SAS serves WSU through recruitment efforts
“Loyal service through Shocker spirit” is the phrase that Wichita State’s Student Ambassador Society (SAS) members always keep in mind. In fact, it has become a life-long motto for those involved in the organization.
SAS is a student organization in which members volunteer with the admissions office to assist in university recruitment efforts.
It was created in 1995 with the help of Christine Schneikart-Luebbe, now associate vice president for Student Engagement and dean of Enrollment Services, when the Shocker Ambassadors and Student Alumni Association merged to form one organization.
Although she stepped down as an adviser after nine years, Schneikart-Luebbe is still involved in the annual SAS Leadership Conference for all high school students.
“They (SAS) develop and breed strong leaders,” said Schneikart-Luebbe. “They have had really good and consistent advising over the years and they continue to recruit the best and brightest to carry out the group’s mission.”
Each year, hundreds of students are nominated as SAS member candidates, but only 25 to 30 students are selected.
In the organization, student ambassadors participate in community outreach by visiting high schools and community colleges to discuss advantages of the WSU experience. Members also interact with potential students and parents during on-campus activities.
“The group needed altruistic leaders who were willing to share their stories in an articulate manner and were willing to generously donate their time to the cause,” said Schneikart-Luebbe. “We achieved that 17 years ago when the group was founded, and it’s still true today.”
SAS has also established the Amie Montgomery scholarship and the Gore Core to celebrate top students in the annual Distinguished Scholarship Invitational.
Spreading Shocker pride
Karissa Gilchrist, a senior biology pre-medicine major and chemistry minor from Rose Hill, Kan., has been an SAS member since the beginning of her sophomore year at WSU. She is vice president of selections for the group and is responsible for the new member selection process, training and initiation.
After graduating from WSU and completing medical school, Gilchrist would ultimately like a career as a family physician.
“I learned so much about leadership, teamwork, event planning, organization, outreach and communicating both good news and bad,” she said. “I believe these are all truly invaluable things to learn for any career.”
Gilchrist’s favorite aspect of SAS is her interaction with prospective students.
“When trying to decide on which college to attend, it often comes down to which one feels right,” she said. “I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of that college decision process and help prospective students find a home at Wichita State.”
Gilchrist identified the common factor that all student ambassadors share: their passion and love for WSU.
“SAS’ biggest contribution to WSU would be through recruiting other students to the WSU family by spreading that Shocker pride,” she said.
Being involved in SAS is something that has made Gilchrist’s college experience unforgettable.
“College is not just about going to class and going home,” said Gilchrist. “Getting involved in any capacity allows you to feel like you are truly a part of the university, and it is easy to do at WSU with over 100 student organizations to engage any interest.”
For more information about WSU’s Student Ambassador Society, go to www.wichita.edu/sas.