Roanoke College’s Salem Ambassadors program wins national award

SALEM, Va. - The Roanoke College Salem Ambassadors Program has won gold honors in the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators' 2009 Excellence Award program. Salem Ambassadors fosters student leadership and enhances the College's relationship with the Salem community.

This national competition recognizes outstanding programs, innovative services and effective administration by institutes of higher education. The Salem Ambassadors program won in the category of Off-Campus, Commuter, Non-Traditional, Graduate, Professional and Related Programs.

Salem Ambassadors program was created in 2007. Student ambassadors plan weekly service projects in the neighborhoods around the College. Fraternities, sororities, athletic teams and other campus organizations volunteer the needed workforce for road clean-ups, leaf raking and snow removal. The student ambassadors also produce a newsletter for off-campus students, visit with permanent residents and maintain a directory of service needs. They attend Inter-Fraternity Council and Panhellenic meetings and represent Roanoke students on the City of Salem Neighborhood Relations Task Force.

Salem's Assistant City Manager Jay Taliaferro credits the task force's work with a sharp decline in the number of conflicts between permanent residents and off-campus student residents and says that the ambassadors "set a standard for student participation within the community." James R. Bryant, retired Salem police chief, calls the Salem Ambassadors program "a critical component for successful community - college relations between Salem City and Roanoke College."

Dr. Brian Chisom, assistant dean of students, says that the biggest benefit of the program is that it "makes students more aware of the permanent residents' concerns. If they get out and meet their neighbors, it makes them more sensitive to those concerns."

NASPA is the leading national student affairs organization with over 11,000 members at 1,400 campuses, representing 29 countries. By winning a gold award, the Salem Ambassadors program will be considered for one of three NASPA grand prize awards designating the top three programs or initiatives from all categories. Grand prize awards will be announced in March.

Roanoke College, an independent, co-educational, four-year liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia, combines firsthand learning with valuable personal connections in a classic, undergraduate setting. Roanoke prepares students for their futures through its commitment to providing a true classic college experience. Roanoke is one of just 276 colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review names Roanoke as one of the "best in the Southeast."

For additional information, call the Roanoke College Public Relations Office at (540) 375-2282.

Released: January 23, 2010
Contact Name: Public Relations
Contact Phone: (540) 375-2282
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