CEWiT Launches new Student Ambassador Program

Monday, October 3, 2016

This fall, CEWiT launched the CEWiT Student Ambassador Program in an effort to reach 1st and 2nd year women who do not yet have technology on their radar. With this program, Assistant Director for Student Engagement Michelle Bartley-Taylor hopes to have student ambassadors broaden awareness and  spread the message of CEWiT.

“We discussed a lot of ideas on how best to broaden our reach to students, particularly those who are not currently in a technical course of study and may not be aware of the benefits of developing and sharpening their technical skills” she said. It became clear that the first step should be to share  who we are and what we are trying to accomplish and who better to deliver this message but peers.

The ten student ambassadors, all upper-level students and representing a wide variety of majors from Biochemistry, Education, English, Pre-med, Biology, Business, Political Science to Informatics, are each involved in creating ways to engage more women to expand their knowledge of technology. “In preparing for their interactions with IU students, I asked them to write their own personal path to technology stories and to describe what they wanted to accomplish as ambassadors,” Bartley-Taylor said. “I was so moved by their stories and continue to be impressed with this amazing group of young women. I am so encouraged by the message they can bring to women students at IU."

Bartley-Taylor said she wanted to send a message to the ambassadors to share their stories, get involved with their audience and make a connection with technology.

One ambassador, junior Kara Osburn, said that this program has helped her see technology in every single thing she does. She now she recognizes certain gaps in her own knowledge. Osburn said the program has motivated her to work on bridging those gaps and  to help others do the same.

“I am excited to expose young women to CEWiT, and to create workshops that will expose women to all kinds of technology and expand their knowledge and confidence when it comes to tech,” Osburn said.

The ambassadors are currently working on tabling events all around campus, including residence halls and sororities to broaden brand awareness.  Bartley-Taylor encourages Ambassadors to be creative by implementing activities to draw students to the CEWiT Table. “[Students] will be using binary code to create an IU colored bracelet,” Bartley-Taylor said. “That’s something hands-on ... that will draw students in and provide an opportunity to have a discussion. table.”  Ambassadors are also incorporating other ideas, including using a Wheel Decide to spin for CEWiT Swag, and implementing a Twitter hashtag competition.

In the future, Bartley-Taylor hopes the ambassadors can expand from tabling events to hosting other events all around campus, such as workshops on creating or enhancing a students’ LinkedIn page, starting TwitterChat conversations on relevant issues, and speaking to students in introductory technology courses about CEWiT while promoting up-coming CEWiT sponsored events. "There are many opportunities for growth for this ambassador program. We have so many women to reach here at IU," she said.