Film School's student ambassador program celebrates 10th anniversary

UNCSA’s School of Filmmaking is celebrating 10 years of providing leadership opportunities to Film students and alumni through the Student Film Ambassador’s Leadership Program (SFALP).

2016 Film Ambassadors

Members of the 2015-16 student ambassador program.

SFALP was established in 2008 by Dolores Watson, Academic Programs Manager, to provide an enhanced level of communication for prospective students and their families who elect for a campus interview. The experience helps applicants and families to make better, informed decisions when considering which film school to commit to.

“What drives me to be a film ambassador is the face of relief that we bring to parents and applicants when they come to visit UNCSA for the first time,” says Logan Barrick, a third year Animation student. Ambassadors answer questions from dorm life to student life and, of course, about filmmaking. 

SFALP members and alumni (when available) are required to attend a weekly meeting to review the next day’s agenda, select leadership roles and discuss communication skills. Students and alumni opt to participate as ambassadors for annual events such as Fall and Spring Open Houses, Family Weekend, student applicant interview season and national recruitment events held in New York City and Los Angeles.

The success of the program lies with our students, many of whom volunteer every year of their college career.

Dolores Watson

“The success of the program lies with our students, many of whom volunteer every year of their college career,” says Watson.

The number of student ambassadors has grown over the past 10 years from a dozen in 2008 to more than 50 volunteers in 2016. The program is open to all Film students in good academic standing who are available to work full and/or half days during the event season.   

2011 Film Ambassadors

Members of the 2010-11 student ambassador program.

“Being a film ambassador gives you the chance to genuinely share what you love about UNCSA with those who have the potential to make our community even more special,” says fourth year Producing student Moriah Hall. “It's also a chance to remind yourself why you came here in the first place.”  

Student Film Ambassadors are assigned positions to move the day forward, such as:

  • Opportunities to lead and/or assistant in providing tours (Film Village)
  • Public speaking opportunities including introduction of student films, participation in Q&A sessions with deans and faculty
  • Facilitate writing sample portion of program
  • Act as cheerleaders for student applicants as they wait for their face-to-face interviews

“The Student Ambassadors really shine when they’re answering questions during Q&As with parents and young applicants, says Film Dean Susan Ruskin. I’m always impressed by their warmth and insight, as well as by their ability to communicate effectively.”

Fourth-year Cinematography student Trent Spivey remembers the impression that SFALP left on him when he was applying to the Film school. “The film ambassador program was a godsend,” he says. “Students (and their families) applying to the film school get invaluable, honest insight about what all goes on around here.”

The program occurs annually from October through March. The season wraps in April of each year with an annual luncheon and award ceremony. Students who are interested in serving in the program should contact Dolores Watson for more information.

by Neil Soffer

December 10, 2017