Who We Are
The UGA Mentor Ambassador Program is a year-long leadership experience for undergraduate, graduate, or professional students at the University of Georgia. As a non-credit, Experiential Learning opportunity, Ambassadors of the UGA Mentor Program provide student leaders the opportunity to foster a culture of mentorship at UGA by developing programming, partnerships, and marketing strategies that bring heightened awareness to the UGA Mentor Program while cultivating student’s servant-leadership skills, innovative ideas, and commitment to the UGA Mentor Program.
The Ambassadors of the UGA Mentor Program are committed to advancing the mentoring relationship between students and alumni by creating inclusive and welcoming opportunities for all students at UGA. Ambassadors share their authenticity, different backgrounds, and stories in hopes of empowering others to step outside their comfort zones and seek meaningful relationships with alumni. Ambassadors are dedicated to working in a respectful, loving, creative, and collaborative environment.
Meet the Ambassadors of the UGA Mentor Program
Payton Aussin, from Alpharetta, GA, is a third-year, transfer student majoring in electrical engineering. She loves the UGA Mentor Program because it gives her the opportunity to speak to people who have been in her shoes before. Payton’s advice for anyone considering joining the program is that there is nothing to lose from joining, only to gain!
From Rougemont, North Carolina, Frankie Barnes is an out-of-state, third-year student studying public relations. She loves the UGA Mentor Program because it has given her the opportunity to meet helpful and fantastic people in her field of study that she would have not otherwise been able to meet. Frankie urges students to participate in the UGA Mentor Program experience because it gives you a once in a lifetime chance to connect with someone in your future career field that you already have something in common with in a low pressure environment.
Grace Brands is a second-year majoring in finance from Roswell, GA. Grace loves the UGA Mentor Program because it has provided her with an “avenue to make a connection with some of the most intelligent and accomplished alumni, who have helped her to feel comfortable and find my place at the University of Georgia.” Her advice to students curious about the UGA Mentor Program is to give it a try with an open mind because “the UGA Mentor Program could be the missing piece between where you are and where you want to be.”
Sydney Cederboom, from Augusta, GA, is a fourth-year student majoring in political science and international affairs. She loves the UGA Mentor Program because it has helped her to establish genuine connections with alumni who have provided great insight on navigating life throughout her collegiate journey. What Sydney wants someone considering joining the program to know is that the opportunity is one of the best at UGA—“the connections I have made through the program are ones I will remember and value in the future.”
Madison Drummond is a first-generation, fourth-year student from Appling, GA studying sports management and advertising. One reason why Madison loves the UGA Mentor Program is because it fosters real-world connections with incredible alumni who are ready and willing to teach and mentor current students. Madison believes that mentoring is for everybody; whether you are a first-year student trying to choose a major, or a nontraditional student with ten years of work experience, you can benefit and learn from participating in the UGA Mentor Program.
From Suwanee, GA, Kyla Edwards is a junior studying computer science. Kyle loves that the UGA Mentor Program has so many mentors that it provides students with an opportunity to get different outlooks on how each person navigated their college experience. Kyla’s advice for students exploring the UGA Mentor Program is “go for it because the only negative outcome would be missing your shot at a lifetime mentor.”
Sara Ervin is from Commerce, GA and is a nontraditional, second-year Ph.D student who works full-time. Sara studies mass communication and public relations. She loves the UGA Mentor Program because it has a large number of mentors that will fit any unique combination of needs. If you are considering joining the UGA Mentor Program, Sara says “this is a life-changing program, and the skills, both soft and hard, that you will gain with a mentor are truly priceless and can be used for the rest of your life.”
Grace Fawcett is a third-year at UGA, majoring in biology, from Gainesville, GA. Grace loves the UGA Mentor Program because it offers students new opportunities and connections that build their knowledge and confidence. She highly recommends participating in the program because "building a mentoring relationship is an impactful experience that can easily fit into a busy student's schedule!"
Emily Goncalves is a third-year, public relations major with a minor in administration and management from Cumming, GA. Emily loves the UGA Mentor Program because it connects her with ambitious people that genuinely want to be helpful. Her advise to students considering participating in the UGA Mentor Program is to join! “The mentorship experience is an unbelievable resource that can and will provide guidance for your future.”
Elena Griggs, Director of Campus Patnerships & Community Engagement
Elena Griggs is from Blairesville, GA. She is a third-year studying management with an operations and supply chain emphasis and a Spanish minor. She loves the UGA Mentor Program because it provides students a chance to speak with many alumni who are established in their field of work andallows her to translate what she earns in the classroom to real life scenarios. Elena encourages students to join the UGA Mentor Program because “connecting with a mentor will help you find your place at UGA, prepare you for life post-graduation, and they will become a trusting and friendly guide to assist you in your collegiate journey.”
From Fayetteville, GA, Nicholas Koenig is a junior, accounting major. Nicholas enjoys the connections that come with unique experiences that you can only get from the UGA Mentor Program. His advice to students deciding on joining the program is that “you don’t know everything going into college, so reach out and you might learn something new” through the UGA Mentor Program.
Chinmay Kulkarni is a masters student studying computer science from Mumbai, India. Chinmay appreciates that the UGA Mentor Program gives you an opportunity to connect with mentors who have gone through the ups and downs of their educational journey, and through these experiences, they are in the position to give you the best advice, so that, you will not end up making the same mistake. Chinmay also notes that “having a mentor in any stage of life is an amazing experience, and having an official platform to find and connect with a mentor who has studied from the same college can not only guide you through the career life but also how to make the most of your college life.”
Kevin Nwogu, Director of Social Media & Strategic Marketing
Kevin Nwogu is a third-year student from Stone Mountain, GA majoring in management with a minor in leadership in student affairs. Kevin loves that the UGA Mentor Program is for any and everyone no matter your background or what you are looking for. His advice to students considering to join the UGA Mentor Program is to tailor the experience to you—from finding a mentor to time commitment. Kevin loves that this is a transformational and impactful program!
Laks Panditaratne is a fourth-year, economics major from Snellville, GA. Laks loves the UGA Mentor Program because it allows you to meet successful mentors that go above and beyond to help students thrive and reach their goals. She believes that you shouldn’t pass up on this opportunity because whether you need help deciding a major, discovering a career, or advice on how to get involved, the UGA Mentor Program can help in ways you never thought imaginable, and it only takes one connection.
From Dallas, GA, Mahi Patel is a second-year student majoring in international affairs. She loves the UGA Mentor Program because as a first-generation student, it has allowed her to seek guidance and find a sense of community while learning to navigate life in college. She recommends anyone considering participating in the program to join because you can make long-lasting, meaningful connections with the UGA alumni mentors.
Bella Sci is from Roswell, GA and a third-year, transfer student studying advertisement. What Bella likes most about the UGA Mentor Program is the ability to connect with alumni and hear how they got their start. She recommends joining the program because it gives you the ability to get insight into your future career field from someone who has experience.
From Columbus, GA, Savannah Scott is a second-year majoring in marketing and international business. Savannah’s advice to students considering joining the UGA Mentor Program is to do it! “It’s low commitment and you still get tremendous benefits.” Savannah loves the UGA Mentor Program because it gives you the opportunity to connect with professionals in your anticipated career field without having the personal connections to get there.
Nikita is a second-year, biology major from Lawrenceville, GA. What she likes most about the UGA Mentor Program is that she was able to receive reliable advice about her future from someone who has achieved what she is working towards. Nikita believes that a mentor is one of the greatest things to have in order to further your future—it’s some who can advise you and support your goals.
Kelly Strachan is a senior from Forsyth Country, GA. She is studying political sicence and public health. Kelly loves the UGA Mentor Program because it gives students a stong support system to motivate them to take advantage of everything UGA has to offer. Her advice to student is to “remember you have nothing to lose and the opportunity to gain strong relationships and valuable advice you might not have found elsewhere.”
Jessie Sutko is a third-year student from Suwanne, GA majoring in linguistics. Jessie loves the UGA Mentor Program because she enjoys forming relationships with people who have different experiences than her, that otherwise she would have no way of meeting. Her advice to students considering joining the program is “if you have any questions or concerns about anything regarding your school, future work, or even just life, get a mentor and talk about it with someone who cares about you!”
From Alpharetta, GA, Halle Wong is a fourth-year majoring in exercise and sport science. She loves the UGA Mentor Program because it has been one of the best ways to find out from alumni why they love what they do which makes her more driven to achieve her goals. If you are considering joining the UGA Mentor Program, Halle wants you to know that there is no harm in having someone help you throughout your college journey because in the end it’s a friend and network for life.
Born in Jiangxi, China, Joy Xiao is a fourth-year, international student majoring in accounting and management information systems. Joy’s advice to students deciding to join the UGA Mentor Program is to use the resources available to help you grow your mentoring relationship. What Joy likes most about the UGA Mentor Program are the available resources and platform features that allow her to stay in the loop while navigating her mentorship.
Request Ambassadors for an Event
If you are faculty or staff and it would be helpful for an Ambassador of the UGA Mentor Program to volunteer to speak about the UGA Mentor Program and their experience at your event or in your class, you can submit an online request. Please allow at least two week’s notice when requesting student leader volunteers.
Apply to be an Ambassador of the UGA Mentor Program
The applications for the 2021-2022 UGA Mentor Program Ambassadors will open in February.
If you have further questions about the application process or the Ambassadors of the UGA Mentor Program, please contact Destiny Loyd or Kanler Cumbass.