By Elizabeth Van Pilsum, Arts and Culture Editor
Originally Published October 9, 2023
This summer, Saint Vincent College (SVC) launched a new community outreach relations program aimed to share information about the school. SVC Student Ambassadors are active in the Latrobe community and use their social media platforms to promote events on and off campus, helping prospective students see an insider’s perspective of the college.
The program was started by Lee Intachai, Assistant Director of Community Relations and Outreach. When hired, Intachai was asked by Dr. Jeff Mallory, Executive Vice President, to find a way to engage the SVC community with high school students. Intachai drew from her personal experiences to come up with a plan.
“I have two sons [and] from what I have observed over the last few years of just being a mom, peer-to-peer interaction seems to be the best way to be able to reach those students and families that we would appreciate and value having as a part of our SVC community,” Intachai said.
For Intachai, there is no commercial or social media site that can provide you with the life experiences that an Ambassador can. She conceived of an Ambassador team, including students who have committed to SVC and are still in high school promoting the community and college.
Students were referred by different individuals to become Student Ambassadors. As well as high school Ambassadors, some Ambassadors are current SVC students. Christopher Palmieri, senior marketing major, was invited by a friend to join, and Diana Mosten, junior international business major, was selected through recommendations from administrators and staff.
“I take the title ‘Saint Vincent College Student Ambassador’ with the utmost importance out of all the titles I hold because incoming freshman and possible transfers look at us as representations of our college,” Mosten said. “The way we carry ourselves and what we do matters, no matter where we are or what we are doing – people are always watching us and know who we are because of that title.”
One responsibility is to make sure SVC is showcased online. Ambassadors created second Instagram accounts or used their personal ones to promote the school.
“I've learned that sometimes just a simple social media post goes a long way to building a relationship,” Palmieri said.
“As an Ambassador, our goal is to highlight Saint Vincent, what we have to offer, create a comfortable and supportive environment, and represent all things Saint Vincent,” Mosten said. “It doesn’t matter if it is sports, clubs, academics— [we represent] anything Saint Vincent we love and support. It is about combining our Saint Vincent community with Latrobe and other neighboring cities and creating a positive environment that people would want to spend their next four years at.”
In addition to utilizing social media platforms, the Ambassador program works closely with the surrounding Latrobe community. Over the summer, Ambassadors participated in the Latrobe 4th of July parade and helped promote small businesses in downtown Latrobe such as Hidden JEM Flowers and Green Goddess. Ambassadors have volunteered with organizations such as Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and Three Rivers Youth, and they are a part of SVC orientation days too. Intachai is also in the process of planning a field trip for local high schools to visit SVC.
“Our goal is to assist the college, athletics, clubs, faculty, and staff in all things, if possible,” Intachai said. “We are here for our community.”
Likewise, Mosten enjoys the role as a student Ambassador and highly encourages other students who are active to apply and take part on the journey she has.
“[Through the Ambassador program] I have learned the importance of self-representation and how much of an honor it is to be able to represent my college,” Mosten said. “I have learned how important it is to continuously be nice and approachable because although you might not know someone, they know you and it is important for people to feel like you’re welcoming and open to any questions or problems that they may have.”
This approachable and positive environment is something Intachai is confident the campus will continuously pursue for the future, with the help of the Ambassadors.
“I feel that the Saint Vincent community and surrounding community has embraced the Ambassador program,” Intachai said. “They appreciate the support and have been tremendously supportive of us. They have shown support for our program and everything that we want to accomplish. We are grateful.”