The Office for Diversity and Inclusion has created a new student ambassador program to promote diversity at EWU. The diverse group of students will represent the Diversity and Inclusion Office at multicultural events, and will facilitate trainings on inclusion designed to eliminate stereotypes while building a welcoming campus climate.
“[The students], themselves, are even learning about diversity,” said Elizabeth Phillips, coordinator for multicultural events. “They’re going to talk about their personal diversity experiences, but they’re also going to gain knowledge about other cultures.”
The idea was sparked by Shari Clarke, PhD and vice president for Diversity and Inclusion, who has successfully designed and implemented multicultural ambassador programs at other higher education institutions.
“We are representing underrepresented groups that have historically not been included in the past,” said Phillips. “I think this is a great opportunity for the campus to engage in diversity discussions. It’s really about bringing this campus together and making it as inclusive as possible.”
Meet the Student Ambassadors
Margaux Albright | Spokane Valley, WA
Expected graduation 2020 | Undeclared
Why are you interested in diversity? Diversity is a huge component to my life in general. Growing up with a German-Jamaican background and having two parents from two economic classes, my world has always been diversity.
What are you most looking forward to as a student ambassador? As a student ambassador, I am honored to take on the responsibility of teaching and learning about how diverse our campus really is. This is also what I look forward to bringing alive! I hope as an ambassador, I can talk and learn about others’ stories and use that knowledge to be more culturally aware of what EWU has to offer.
Kianna Baker (Key) | Tulare, CA
Expected graduation 2020 | Exercise science; minors in Africana and sociology
Why are you interested in diversity? I am biracial, and while I was growing up I struggled with my identity. It was not until I opened up my mind that I realized there is so much to my life than what I thought. Surrounding myself by diverse people helped me to find who I am inside, and has encouraged me to be a successful biracial woman in education and the work force.
What are you most looking forward to as a student ambassador? Inspiring others to push through tough times while keeping goals in mind. Teaching others how to continue being persistent after failure.
Amanda Mell | Spokane, WA
Expected graduation 2018 | Elementary education, race and culture studies; minors in Chicana/o studies, Africana studies
Why are you interested in diversity? It is important for people to be able to interact with people from different backgrounds, and I want to help move the EWU campus forward.
What are you most looking forward to as a student ambassador? I am looking forward to interacting with students, engaging in important dialogues and getting student feedback as we continue the work of making Eastern Washington University a more equitable, safe and celebratory community for all people.
Isaiah Bridges | Fredericksburg, VA
Expected graduation 2018 | Sociology
Why are you interested in diversity? I am interested in being an agent of change on this campus. I want to ensure that people know about EWU and how they are truly a school of diversity and inclusion. I’m interested in ensuring more minorities come to this campus so they know they are valued.
What are you most looking forward to as a student ambassador? Meeting and greeting future and current students of EWU. I want to be able to act as a role model to these students so they can see it doesn’t matter what your background is, you can attain success and be a person who makes a difference.
Taylor Clarke | North Bend, WA
Expected graduation fall 2018 | BAE Music Education
Why are you interested in diversity? Having never lived in a community with a large Jewish population, I have been witness to and victim of anti-Semitism throughout my educational career. My interest is in stopping prejudice through education, acceptance and understanding. No one should be marginalized due to lack of understanding of cultural backgrounds and diversity.
What are you most looking forward to as a student ambassador? I’m looking forward to making my campus community a place where diverse cultures are both understood and accepted. Above all, I want to be a resource for students of all backgrounds to feel heard, valued and included.
Alexander Brooks | Auburn, WA
Expected graduation 2019 | Computer science with a focus in 3D animation; minor in Japanese
Why are you interested in diversity? I’m a transgender male student and I don’t see a lot of representation of trans students. I’d like to be the representation and educate people on transgender and other LGBT+ issues.
What are you most looking forward to as a student ambassador? I’m looking forward to creating a safe and diverse environment for EWU. I want people who come to Eastern to know that everyone here is accepting and that they won’t be treated differently.
Jasmine Hernandez | Spokane Valley, WA
Expected graduation 2020 | Psychology and race and culture studies
Why are you interested in diversity? I was exposed to the beauty of diversity at a young age because of my household. Unfortunately, I did not grow up around many people who shared my diverse qualities. I hope to spark a sense of pride in people who find it difficult to find their place.
What are you most looking forward to as a student ambassador? I hope to bring change to the campus and make all students feel welcomed. I also want to grow personally by meeting new people from different walks of life.
Jason Denver | American Falls, ID
Expected graduation 2018 | Human resource management; minor in international business
Why are you interested in diversity? My love for people of every age, gender, ethnicity or religious affiliation. To help build any generational gaps between young and old and help to strengthen everyone I’m open to new ideas and new truths about life.
What are you most looking forward to as a student ambassador? Encouraging others through leadership, friendship and mentorship. To be willing to understand others’ views of life even if they are different. Create discussions of traditions and truths that have been passed down from other generations that may be subject to change, or can be found a different way of looking at new things.
Marixza Torres | Pasco, WA
Expected graduation 2020 | Psychology; minor in Chicano/a studies
Why are you interested in diversity? I am interested in diversity because I believe that there should be a variety of different ideas within an organization. As a result, all people are represented and the ideas discussed promote a sense of equality.
What are you most looking forward to as a student ambassador? I am looking forward to influencing other students and giving them the courage to succeed in school despite any obstacles that they may face associated with conflicts of culture.