Edward S. Wolak Library Learning Commons. (Image courtesy: Cedric-Luamara Atlas)

SNHU is beginning its inaugural semester of the new Major Ambassadors program in the Spring ’23 semester. Selected majors have assigned two to three students who dedicate time towards promoting their respective programs to new students. The central goal of the program is to make younger students on campus feel more involved. Not every major is yet to have assigned Major Ambassadors.

Each Major Ambassador has a designated department chair. They refer to their chair for assistance, guidance, and leadership toward planning events for students in their respective majors.

Justice Studies major Manny Baisley (‘23) spoke on what being a Major Ambassador means to him. He emphasized how the program may provide opportunities for the university in the long run.

“It helps with my resume, but I have always enjoyed being a mentor or role model for those who are younger than me….I see the Major Ambassadors program being the focal point in recruiting future students,” said Baisley. “I feel that Major Ambassadors are beneficial for incoming students because having upperclassmen with experience in their major makes it easy to get advice or help.”

SNHU believes the Major Ambassadors program will improve student retention rates by increasing opportunities to get involved with peers and on-campus events and activities.

“[We] are brainstorming many ideas, potentially sporting events, major-based intramural teams, meet and greets, and other ways to get new students involved….I feel like I serve a purpose greater than just getting my degree,” said Baisley.

English Department Lecturer Selina Marcille took on the role of Coordinator for the Major Ambassadors program. She also serves as the department chair advisor for English majors.

“The goal of the program is to provide an opportunity for upper-class students within the major to provide a bridge for younger major students,” said Marcille.

Marcille spoke about what students, such as freshmen and sophomores, have to gain from this program.

“One of the big benefits is, of course, networking and being able to connect with people who have the experiences that they will be having,” said Marcille.

She went on to discuss specific events that students may attend. Many of these events could provide context to academics, such as the Humanities Festival, along with guest-author readings.

“Looking forward, I would like to see more [engagement] here at SNHU, where there is more partnership between these Major Ambassadors…who can partner with the faculty to help build and foster that sense of academic community,” said Marcille. “I hope in five years that we are able to have a presence in each and every major and that there is consistent faculty buy-in to the importance of establishing these types of academic communities.”

Marcille also talked about the significant impact faculty members have on this new on-campus program, and what it means to build a sense of togetherness within the academic community.

“One thing that I think is really unique about SNHU is how engaged and committed the faculty are to the students….Every faculty member who I have worked with in my eleven years here has such a passion for supporting students holistically….Being able to have department chairs buy into the purpose of this program and see it as essential…is so important because that sort of partnership is what builds the program to be stronger and stronger,” said Marcille.

SNHU looks to continue the Major Ambassador program for years to come. They hope to introduce new ambassadors every year to build a strong, fun academic community between students and their peers.