University News

Ambassador program start pushed to September

By
Staff Writer
Monday, March 8, 2010

The start of the 2010 Ambassador Program has been postponed from January to September of this year because the program requires a significant amount of time from participants and the featured departments, according to the Brown and the Economy Web site.

The Ambassador Program was created to provide faculty and staff with the opportunity to learn more about Brown. It is application-based, and if accepted, University employees spend one day each month learning about a new facet of life at Brown. This might mean spending a day at the Sharpe Refectory learning about how food is prepared, or traveling to the Admission Office to get an up-close view of the application process.

“During this time of change … we feel that it would not be appropriate to ask colleagues for this kind of time commitment,” a post on the Web site said.

The year-long program will now coincide with the academic year, rather than the calendar year.

Judith Nabb, a coordinator for the program, said that she and the Center for Staff Learning and Professional Development are taking the time until the new start date to evaluate the program.

According to Nabb, the program was initially given three years of funding. Because 2010 marks its third year, Nabb and her colleagues have to “make (their) case in terms of benefits,” she said. “We think it has a good case.”

“I think it reenergizes people and makes them feel connected,” Nabb said. For this reason, she said, she loves “watching folks go through it and seeing how they draw inspiration from it.”

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy Jennifer Slattery-Bownds, a 2008 ambassador and manager for career and employment development , said the program “has a lasting impact” on her “daily work activities.” Slattery-Bownds said she understands the challenges the economy created for the University, but she called the program a “vital” part of professional development.

“I am more effective in my roles at Brown because I am an ambassador,” she said. “In times like this, it is more important than ever to keep employee programs that … keep up morale and maintain loyalty. Brown’s Ambassador Program does just that.”