generation college students on the opportunities SIUC had to offer. During this time, I also found out about and an Ambassador position that was open on my campus. I thought, what could be better? I get to visit classes, clubs, and participate in events to promote careers in agriculture while helping students! So I applied and was accepted to be part of the 2007 Ambassador Team.

My main responsibility was to educate other college students about what had to offer—this position in turn helped deepen my passion for helping students and recruiting students into agriculture programs. The position also helped me network with employers, share ideas with other campus liaisons about how to promote, and I gained invaluable experiences that definitely helped direct my future. I received a graduate assistantship from Dr. Gary Minish, Dean of the COAS at SIUC, and was able to pursue a Master of Science and complete a thesis entitled “Successfully Reaching Prospective Students: Effectively and Efficiently Using Recruitment Techniques in the COAS at SIUC.”

With my experiences as a Campus Ambassador for and recruiting for SIUC’s College of Agricultural Sciences, I found a perfect career at Auburn University in the Department of Poultry Science. After graduating, I relocated to beautiful Auburn, Alabama. My current position as Coordinator of Recruitment for the Department of Poultry Science allows me to engage students of all ages in learning about careers associated with a Poultry Science degree from Auburn University. From organizing FFA Poultry Evaluation Career Development Events, to visiting elementary schools and talking about the life cycle of chickens, my job is different every day!

The main purpose of my position is to recruit students into our programs and help guide them successfully through their undergraduate careers at Auburn. I have the freedom to develop my own recruiting and outreach programs for a wide variety of audiences and travel throughout the state to promote our programs. I am proud to say that our new student numbers for this fall have doubled compared to previous years! Our Department has tremendous opportunities for students—over $100,000 in scholarships (every student that applies receives a scholarship), 100% placement for graduates, and strong programs covering all sides of the poultry and food industry (Poultry Production, Poultry Processing & Products, Pre-Veterinary Medicine/Pre-Professional, or Food Science).

I am so happy with the path I have chosen—thanks to, this girl from Small Town USA found a career that can be personally rewarding while helping create future leaders in the agriculture industry.

For more information about Poultry Science at Auburn University, visit:

Questions for Amanda, contact her at

Questions about the ambassador program can be directed to Ashley Collins – Education Coordinator at

© 2011