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Department of Animal Science Launches New Animal Science Student Ambassador Program

The Department of Animal Science at South Dakota State University has launched an Animal Science Student Ambassador program. Every year, students majoring in animal science will be selected to serve as ambassadors to prospective students and will provide mentorship to first year animal science students. 

Four students have been selected to serve as Animal Science Student Ambassadors for the 2020-2021 school year. Murray Perkins, junior animal science major from Buchanan, Tennessee; McKenzie Cselovszki, senior animal science major from Sleepy Eye, Minnesota; Sadie Vander Wal, junior animal science and agricultural communication major from Brentford, South Dakota and Riggen Zelinsky, senior animal science major from Brookings, South Dakota. 

“The Department of Animal Science is excited this program is starting,” said Natalie Hoyes, Professional Advisor for the Department of Animal Science. “The ambassadors will be able to share their experiences, help to motivate and excite future Jackrabbits as well as our first-year students with what our department has to offer.”

The Animal Science Ambassadors will meet with prospective students who visit the department for campus tours. The ambassadors will lead tours of the Animal Science Complex, the Cow/Calf Education and Research Facility, the Swine Education and Research Facility and other livestock facilities that are utilized by the department. This will provide an opportunity for prospective students to hear from a current student about what it is like to be studying in the Department of Animal Science. The ambassadors will also participate in admissions events such as Jackrabbit Preview, Senior Day, Junior Day, Blue Discovery Day and other on-campus recruitment events. 

"As an ambassador, I'm excited to share my passion for SDSU and Animal Science with prospective students and guide underclassmen in their educational journeys,” said Vander Wal. “This program will be an awesome way to show both prospective and new students all the opportunities we have here, from one college student to another."

In addition to recruitment events, the ambassadors will work with a small group of first-year animal science students in a mentorship role, aiding them in their transition from high school to SDSU. Ambassadors will be there to refer them to academic resources, encourage them to get involved with clubs on campus and more. This will give first-year students insight and advice on how to be a successful animal science student on and off campus.

“I believe the SDSU Animal Science department has what it takes to prepare anyone for the world ahead, and I want to show that to prospective and current students,” said Zelinsky. 

Animal Science Ambassadors
From Left to Right: Riggen Zelinsky, Murray Perkins, McKenzie Cselovszki and Sadie Vander Wal 

About the South Dakota State University Animal Science Department

Tomorrow's animal and natural resources industries leaders gain the educational foundation they need in the South Dakota State University Animal Science Department. Future leaders study under a dynamic, award-winning faculty who not only teach, but also set the pace with important research and aggressive outreach via SDSU Extension. The department’s multi-disciplinary approaches toward production efficiency, product enhancement and natural resources management provide undergraduate and graduate students with strong skill sets. Students are provided hands-on learning opportunities through the in-house Meat Lab and livestock teaching units located near campus. Graduates of the program see career options unfold in a diverse and growing range of employment areas, from animal-related industries to natural resources management.