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BIMS Student Ambassadors Lead and Inspire

Posted April 06, 2017

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Jacquie Macias

Upon entering the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM), each visitor is greeted with a “Howdy” and the smiling face of one of the CVM’s student ambassadors. Responsible for assisting visitors and guiding tours of the CVM, the ambassadors are the face of the CVM to many visitors. Some ambassadors are veterinary students, and others are undergraduate students studying biomedical sciences (BIMS). Through the Ambassador Program, BIMS students gain valuable leadership experience and contribute to the CVM in a unique and meaningful way.

Student ambassadors, Jacquie Macias and Alex Casas, are pre-professional students who were looking for a way to become involved at the CVM and gain professional and leadership skills. Although Macias is pursuing veterinary school and Casas is interested in a career in public health, both consider the ambassador program invaluable to their future.

“I think being a student ambassador is a great opportunity,” Casas said. “I have met a lot of different administrators, and being around different professors and clinicians has given me a unique perspective of professionalism.”

For Macias, the ambassador program has helped in preparation for applying to veterinary school. “Since I talk to people all the time about the requirements and prerequisites for veterinary school, I have all of that information memorized,” she said.  “If I get lucky enough to go to veterinary school here, I’ll already know where everything is.”

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Alex Casas provides a tour for Texas Representative Ken King and his daughter, and Texas A&M Vice President of Government Relations, Michael O’Quinn.

Additionally, both students have experienced meeting new people and learning more about the CVM while giving tours. Every day is a chance to learn something new. “When alumni come in, it’s really interesting to hear them talk about what the CVM was like in the past, the resources that helped them graduate, and the academics they focused on,” Casas said. “They always give me tidbits about the tours that I didn’t know about. It’s always refreshing to get their perspectives.”

“I’ve had veterinarians that have graduated from the CVM come and talk to me about their experiences, and they have actually helped me with my tours before,” Macias said. “I’ve met really great people at the CVM.”

Both ambassadors have also had the opportunity to lead VIP tours for people who most students would not be able to meet. Casas has toured with Texas Representative Ken King of Brownsville, Texas, and Senator Bill Flores of Bryan, Texas. Similarly, Jacquie toured the parents of country singer Miranda Lambert.

“When I gave a tour to State Representative Ken King, it was great to see how impressed he was with the facilities,” Casas said.

Being an ambassador has also complemented the students’ coursework in some unexpected ways. Macias, who is pursuing the Spanish certificate program at Texas A&M, has given tours in Spanish.  “It feels great to be able to help people like that,” she said.

Although the two students have given countless tours during their time as student ambassadors, giving tours never seems to get old. With new faces, people, animals, and questions, Macias and Casas love representing the CVM and helping prospective students, former students, and other visitors.

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Jacquie Macias leads a tour of the college facilities.

“I really enjoy talking to high school students who are on the fence of which school to choose, and being that deciding factor and pushing them to come here,” Casas said.

“I like telling visitors about all the cool classes you get to take as a veterinary student,” Macias added.

In addition to belonging to the student ambassador program, both Macias and Casas are involved in other organizations on and off campus and stay busy studying for their BIMS classes. It may not be easy balancing it all, but both are dedicated students. “I have a planner, and honestly, that’s the best way to stay organized,” Casas said. “I never thought I would use a planner, but in college, time management is important.”

With the addition of the Veterinary & Biomedical Education Complex (VBEC) building in summer 2016, student ambassadors will be changing up their tours to include the new facilities. Ambassadors like Casas and Macias are looking forward to the CVM’s expansion and to even more interesting tours.

“The alumni know this is a great university, and we are only going up,” Casas said. “We are building new facilities and only getting better, and I think that’s a trend we are going to be on for quite some time.”

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For more information about the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, please visit our website at vetmed.tamu.edu or join us on Facebook , Instagram , and Twitter.

Contact Information: Megan Palsa, Executive Director of Communications, Media & Public Relations, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Science; mpalsa@cvm.tamu.edu ; 979-862-4216; 979-421-3121 (cell)



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