Student Program

Engaged Ambassadors

Engaged Ambassadors lead a variety of special projects for the Office of Engagement Initiatives. But this is more than a job. It’s a passion.

To contact an ambassador or learn more about the program, email engagedleadership@cornell.edu.

2017-18 Ambassadors

Graduate Program Assistant

  • Joy Das MPA ’18, Cornell Institute for Public Affairs
  • Jazlin Gomez MPA ’18, Cornell Institute for Public Affairs

Jaylexia Clark ’19

Hometown: Tampa, Florida

Majors/Minors/Concentrations: Industrial and labor relations, policy analysis and management, law and society

I’m passionate about … black liberation.

Engagement experience: High Road Fellowship, Performing Angkor (Service in Cambodia), Black Students United (BSU)

As an Engaged Ambassador, I … review, score and monitor student leadership grant funding and program applications

I got involved because … I wanted a job on campus that would prepare me for a career in community engagement.

My friends would say I’m … very social and social justice orientated.

Best Cornell memory (so far!): BSU rally in fall 2016

Fun fact: I spend my free time finding songs to add to my social justice playlist. I do not have a favorite song yet.

Future plans: Law school and a Ph.D. in American policy in order to understand the root causes of systematic oppression so that I can help create sustainable solutions to an issue that people forget is historical in nature.


Tenzin Dechen ’18

Hometown: Queens, New York

Major: Biology and society

I’m passionate about … educational equity, women’s rights and socioeconomic health disparities.

Engagement experience: I’ve participated in the Natural Leaders workshops and earned the Certificate in Engaged Leadership. I’ve also participated in the certificate capstone.

As an Engaged Ambassador, I … facilitate the Certificate in Engaged Leadership capstone and retreats, meaning I collectively plan and facilitate workshop dialogues, Community Engaged Student Travel Grant pre- and post-engagement workshops, Be the Change, Call to Action event, certificate retreats and post capstone meet-ups.

I got involved because … I enjoy planning and facilitating workshops and dialogues centered on social justice topics. I am passionate about social justice because I would like to contribute to enhancing the social justice climate on Cornell’s campus.

My friends would say I’m … caring, funny and always looking for an adventure.

Fun fact: My birthday is on World Toilet Day, and I’m so happy because I care about tackling open-defecation.

Future plans: I plan to pursue an MPH and then an MD degree. I would like to become an OBGYN and improve women’s reproductive health care access in underserved countries.


JJ Erapaiboon ’18

Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand

Majors/Minors/Concentrations: Major in hotel administration with a concentration in hotel development; minors in design, horticulture, real estate

I’m passionate about … environmental rights.

Engagement experience: Cornell University Sustainable Design, Residential Energy Efficiency in Ithaca research

As an Engaged Ambassador, I … work with staff to create marketing materials.

I got involved because … I wanted to learn more about being an “engaged” student and learn how to empower my peers to do the same; to practice my graphic design skills and hopefully develop leadership skills as well.

My friends would say I’m … friendly and passionate.

Best Cornell memory (so far!): Times when I’m walking home alone and I get to clear my mind and really appreciate everything and everyone around me

Future plans: Help create awesome hotels that encompass sustainability and nurture communities that surround them


Maia Kunzman ’18

Hometown: Spencer, New York

Majors/Minors/Concentrations: Majors in development sociology, environmental and sustainability sciences with a concentration in policy and governance; minors in inequality studies, law and society

I’m passionate about … environmental justice (refugees, nuclear testing, climate change, etc.).

Engagement experience: Certificate in Engaged Leadership capstone, Cornell Rotaract Club, Tompkins Workforce NY summer program assistant, and more

As an Engaged Ambassador, I … collaborate with others to develop and facilitate capstone sessions, as well as various workshops relating to the Certificate in Engaged Leadership and other student engagement opportunities. In doing so, I seek to broaden dialogue opportunities for members of both the Cornell and greater Ithaca communities and to strengthen the amazing community engagement efforts of others by connecting them to vital resources — including funding opportunities, institutional development possibilities and, most importantly, other people!

I got involved because … I loved participating in the certificate capstone last spring. It helped me build a framework for critical reflection of my own community engagement activities and provided me with a space to engage in dialogue with peers regarding the social justice challenges of today.

My friends would say I’m … kind, witty and headstrong.

Best Cornell memory (so far!): Building wonderful friendships and discovering new interests!

Fun fact: I have 15 pairs of sunglasses (and counting).

Future plans: Attend law school, become fluent in French (and hopefully other languages after that) and explore the world.


Imani Majied ’19

Major: Industrial and labor relations

I’m passionate about … access to quality education.

Engagement experience: Taught English in Spain, volunteer with the Islamic Leadership School, worked with Anabel’s Grocery

As an Engaged Ambassador, I … help to cultivate and create leadership experiences for members of the Cornell community.

I got involved because … community development is extremely important to me, and I was eager to work with other like-minded individuals to expand community development efforts at Cornell.

My friends would say I’m … friendly.

Best Cornell memory (so far!): Having a double snowday

Fun fact: I learned how to snap with all five fingers at once before I learned with just two fingers.

Future plans: MBA? So much to figure out!


Conor McCabe ’18

Hometown: West Linn, Oregon

Major: Animal science

I’m passionate about … food security.

Engagement experience: Service learning in Mekong Delta (Vietnam program). Look to take Seed to Supper and Cornell in Borneo class this fall.

As an Engaged Ambassador, I … look to increase student engagement in areas where they excel by funding projects where students can apply what they have learned in the classroom in real community scenarios.

I got involved because … I believe that change happens at the community level, and I wanted to get involved with like-minded individuals who are working to create change in their respective areas. Additionally, I have been given multiple leadership development opportunities throughout my life, and I now look to give back by facilitating opportunities for my peers who seek answers through professional development and community work.

My friends would say I’m … motivated and have the innate ability to remember every little detail.

Best Cornell memory (so far!): Being named president of the American Dairy Science Association at the 2016 Annual Meeting

Fun fact: I used to have six wisdom teeth.

Future plans: Animal scientist that uses innovative agriculture practices to promote global food security at all levels


Mane Mehrabyan ’17

Hometown: Ithaca, New York

Majors/Minors/Concentrations: Major in design and environmental analysis with a concentration in health and well-being. Minors in theatre; business; and crime, prisons, education and justice.

I am passionate about … ending mass incarceration.

Engagement experience: Cornell Prison Education Program; prison theatre with a troupe of incarcerated men in Auburn, New York (watch the video!); Healthcare Innovations (2015 and 2017), consulting Cayuga Medical Center for their palliative care and Weill Cornell for their NICU unit through evidence based design

As an Engaged Ambassador, I … work on the Certificate in Engaged Leadership capstone and workshop facilitation project group.

I got involved because … I became a more active citizen and socially aware person through engaging in experiences and choosing to dialogue and want to help others do the same.

My friends would say I’m … joyful, sassy and savvy.

Best Cornell memory (so far!): Dancing with pots and friends at 1am on the street (we weren’t drunk, just happy)

Fun fact: I used to talk to trees when I was young.

Future plans: Connect incarcerated people with people on the outside or correctional officers to collaborate and make art, whether that is poetry, graphics or plays.


Jose Andres Montes ’19

Hometown: Greenfield, California

Majors/Minors/Concentrations: Major in industrial and labor relations; minors in business and information science

I’m passionate about … economic international empowerment

Engagement experience: Jamaica spring break course; Nicaragua Engaged Learning; Refresh Bolivia Program in Cochabamba, Bolivia

As an Engaged Ambassador, I … am part of the peer mentorship and ePortfolio project group.

I got involved because … I wanted to advise students on the many opportunities that Cornell offers to accomplish the difference they want to see in the world.

My friends would say I’m … easy going and sometimes energetic.

Best Cornell memory (so far!): Meeting people from all over the world and being able to travel to four different countries!

Fun fact: I hate onions and tomatoes!

Future plans: Travel to more countries and hopefully attend graduate school!


Kelly To ’18

Hometown: Port Washington, New York

Majors/Minors/Concentrations: Major in hotel administration; minor in design and environmental analysis

I am passionate about … community building.

Engagement experience: Several social entrepreneurship courses, operations team on Cornell University Sustainable Design

As an Engaged Ambassador, I … encourage students to participate in engaging experiences and promote Engaged Cornell’s message throughout the Cornell community.

I got involved because … I was interested in learning more about social entrepreneurship and design on campus.

My friends would say I’m … really into coffee chats, juice and hotels.

Best Cornell memory (so far!): Singing late at night on the slope with my best friends

Fun fact: I studied abroad in Switzerland focusing on social intrapreneurship.

Future plans: Do a yoga teacher training, volunteer in Cambodia, own a hotel and change corporate business norms


Silvia Trevino ’18

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Majors/Minors/Concentrations: biological sciences, Latino studies program, microbiology

I am passionate about … undocumented immigrant rights.

Engagement experience: My current engagement experience relates to the immigrant rights movement. On campus I am a part of the Cornell DREAM Team, and we work on advocating for more resources for undocumented students as well as do educational outreach on immigrant rights. Back home in LA, I am usually involved in volunteering with the Coalition of Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA).

As an Engaged Ambassador, I … look forward to being part of the capstone and workshop facilitation project group. We will work to develop workshops that will encourage underclassmen to become more involved in engaged experiences and to complete the Certificate in Engaged Leadership. As a capstone facilitator, I hope to help more students reflect on their experiences working on different social justice issues.

I got involved because … during my capstone I did a lot of reflection on the activism I had been doing on campus. I grew from participating in the dialogue, and I hope others can also have a similar experience. I also would love to increase student involvement in the Ithaca community, and we can only do this if we are aware of all the different ways we can be engaged leaders.

My friends would say I’m … very passionate about many social justice issues and am never afraid to stand up for what I believe in.

Best Cornell memory (so far!): Going to the Galápagos Islands my freshman year. It was an experience I will never forget and I got to see incredible biological diversity.

Fun fact: I’m the youngest in my family, and there is a 17 year age gap between my siblings and me.

Future plans: After college, I hope to work with a grassroots community organization in Los Angeles that works towards better health access for low income and queer people.