A passion for community engagement and service work drove Winnie Ho’ 19 and Emma Runge ‘20 to seek out opportunities to serve on campus. The two Arts & Sciences students were recently named 2018-2019 Engaged Ambassadors.
“I got involved as an Engaged Ambassador because of the strength of the community and family that I found in Engaged,” said Ho, who is majoring in biological sciences and sociology and minoring in inequality studies and global health. “I found an environment that supported my service work and encouraged me to reflect on my leadership development.”
Ambassadors support Engaged Cornell by mentoring students pursuing the Certificate in Engaged Leadership, which helps students to address issues of public concern such as poverty and climate change by collaborating with community partners. Ambassadors also lead workshops and discussions, coordinate outreach efforts and manage funding opportunities for students working on community projects.
“Engaged Cornell’s mission includes promoting community engagement, leadership development and critical reflection in the pursuit of supporting a new generation of leaders who have a sincere interest in creating positive change for the public good,” Ho said.
Runge, a government major with minors in inequality studies, public policy and information science, is passionate about comprehensive sexual health education, sexual assault prevention and breaking down health inequities across genders and education.
As an Engaged Ambassador, Runge is a member of the resource allocation team. Runge’s responsibilities include helping to read and score funding applications and work with funding recipients on their community projects. Runge also worked with a community-based NGO in rural Kenya leading menstrual health workshops alongside community members and helped to improve the organization’s reusable sanitary pad project.
Ho is interested in work at the intersections of medicine and policy and said her work as an ambassador has taught her a lot about engaging with multiple perspectives. As an Engaged Ambassador, Ho is working on the outreach and recruitment team. Her responsibilities include connecting other Engaged Ambassadors to professors, classes, organizations, and other outreach opportunities to encourage more students to get involved.
“I have been fortunate to work with great mentors who have also helped me develop focus groups to connect us with student communities that have been underrepresented in Engaged’s programs,” Ho said.
“As an Arts & Sciences student, I was able to pull together a wide range of experiences that have shaped a lot of my professional aspirations and have shown me a million new things that I didn’t even know I had been interested in before.”
Ho has participated in the High Road Fellowship, the Global Service Learning Program in India, and MEDLIFE Cornell and many other activities on and off campus.
Ho hopes to continue to pursue her passion for service work, medicine and addressing health inequality after graduation.
“My projects with Engaged have allowed me to be at the center of tons of incredible ideas and the best part of my day is learning about the passions of my peers and the amazing things they’ve done.”
Yvette Lisa Ndlovu is a communications assistant for the College of Arts & Sciences.