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Global Ambassador Program

Augustana's Global Ambassadors are a group of dedicated students who work closely with the Office of International Student Life to support the incoming first-year international student population.  Many of the Global Ambassadors are international students, have lived or studied abroad and often in multiple countries.  

The Global Ambassadors lead sessions during International Student Orientation, pick students up at the airport, mentor first-year international students, and plan programming throughout the year.

As mentors they work closely with international students helping them adjust to life not only on campus but also in the surrounding area.

Global Ambassadors 2016-2017

2016-17 Global Ambassadors

Michaila Cooper

Michaila Cooper

Community Global Ambassador

Country: USA / China

Major: Biology with a minor in Art (I am interested in going into Occupational Therapy.)

Year: Senior

I will be serving as the Community Global Ambassador and overseeing the International House. I love being a Global Ambassador because I get to meet new people and encounter new cultures. I value international experiences and know the challenges and benefits of going to a school outside of your home country. The advice I would give to incoming students is to embrace every opportunity available to you. You should come to Augie with an open mind and an adventurous attitude. If you are prepared to participate in, and contributing to, every aspect of student life, then it will help you claim Augustana as your home.

McKenna Burns


Country: USA

McKenna Burns

Major: Biology, Biochemistry, and Scandinavian Studies

Year: Senior

Hello internationals! I'm an Army Brat, which is fancy slang for someone who moves around a lot on military posts in the U.S. This means that I don't really have a hometown. I have lived from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Death Valley, California, to Puyallup, Washington.

I wanted to become a GA because I love people and I know how difficult it can be to move to an unfamiliar area.  I want to help anyone I can to feel at home at this school that I love.  I also love meeting and being friends with interesting and unique people! I think the biggest hurdle is to feel comfortable and find your new routine. People are creatures of habit, and it's always easiest to have a schedule. It's rather pragmatic advice, but it can help you from feeling overwhelmed. Setting up a normal bedtime, study time (it is college after all!), and social/personal time is the easiest way to balance them all.

Haimi Dagnew

Haimi Dagnew

Country: Ethiopia

Major: Environmental Studies and Geography

Year: Junior

My name is Haimanot but I go by Haimi. This will be my second year as a Global Ambassador. I knew I wanted to be a Global Ambassador as soon as international orientation was finished my freshman year. I am excited to have the opportunity to do it again this year. I am excited to be able to share great experiences with incoming Internationals as we set off the new school year. We will be leaning a lot from each other and I am excited to help guide you as you transition to college life in the US. A piece of advice for incoming students would be just to be yourself and don't be scared to keep it real.

John DeLorenzo

John DeLorenzo

Country: USA

Major: Philosophy

Year: Junior

Hello everybody. I was a Global Ambassador last year and have been lucky enough to be rehired to the position this year. I enjoyed meeting new International students last year and serving as a helper, a guide, a confidant and whatever other roles that were needed of me.

I hope to serve the same functions this year and to become a friend to you all. What advice I can offer you: don't be afraid to ask for help, don't be afraid to question what is around you, don't be afraid of your culture or feel the need to adopt the values of America to fit in, if you do not want to.

You will be happiest at Augustana if you are really willing toexperience and explore life in America, while maintaining a link to your culture.Most of all, become excited for the year(s) ahead. They can be the best of your life.

Savi Jayawardana

Savi J

Country: Sri Lanka

Major: Business Finance and Economics with a German minor

Year: Senior

Hi Guys! I have been a Global Ambassador since Sophomore Year. The main thing you need to know about me is that I spent a majority of my childhood years living in countries that were not my own. Which makes me a Third Culture Kid. I grew up in the following places, that I now call home: Germany, India, Oman, Thailand and Sri Lanka. My major interests include Dance, Guitar, Travel, the Film Industry and Singing.

If I could offer any advice to you it would be "Don't be afraid of this next step". College will be the turning point of your life as you really get a chance to find yourself. Venturing out on your own will be the best thing you do. Not to mention the friendships and connections you will make. They are as strong, lasting and vital as any you will make in life, going forward.

Vanessa Le

Vanessa Le

Country: Vietnam

Major: Economics and Business Administration and a minor in Communication Studies

Year: Sophomore

Since my first year at college, I have always wanted to become a Global Ambassador. The reason is because I think this is a great opportunity to get to know many young talented students from all over the world. Indeed, the cultural diversity that International students bring to Augustana College each year is so interesting and special that I want to have a chance to discover more by becoming close to the students. Additionally, being an International student myself, I have somewhat of an idea of the issues that might come in the way of International students when they come to a college in the United States for the first time. As a result, I would like to use my own experiences to help the new students overcome their problems so they will have as many fun experiences as they can while they are in the States.

To new first year International students, I know coming to the United States all by yourself sounds a little bit terrifying at first, yet, don't be afraid because there are so many other people here at Augustana College who are very excited to meet you, to talk to you, and become friends with you. Just always be yourself, you don't have to feel like you need to force yourself to act in a certain way to fit in. There are always people who are willing to accept the true you. Augustana College has brought me a group of friends that I'll always feel grateful for having them in my life. I believe that can happen to you too. So, don't hesitate, let yourself be excited and open your heart to Augie.

Wilma Nnoke

Wilma Nnoke

Country: Cameroon

Major: Biology with a minor in Biochemistry

Year: Junior

This is my second year of being a GA and I loved it so much the first time that I wanted to do it again. This position means a lot to me because it has made me grow as an individual and because it has made me familiar with people from around the world. Besides being a GA, I volunteer for admissions, I am Vice-President for an African Dance club Azonto, I attend clubs such as Pre-Soma, BSU, Augie International and added to that next year I will be Co-chair of Signature events on the Global Engagement Team.

As an incoming international freshman it can be hard at the start especially coming to an unfamiliar environment and that is where we come in. We as Global Ambassadors are here to help you guys with any questions or concerns you have. We've got your back!

Chad Populorum

Chad Populorum

Country: USA

Major:Environmental Studies and Geography

Year: Junior

I will be serving as a Global Ambassador for next year. I am very excited to see what opportunities this next year has to offer. I am fairly involved on campus and I love embracing new challenges and tasks. I am involved with the Water Polo Club, an intern at the Quad City Botanical Center and a member of the Udden Geology Club. Meeting international students has been a lot of fun over the past two years. Many of my friends at Augustana are international students so, I always enjoy meeting people from different places. We can't wait to meet you all and get to know you. Along with that, if you have any questions regarding Augustana, life in the United States, or just any random thought feel free to ask me or any other Global Ambassador at any time. You're going to love Augustana! Cheers!

Jennifer Reyes

Jennifer Reyes

Country: USA

Major: Psychology

Year: Sophomore

I am currently involved in Azonto, the African dance club on campus. I am a member of the Chi Alpha Pi sorority, AND I'm a Global Ambassador! This position is important to me because I have the opportunity to make an impact in our Augustana Community. I advise all of our incoming international freshman students to see this as an opportunity to experience something new.

Stay true to who are, while also being open to new experiences.

Shemal Sarma

Shemal Sarma

Country: Sri Lanka

Major: Business Finance and Political Science

Year: Junior

Hello everyone, I will be your Global Ambassador for the 2016-2017 year. A little about myself is that I am an explorer which means that I love to be outdoors and look for adventure and try new things. I would love to have a career that would let me travel to different countries and the place I have been too is the Maldives, Malaysia, Singapore, India and South Africa. I am also very passionate about finding out my physical capabilities and strengths, my friends would say that I am addicted to working out but it's my mantra.

In my spare time I love to read novels and if I am interested in a book, I can get lost in adventure and mystery. I am involved with the Augie International Club; the publicity chair in Relay for Life, and the board member for Student Programming Leadership Board for Late Night Programming. I was in the Augustana Rowing team my 1st year and hope to continue row my junior and senior year.I am looking forward to meet people from different parts of the world and share our different experiences.

Benjamin Sera

Benjamin Sera

Country: Switzerland

Major: International Business and Economics and minors in Chinese and Pschology

Year: Sophomore

When I came to Augustana College the Global Ambassadors made my transition to American College smooth and gave me the best experience possible. I want to give the same experience I got to the incoming International students and also meet more people from different cultures. One piece of advice I would give to new students is to get involved in as many things as possible. There are so many clubs and activities available which also makes it possible to try out and learn about new things.

Christopher Wilson

Chris Wilson

Country: United Kingdom

Major: Business Administration with a minor in Accounting

Year: Junior

My passions are swimming, being with my friends, traveling, and meeting new people. I would consider myself a pretty well rounded traveler with visits to four continents. On campus I am widely involved in many activities. Alongside being a Global Ambassador, I am the International Representative on Student Government Association, an employee in the Admissions Office, a varsity swimmer, and the Rush Chair of the social fraternity Rho Nu Delta. I am very excited to meet all the new international students and I am confident you will all enjoy your time here! PS, I shaved my head for St. Baldrick's, a charity that supports research to find a cure for Childhood Cancer.