GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Freshman, Elizabeth Chmielewiski chose to major in animal sciences as a path to vet school. Now as a senior, she has become involved in clubs, undergraduate research, participates on judging teams, and other industry focused competitions. These opportunities were unknown to Chmielewiski when she first came to the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences (ANS), but in the next year she will have the opportunity to help others connect with resources and opportunities as an Animal Sciences Ambassador.
The Ambassador Program is designed to involve exceptional undergraduate students within the department in recruitment, stakeholder engagement, and as the official representatives of the department.
The ANS Ambassadors will connect with prospective students by providing department tours, visiting high schools, college fairs, and UF and CALS admissions events. In addition to interacting with prospective students, ANS Ambassadors will attend ANS events, such as the annual Beef Cattle Short Course, Ruminant Nutrition Symposium, and other major ANS events, where they will engage with influential members of the animal industry.
“I am most looking forward to not only getting to meet new students and help them find their passion, but to be able to attend industry events and have the opportunity to represent UF and talk to those who are active in the agricultural community,” Chmielewiski explained. “I have gained invaluable experience through my time as a student, and I am extremely excited to be able to show new students, alumni, and community members the awesome program and students that the animal science department creates.”
This program will strive to cultivate role models and mentors within the ANS student population, enhance communication skills, personal growth, and professional development among its members, and create long-lasting ties with the department. ANS ambassadors will provide a valuable service as liaisons between the ANS department, its students, and the community.
“I applied to become an ANS ambassador because I want to be as involved in the ANS department as much as possible, especially since it is my last year as an undergraduate,” Chmielewiski said. “I know that building good relationships with those at school and in the community is an important factor when looking towards graduation and starting a career.”
The second cohort of ANS Ambassadors were selected through an application and interview process in June. The 2021-2022 ANS ambassadors are:
- Elizabeth Chmielewski: Animal Biology Specialization
- Daniel Clein: Animal Biology Specialization
- Jessica Czipulis: Food Animal Specialization
- Amanda Foreman: Animal Biology Specialization
- Megan Lee: Equine Specialization
- Emma Lipori: Animal Biology Specialization
- Sophia Salazar: Animal Biology Specialization
- Shelby Welshons: Animal Biology Specialization
“I think the ANS ambassadors can play a large role in helping them to find an area or activity in the department in which they are passionate for. I hope to be able to help students make connections with professors and faculty at UF who they desire to work with,” Chiemlewiski said. “I hope that new students can feel comfortable asking the ambassadors any question they may have about animal sciences.”
–Shelby Thomas, UF/IFAS