Student Ambassadors Organization celebrates 30 years with new inductions and Homecoming plans

Megan Corder

Kent State’s Student Ambassadors, also called the “blue blazer kids,” celebrated its 30th anniversary Saturday in the Kent Student Center.

The ambassadors inducted 22 new members to the program as part of its celebration Saturday. Brie Jutte, sophomore interpersonal communications major, was one of the 22 students inducted Saturday. She said she enjoyed being a part of the day’s presentation.

“Seeing the seniors honored, the scholarships presented and the slideshow of the year’s events was a nice way to start this journey [with the organization],” Jutte said.

The ambassadors, advised by the Alumni Association, are a select group of 50 students who are active leaders on campus. These ambassadors are asked to volunteer at different campus and community events.

Carrie Circosta, assistant director of Alumni Relations, said they are planning an ambassadors’ reunion during the 2013 Homecoming. The event is scheduled to take place on October 5.

“We have about 500 alumni who are ambassadors,” Circosta said. “We are going to invite all the former ambassadors back for Homecoming. We are going to plan a whole day for them. After the parade, we are going to do a tour, on campus and downtown.”

In the past few years, the ambassadors have helped bring notable public figures, such as author Elie Wiesel and former First Lady Barbara Bush, to the university. Circosta said one major accomplishment that she is proud of is bringing Relay For Life to the university.

“The Kent State Ambassadors played a really huge role in [bringing Relay for Life to Kent State],” Circosta said. “We were the ones that suggested it and actually brought it here.”

Shelby Barnes, president of the ambassadors and a senior public health major, said she joined four years ago and has enjoyed being a member. Barnes said her favorite experience was meeting Josh Cribbs when Barnes worked an event in the President’s Loge for a football game.

To join, Barnes said they try to recruit at the beginning of the year.

“We [select members] in the fall,” Barnes said. “The first couple weeks we try to get our name out there. It is basically a full semester-long process.”

Barnes said the process of joining requires an application, interview and training period.

“We do have an application,” Barnes said. “We do require two references and then we have a GPA Requirement, it is a 3.0. We have a selection committee. If they meet the requirements we bring them in for an interview.”

Barnes and Circosta said that the member cap is at about 50 because of the number of blazers available. Circosta said that the organization has been advised by the Alumni Association since its beginning and the anniversary is a huge milestone for the group.

“I think there’s not that many organizations, maybe one or two other ones on campus, that have been around consistently for that long,” Circosta said. “It is definitely a huge milestone for us.”

Contact Megan Corder at [email protected].