Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Easing Finals Stress at Mirth Week

by Michaela Browne

One of the most stressful weeks of every student’s semester at UMSL, and every other college, is quickly approaching: finals week. There are so many emotions towards the end of the semester. From crying to laughing to stressing out and/or pulling an all nighter, it is what finals week is made of. It is excitement because summer break is coming, but overwhelming because of all of the studying and homework due before then. Also, those who are part of the UMSL
ambassadors have to look forward to working at graduation coming up.

To ease these pre-final jitters, Mirth Week was celebrated this past week at UMSL. One of the most exciting events to attend is the Mirth Week carnival, which consisted of games, prizes, food, and rides, and best of all- it was all free. The rides are exactly what is needed to let out some tension with a few screams while you are spinning or dropping. The stress relief is instant on the first drop on the Vortex ride or the first spin on the tornado. Additionally, there was cotton candy and a taco truck. But, the best part about the Mirth Week carnival is that everyone with you is going through the same situation, give or take, so you relate on a whole new level. I can especially empathize with my colleagues in the ambassadors program, who have worked extra hard in volunteering for events throughout the semester. It was a delight to hang out with and see some of the friends that I have had the pleasure of being in ambassadors with at the carnival.

I would like to take an opportunity to encourage all of my fellow ambassadors and students through these last days of the semester. Do the best you can, because that’s all you can do. There is no need to panic or give up.

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” -Michael Jordan. We are almost done!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Interview Skills

by: Jonathan Klunk

During the monthly meeting for April, the Ambassadors received beneficial, worthwhile information with respect to interviewing skills. In a workshop presented by Career Services at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, we determined how to effectively answer interview questions by identifying our competencies and strengths. We learned to prepare appropriate questions to ask employers at the conclusion of the interview as well. We also considered the importance of dressing professionally and demonstrating proper nonverbal communication qualities, such as making eye contact and facial expressions, maintaining good posture, and giving a firm handshake. Lastly, we evaluated the significance of thank you notes in order to remind the interviewer of one’s interest and qualifications for the position and express gratitude for his or her time and attention. With this newfound knowledge, the Ambassadors will be able to ace their interviews in the future and leave a lasting impression with the interviewer!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Using Your Privilege for Good

by Sydni Jackson

During our Ambassador Monthly Meeting in March we learned about using our privilege for good with Dr. Laura Holt from UMSL Counseling Services. We did an exercise to demonstrate privilege. In this exercise, some students were given masks to wear while the entire group was presented a problem to solve. Students with masks could only speak to the group to help solve the problem if they were told they could speak by someone else without a mask. After the exercise the people with the masks shared how it felt to have to be given

permission to speak. This exercise demonstrates that many times in our society some voices are valued over others. It is the responsibility of those (who by no fault of their own) may have more privilege than others to look out for others and make sure they are given spaces for their voices to be heard.

Having privilege does not make anyone a bad person and if someone is privileged it does not mean that their life will come without hardships. There are many different things in life that can make someone more privileged than others, and those things go beyond race, sexuality, and gender.

UMSL Counseling Services has a Social Justice Library on their website. It has articles and videos that deal with different aspects of privilege. You can further explore the topic of privilege and social justice on their website at

Monday, March 19, 2018

A Women's World

by Michaela Browne

Thursday, March 8, was an important day. It was a day of celebration of the strongest people on earth: women. This day is called International Women’s Day. It is a wonderful day of gratitude to all the women in our lives that help shape the world around us. It is a look back at the accomplishments that women have made throughout history.

I recently had the opportunity to volunteer for a speaker series event with Tessa Trelz on March 15, a week after International Women’s Day. Tessa is an attorney at Armstrong Teasdale. Tessa talked about inspirational women, how there is a silver lining in situations when life knocks us down, and how not to be afraid to seize opportunities when they arise. One of Tessa’s personal stories was that she was waitlisted for law school at Wash U and decided to go to SLU. Although at the time, she saw this as a bad thing, it ended up being good because she met her husband there. She mentioned inspiring women such as her mother, Sandra Day O’Conner, Madam C. J. Walker, and Elizabeth Warren, and how these women were able to claw and fight their way through adversity and obstacles that would detour many from achieving their goals. However, in doing so, they overcame with remarkable success stories. Her eloquent speech reminded all of us that everyone, including these wonderful women, have an element of self-doubt, which can be overcome through perseverance.

I am surrounded by inspirational women in my life including women in my family like my mom, women I have met through Ambassadors like Amy Beaman, Coordinator of University Events, Amanda Wilens, Manager of University Events, and Tessa Trelz, as well as some amazing professors, and so many more. I look up to all of these women and their accomplishments. I am grateful to be a part of speaker events like Tessa’s where women are praised and remembered.

It is important to let the women around you know how appreciated they are, not only on International Women’s Day, but when any opportunity arises. Today, I would like to thank the women in my life for inspiring me every day. I challenge everyone reading this to thank a woman in their life.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Ambassadors to Assist with World Ecology Award Presentation

by Jonathan Klunk

The Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center in the Department of Biology at the University of Missouri–St. Louis recognizes individuals who have contributed to the conservation of biodiversity within the environment with the World Ecology Award. This year on April 20th the Ambassadors will assist with the presentation of this honor to Dr. Edward O. Wilson at the St. Louis Zoo.

In 1955, E.O. Wilson received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and has since authored twenty–eight publications, established the disciplines of evolutionary psychology and sociobiology, and formulated the theory of island biogeography. He has served as a consultant for the American Museum of Natural History, the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and the New York Botanical Garden. Additionally, he has been bestowed with two Pulitzer Prizes, the National Medal of Science, and the Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy. In 1995, he was selected as one of the twenty–five most influential Americans by Time Magazine. Today, E.O. Wilson is the Pellegrino University Research Professor Emeritus and Honorary Curator in Entomology at Harvard University, where he conducts research on the biogeography and systematics of ants.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

My First Semester as an Ambassador

by Rod Alyatim 

I was told about the UMSL Ambassadors by one of my friends. I was looking for a fun way to volunteer and be more involved on campus. In August 2017, I applied for a position. I knew that being in the Ambassadors is an honor and that being able to work so closely with the Office of University Events would be a great way to be more involved. Within a week I got an email asking me to interview! The interview was very enjoyable and quick. Before I knew it I had been accepted.

The Ambassadors meet every month and the first meeting of the year is orientation. After orientation, I started volunteering at events and got to meet so many great people. My favorite event by far was Founders Dinner. It really shows how amazing the UMSL community is! Volunteering at commencement was quite an interesting time because I got to help all the graduates on their special day.

If anyone is looking to be a big part of the UMSL community I would definitely recommend the Ambassadors program! To learn more about us, follow us on Instagram @umsl_ambassador.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Leslie Jones to Headline Mirth Week

by Sydni Jackson

I, along with Awa Konte, are both a part of the Ambassador Team. We also work as the Executive Chair and Administrative Chair, respectively, for the University Program Board and are working now to help bring Mirth Week to life this April.

The University Program Board has announced that for their headlining show they will be hosting Leslie Jones for a stand-up comedy show during Mirth Week on Friday, April 27th. The University Program Board has a history of bringing big names to campus for this annual event. Performers such as Cee Lo Green, Tyga, B.O.B., Miguel, Neon Trees, and Trevor Noah (this past April) have graced the Blanche M. Touhill Anheuser-Busch Auditorium stage for a Mirth Week (formerly known as Mirth Day) headlining show. Last year, tickets for Trevor Noah’s comedy show sold out within 24 hours of being released to the public.

Tickets go on sale for students on February 26th at 10:00 a.m. at the Touhill Box Office for $15 (limit two per student ID) and tickets for the general public go on sale on March 19th at 10:00 a.m. for $35 (limit four per person). If last year is any indication of how fast these tickets will sell out make sure to get yours early