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What is a Family Ambassador?

Family Ambassadors are undergraduate student volunteers at the University Park campus who serve as student liaisons between the Parents Program office and Penn State parents and families at large, assist in routine office tasks, and assist with key parent and family programming throughout the year.

    Meet the Family Ambassadors

    Anis Abdic

    Class of 2024, Molecular Biology 

    Campus Involvement: Undergraduate BMB researcher and Family Ambassador 

    “I chose to be a Family Ambassador because it helped me develop new connections in the Penn State community and to help families since personally, my family and I did not feel very knowledgeable about the college experience when I started as a freshman.” 

    Anis Abdic
    Hope Aita

    Class of 2026, Division of Undergraduate Studies

    Campus Involvement: The Lion’s Pantry volunteer. Family Ambassador, Nittany Dance Project team member, Tri Sigma Greek life

    “When I was in high school, I did something very similar to Family Ambassadors and I absolutely loved it. Coming here, on my own for the first time, I sought out something that I knew would make me happy and introduce me to new people.”

    Hope Aita
    Amanda Brodsky

    Class of 2025, Biobehavioral Health 

    Campus Involvement:  HHD Ambassadors, First Year THON Committee, Family Ambassador, CHAARG, Alpha Delta Pi 

    "I chose to be a Family Ambassador because coming to college is a huge change not only for the student but for families as well. Being a Family Ambassador to me helps aid this change. My family is an important part of my college experience as they are very supportive of me to do my best and push me to achieve my goals. I want families to know that after their child goes off to college, there still is support for them as well to become involved within the Penn State community. "  


    Amanda Brodsky
    Alessia Burns

    Class of 2024, Mechanical Engineering 

    Campus Involvement:  Women in Engineering Program, Society of Women Engineers, Serve State, Family Ambassador 

    “My parents and my family are my biggest supporters in my college career. Family is something that is extremely important to me. By becoming a Family Ambassador, I hope to aid families in creating a strong support system for each and every one of their students from their first day on campus to the day they graduate.” 

    Alessia Burns
    Nicole Criscuolo

    Class of 2024, Biology 

    Involvement: THON Dancer Relations Committee, Sigma Kappa, Family Ambassador 

    “I wanted to be a Family Ambassador because I wanted to become more acclimated to Penn State, and I wanted to be able to interact with different parents and families to offer assistance to them and form new connections.” 

    Nicole Criscuolo
    Abi Garcia

    Class of 2026, Psychology

    Campus Involvement: Family Ambassadors, Delta Gamma

    “I became a Family Ambassador within the Parents Program because I wanted to be more involved with the Penn State community and create connections with students and their families. My family is the most important thing in my life, and I would not be where I am today without the guidance and support my family gave me. I am looking forward to helping other families with this new journey in their student's life.”

    Abi Garcia
    Alex Halbert

    Class of 2026, Industrial Engineering

    Campus Involvement: Engineers Without Boarders, Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, Omega Chi Sigma

    “I became a Family Ambassador because, when I was exploring colleges, the students who spoke to my family about their personal experiences affected how I viewed the school. I wanted to do the same thing for future Penn State students using my personal experiences and making them feel confident in choosing Penn State.”

    Alex Halbert
    Lauren Healy

    Class of 2025, Science (Pre-Medicine)

    Campus Involvement: Phi Epsilon Kappa (Pre-Health Fraternity, RAM, EMT, First Gen Advocates

    “I became a family ambassador because I know it was a nerve-wracking process to go from high school to college. It is important to have people to guide you through the process, especially if you’re a first-generation student. I hope to build many connections with incoming students and their families!”

    Lauren Healy
    Josephine James

    Class of 2026, Security and Risk Analysis

    Campus Involvement: Women in IST, National Security Club, Family Ambassador

    “I became a Family Ambassador because it was an amazing opportunity to showcase my skills while also engaging in the improvement of the Penn State community. I want to build upon my skills and meet new people and becoming a Family Ambassador is the perfect option for me!”

    Josephine James
    Aisling McShane

    Class of 2025, Business 

    Campus Involvement:   I am involved in multiple organizations and clubs at Penn State this semester because I wanted to become even more involved. I am fellowship chair of the service organization Circle K. I am members of Women in Business, corporate innovation and entrepreneurship society, Blue and White Society, CHAARG, and this summer I will be a New Student Orientation Leader for incoming freshmen. 

    “I got involved with Family Ambassador because my mom is on the parents council and I wanted to become closer with the Penn state family on a closer level by being a direct connection between student and parents.” 

    Aisling McShane
    Abi Nafus

    Class of 2024, Molecular Biology 

    Campus Involvement:  THON Dancer Relations Committee, Happy Valley Worm Lab, American Society for Microbiology, Family Ambassador 

    " I chose to be a part of the Family Ambassadors Program because of the role my family played in my college decision and continues to play in my academic career. From helping to decide where I should go to school, to sending me flyers of campus activities when I may be too busy to check for myself, to just plain encouragement, my family plays a huge role in keeping me a well-rounded student and I'd love to be able to facilitate that between other families this year!" 


    Abi Nafus
    Mayuri Purani

    Class of 2026, Psychology

    Campus Involvement: Penn State Fusion, Boulevard, Family Ambassadors

    “I became a Family Ambassador because I want to be able to help parents, students, and families have a seamless transition to college. As a freshman, my parents and family were a huge support system for me when I came to Penn State, and I want to be able to provide that same encouragement for others.”

    Mayuri Purani
    Elizabeth Songer

    Class of 2026, Biobehavioral Health 

    Campus Involvement: Volunteer at Jana Marie Foundation 

    “I became a Family Ambassador because I know how confusing and tiring the transition to college can be-- and how helpful the presence of supportive, knowledgeable people around campus is! The goal of the ambassador program is to help students and families find the path at Penn State that is right for them, which is an important mission that I am proud to be a part of.” 

    Elizabeth Songer
    Anthony Zimmerman

    Class of 2024, Biological Engineering 

    Campus Involvement:  Blue & White Society, ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) , NSLS (National Society of Leadership & Success), Family Ambassador 

    I chose to be a Family Ambassador in the Parents Program to share the experiences I have had with my family throughout my college experience thus far. The importance of having a strong connection with your family while in college is often overlooked, and I want to work to raise awareness and establish those connections with parents and students." 

    Anthony Zimmerman

    Responsibilities of Family Ambassadors include:

    • Serve as a team member and representative of the Parents Program and Penn State
    • Work collaboratively alongside  the Parents Council and Parent Ambassadors
    • Participate in Parents Program annual events, including but not limited to Parents and Families Weekend and New Student Arrival
    • Serve as a knowledgeable resource to parents and families about Penn State using relevant personal experiences in a professional manner
    • Work collaboratively within a team of fellow student leaders

    Additional Expectations

    • Passion for Penn State
    • Positive role model
    • Warm, supportive, and enthusiastic attitude
    • Ability to work comfortably with diverse populations
    • Knowledge of the University’s structures, supports, and resources
    • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
    • Willingness to learn

    Time Commitment

    • Term: January – November
    • Attendance at biweekly meetings during the spring and fall semesters
    • Requirement of 4 volunteer hours per month
    • Additional requirement of 6-10+ volunteer hours during Parents and Families Weekend
    • Preference is that ambassadors will be in State College for the summer but is not necessary to apply or be accepted


    • Great resume builder!
    • Letters of recommendation
    • Networking opportunities with other student leaders, Penn State Student Affairs staff, Parent Council members, and Parent Ambassadors
    • Personal and professional development
    • Gain teamwork and communication skills
    • Meal cards during events and other meals throughout the year
    • T-shirt

    Application Timeline

    • Applications will be open Fall 2022

    Family Ambassadors

    Explore in this Section
    Family Ambassador Program
    Penn State Student Affairs
    Penn State Parents Program


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