The program serves to mobilize exceptional students for the benefit and advancement of equine education in areas including:
- Recruitment of quality students to the Department of Animal Science and equine sciences
- Mentorship for incoming equine students to increase retention and completion
- Equine education at the grass-roots level, focusing on urban youth and general public
Additionally, equine ambassadors greatly benefit from program involvement and professional development opportunities. Highlights of student benefits include:
- Enhancing student educational experiences beyond the classroom through experiential learning from teaching and engagement
- Development of awareness in career opportunities to engage in after graduation
- Networking that serves students in marketability towards industry needs and desires for employment
- Enhancement of communication and industry knowledge to educate and persuade public perception of animal science
Equine ambassadors are competitively selected on an annual basis to develop a group of 10-15 students that are committed to serving a minimum of two years when possible, with no maximum. Equine ambassador positions are available to full-time students at Texas A&M University with equine interests. Students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 and remain in good standing with the university and department while serving.
A new member orientation takes place each fall semester and includes extensive professional development, familiarization with university and animal science department, and introductions with faculty. Throughout the year, equine ambassadors are required to engage in events that continue their professional development and education outside of the classroom. Involvement is based on ambassador availability and strengths of each ambassador to facilitate events. Some events are facilitated by the university, in the industry, or by the program itself.
Interaction amongst teaching and extension faculty in the Department of Animal Science for this program is utilized. Equine ambassadors are utilized to serve in numerous capacities in programs/events that serve the department, community, and extension interests in equine. Such opportunities include 4-H and FFA activities, visits to elementary and high schools, recruiting events for the department and equine sciences, career days, horse shows, and various activities within the Department of Animal Science. Ambassadors are also equipped to develop programs and outreach that provides mentorship to incoming students with an equine interest.
Video applications and resume are due October 1, 2019 to Dr. Chelsie Huseman and ambassador selections will be announced no later than October 20, 2019.