Feb 25, 2011
By Emily Maddern
The Out-of-State Ambassadors (OSA) is a student group that participates in recruitment events both on and off campus and serves as a resource to prospective Ohio University students who live outside the state of Ohio.
The group consistently has a membership of 20 to 30 out-of-state students who volunteer to participate regularly throughout the academic year. It was started winter quarter 2008 and is sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
"The program gives a face to what Ohio University is like for a student who is coming from out of state," said Lindsay Lake, an undergraduate admissions adviser and supervisor of the program. "[These students] are acting on behalf of the University as a student representative, so they have a chance to directly impact the shaping of the future class of Ohio University. I think it's pretty exciting for students to have that direct impact."
The Out-of-State Ambassadors' main involvement in the recruitment effort is the group's participation in the OHIO Up Close program, an on-campus visit program exclusively for admitted first-year and transfer students. During the program, the ambassadors share their college experiences at an informal luncheon with out-of-state students and their parents.
OSA member Kelly Phillips, a junior from Pittsburgh studying graphic design, said that talking with prospective students at the luncheons highlights what life at Ohio University is really like.
"It's my strong belief that seniors get a more encompassing and truthful read of their future experiences at Ohio University through the eyes of current students, as opposed to merely reading facts on the website or being subject to a quick campus tour," Phillips said.
Lake said that she believes having a presence on campus of students from outside the state of Ohio is important because out-of-state students can have a completely different experience than in-state students.
"I think it lends a voice to [prospective out-of-state students] when they might feel like, 'There are a lot of students who come from in-state who go to Ohio University, how am I going to fit into that puzzle?'" she said.
Phillips said she hopes her shared experiences may help new students to have a more enriching experience when they attend Ohio University.
"To me, there's nothing more satisfactory than knowing you have elucidated a problem for a prospective student's parent, or convinced a high school senior that going to college out of state
isn't scary," she said. "In fact it is a grand adventure and an opportunity for said student to grow and have the best time of his or her life."
Students interested in getting involved in the Out-of-State Ambassadors can contact Lindsay Lake at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.