SCIE Ambassador Program
The SCIE Ambassador Program is an inter-professional leadership opportunity for students who are interested in and have a passion for cultivating diversity and inclusion across the medical campus. Designed for students who self-identify as coming from under-represented backgrounds, the SCIE Ambassador Program provides students with an opportunity to connect with peers, faculty, and administrators from all of the health sciences schools who similarly identify. Selected Ambassadors spend a year in residence wherein they meet periodically throughout the month to receive training and to discuss their experiences as under-represented minorities in the health sciences. While Ambassadors are presented with a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the year, they continue to serve in the role of SCIE Ambassadors until graduation. This ongoing role involves continuing to be an agent of change around diversity issues on campus by sharing their experiences, making recommendations for improvement, and taking advantage of opportunities when possible.
The SCIE Ambassador Program meets five to six times per semester. Meetings are held in the evening, when the group convenes on campus, dinner is provided during the session. Each session is 2 hours. A schedule of topics and speakers are planned for the year in residence, however Ambassadors are encouraged to co-create the experience. Specifically, each session will begin with the opportunity to discuss any issues or concerns that have surfaced since the last meeting. Further, if there are particular topics or speakers that an Ambassador would like to see added to the schedule, they are encouraged to make those requests known.
The capstone project for the SCIE Ambassador Program is the development of a strategic brief or a group project. The SCIE Ambassador Strategic Brief is not only a description of the program, including profiles of each Ambassador, but it is a collection of top recommendations from the current cohort. Throughout the year in residence, Ambassadors will have the opportunity to make suggestions and recommendations to improve the climate for all students on the MCV campus. During the second semester, Ambassadors will be asked to vote on their top 3 recommendations. At least one session will be devoted to fully developing those recommendations to be included in the capstone project. The development of the recommendations include considering the resources needed to implement the recommendation, identifying university partners, as well as considering any potential barriers to its implementation. Each SCIE Ambassador will receive a copy of the Strategic Brief as will the Vice President for Health Sciences and the Assistant and Associate Deans of Students in each of the five health sciences schools.
Rather than developing a Strategic Brief, Ambassadors may be given the opportunity to work on a group project(s). Project ideas will be generated by the current cohort and Ambassadors will vote on a project on which they would like to work. These projects give Ambassadors the ability to have a meaningful impact on the MCV campus as it relates to inclusion.
SCIE Ambassadors are selected annually. Ten to twelve students will be selected for each cohort. Every effort is made to have a diverse cohort of Ambassadors to ensure representation of a variety of identities. After their selection, SCIE Ambassadors will be announced to the MCV community through various vehicles, including the Health Sciences Student Newsletter, the Office of Student Engagement social media platforms, and to student leadership and governance in their respective schools.
The Office of Student Engagement (OSE) offers this program as one of several Student Success initiatives.