Meet the CIVICUS Ambassadors

CIVICUS Ambassadors meet and greet prospective students and their families to share their knowledge and experiences as members of the CIVICUS community.

Lizzy Blake headshotLizzy Blake

Hometown: Gaithersburg, MD
Major(s): Math (Statistics)
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2023
Clubs and ActivitiesMarching Band, Pep Band

What do you love about CIVICUS? I love that the program teaches us how to be better citizens and makes us well-prepared for the political issues that we face every day. I also love that we get to live together because it makes it easier to bond and make friends with people in your classes.

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience thus far? I really enjoy having CIVICUS bonding events in the residence hall, such as the Destresser Night when we used face masks and had hot chocolate. It gives us a chance to relax and get to know each other better.

Dominic Brady headshotDominic Brady

Hometown: Dunkirk, MD
Major(s): Biology (Physiology and Neurobiology Specialization)
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2023
Clubs and Activities: American Medical Student Association, One U, Cru, Tutor for Latino Student Fund, Shadowing Doctors, Hospital Volunteer, and Food Recovery Network Volunteer

What do you love about CIVICUS? I love the sense of community that CIVICUS provides. It is scary coming to college not knowing many people and coming into a strong community was very helpful for the transition to college.

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far? My favorite CIVICUS experience has to be the retreat we did at the beginning of the semester. You get to meet so many new people and make many friends.

Jacob Bukosky's HeadshotJacob Bukosky

Hometown: Owings Mills, MD
Major(s): Computer Science
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2023
Clubs and Activities: Cool Board Games for Attractive People (Games Club)  

What do you love about CIVICUS? I love the community that you build. For people not in the program, it can be tough to make friends, especially if you live out of state or don't know anybody. I was able to find people in this program that stuck with me.

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far?  My favorite experience has been the retreat at the beginning of the year because I really came out of my shell then -- first time really meeting people and first experience of college. I was nervous, but I met a ton of people and joined the CIVICUS community.

Hannah Chang's HeadshotHannah Chang

Hometown: Gaitherburg, MD
Major(s): General Biology
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2023
Activities: Student Dental Advisory Board, Vietnamese Student Association, Korean Student Association

What do you love about CIVICUS? I love my peers and how CIVICUS does so many activities in the beginning of the year because they give us a chance to become close to one another.

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far? My favorite experience thus far has been Peanut Butter & Jelly Night during Opening Weekend.

Jack Cleary's HeadshotJack Cleary

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Major(s): General Biology
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2023
Clubs and Activities: CIntramural Soccer, Intramural Futsal, Terrapin Beats Society, Music Production, Spikeball Club 

What do you love about CIVICUS? I love being able to learn about the surrounding community while simultaneously helping those in need that reside within the community.  

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far? Volunteering with Bikes for the World, a local nonprofit that makes affordable, good quality used bicycles available to people around the world.

Michelle D'Costa's HeadshotMichelle D'Costa

Hometown: Laurel, MD
Major(s): Special Education and Elementary Education
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2022
Clubs and Activities: Club Swim, Sigma Kappa, Terp Thon, College Mentors for Kids

What do you love about CIVICUS? I love that CIVICUS has a diverse group of students who have different interests and want to create positive change! Everyone in the program is so welcoming and supportive, which really helped me transition into college.

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far? My favorite CIVICUS experience so far was volunteering at the National Zoo for Halloween. I had so much fun handing out candy to the children and seeing all their costumes!

Melissa DiGiorgio's HeadshotMelissa DiGiorgio

Hometown: Commack, NY
Major(s): Public Health Science, Pre-med track
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2022
Clubs and Activities: Maryland Images

What do you love about CIVICUS? I love the family atmosphere that CIVICUS provides. The people I’ve met in the program have become some of my closest friends. I appreciate that, aside from our common love of service, we are so diverse in our interests and ideologies. 

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far? My favorite CIVICUS experiences are always when we’re all together as a group, whether it be completing a large service project or having fun at TRIVICUS or the holiday party!

Michelle Dongmo's HeadshotMichelle Dongmo

Hometown: Cameroon, Africa --> Bowie, Maryland
Major(s): Finance
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2023
Clubs and Activities: Women in Business Association and National Association of Black Accountants

What do you love about CIVICUS? It may be cliche to say this, but what I love about CIVICUS is that it’s truly like a family. Many CIVICUS members share the same passion of aiding others and are dedicated to the vision of creating a better world, so it creates a family environment where everybody is there for each other. 

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far? My favorite experience is when we made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It was the first activity we did after moving in and it was actually fun. II got to meet a lot of different members and people were cracking jokes while making sandwiches for a good cause. The experience just leaves a smile on my face. 

Sarah Dresh's HeadshotSarah Dresh

Hometown: Pitman, NJ
Major(s): Government and Politics
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2022
Clubs and Activities: CIVICUS Student Advisory Board Vice President; President of the North Hill Area Council, Residence Hall Association; North Hill Area Council Senator, Residence Hall Association; Federal Fellows Program Associate, National Residence Hall Honorary Member

What do you love about CIVICUS? I love how engaged and passionate CIVICUS students are about their community. Inside and out of the classroom, students always show their dedication to making a positive change in the world. CIVICUS associates bring a diverse range of interests to the program and are enthusiastic about different issues, which makes discussions a valuable learning experience. 

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far?  My favorite CIVICUS experience so far has been the Washington D.C. scavenger hunt. I loved meeting new associates and catching up with friends after summer break. My first scavenger hunt helped me become acclimated to the city and gave me the opportunity to visit places I had never been. 

Emily Frocke's HeadshotEmily Frocke

Hometown: Frederick, MD
Major(s): Special Education
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2022
Clubs and Activities: Maryland Images Tour Guides, Alpha Phi Omega, College Mentors for Kids, TerpThon Family Relations Committee, Intern at Center for Young Children, Office Assistant at the Office of Student Conduct

What do you love about CIVICUS? I love the close-knit community of CIVICUS. The instructors and your peers very quickly make UMD feel like home, and the relationships I have made with my fellow CIVICUS members are friendships that will last a lifetime. In addition, I love the opportunity to continue my passion for service in college. If it wasn’t for CIVICUS, I wouldn’t have been as active in the College Park community as I am today. CIVICUS has been such an enriching and special part of my college experience.

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far? As a part of a class requirement, I visited a local preschool that was catered for students and families of a lower-socioeconomic background. There, my peer and I interviewed the Education Director and learned more about the work being done to implement universal preschool nationwide. This experience was transformative, especially as a future educator. You hear about all of the problems going on in the world, but witnessing it firsthand leaves you speechless and motivated to make a change.

McKenzie Horton's HeadshotMcKenzie Horton

Hometown: District Heights, Maryland 
Major(s): Criminal Justice and Criminology, Psychology 
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2023

What do you love about CIVICUS? I love the whole concept of living and learning within CIVICUS. You have class with many of the people you live with, and it creates bonds that can be useful in both settings, inside and out of the classroom. It also allows you to see how people from different areas are diverse, exposing you to their in-class points of view and also how they interact outside of class. The many presentations in the first-year CIVICUS courses allow you to get comfortable as a presenter in front of people with whom you have a bond. 

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far? My favorite CIVICUS experience was the first service learning activity, the peanut butter and jelly service project. Although it seemed like a small thing, it was a team-bonding activity and fun.

Spencer's HeadshotSpencer Hutchens

Hometown: Fallston, Maryland 
Major(s): Civil Engineering
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2022
Clubs and Activities: Terrapin Trail Club

What do you love about CIVICUS? I love the people involved in the program, as well as the opportunity to serve the community that is around me.

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far? I thoroughly enjoyed participating in various environmental projects that allow me to learn more about the surrounding area and let me experience things with the peers. 

Divija Kambala's HeadshotDivija Kambala

Hometown: Ellicott City, MD
Major(s): Psychology
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2022
Clubs and Activities: CHAARG, Tour Guide, Future Business Leaders of America, Research Assistant, Indian Students Association

What do you love about CIVICUS?  I love the close-knit community within CIVICUS. CIVICUS makes the process of transitioning into college much smoother. 

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far? I truly enjoy all of the events within CIVICUS. They are amazing bonding experiences. My favorite would be Grilled Cheese Night because it was fun and competitive, while also a relaxing event during finals week.  

Imani Mayo's HeadshotImani Mayo

Hometown: Gaithersburg, MD
Major(s): Public Policy
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2023
Clubs and Activities: College Mentors for Kids, Orientation Advisor, Black Students in Public Policy, Black Student Union

What do you love about CIVICUS? I love the sense of community that is created by CIVICUS; even though we all come from different walks of life, we all have things in common. Living and taking classes together has opened my eyes to different perspectives and ideals I had never thought of before.  

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far? My favorite CIVICUS experience was going to D.C. for the first CIVICUS project. I got to explore D.C. on a beautiful summer day while bonding with my fellow CIVICUS buddies.  

Dharti's HeadshotDharti Patel

Hometown: Easton, MD
Major(s): Accounting
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2023
Clubs and Activities: Terps Against Hunger, Women in Business

What do you love about CIVICUS? The community CIVICUS creates is definitely what I love most about the program. Walking through Somerset Hall and knowing the incredible individuals with whom you live and have classes has made the college transition very smooth. Through CIVICUS, I've met my closest friends! 

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far? My favorite event has been the CIVICUS retreat, as it was a great way to get to know one another - as well as the CIVICUS alumni - at the start of the semester.  

Rayshaun Pettit's HeadshotRayshaun Pettit

Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Major(s): Biochemistry
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2023
Clubs and Activities: College Mentors for Kids

What do you love about CIVICUS? I love how the CIVICUS program pushes its students to be engaged in their community. The classes allow us to learn and respectfully discuss different opinions and perspectives on issues, not to mention the service projects can be very rewarding and fun and can help network for other opportunities. 

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far? My favorite experience thus far was participating in Retreat.

Caitlin Rinaldi's HeadshotCaitlin Rinaldi

Hometown: Bellmore, NY
Major(s): Biology, Pre-Med
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2023
Clubs and Activities: Dance, Orchestra, Pre-Med Fraternity

What do you love about CIVICUS? I love how CIVICUS provides a small tight-knit group that easily bonded and became close fast. It was really helpful knowing I had a group of friends to rely on starting off at a huge university. I also love being able to continue community service.  

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far? I have loved getting to work with Kids in Action, an organization that allows us to volunteer directly with kids and teens with disabilities. 

Ellis Shen's HeadshotEllis Shen

Hometown: Pasadena, CA
Major(s): Criminology and Criminal Justice, Government and Politics
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2022
Clubs and Activities: Alpha Kappa Delta Phi, Chinese Student Associate, Asian American Student Union, Police Auxiliary

What do you love about CIVICUS? CIVICUS brings together such a diverse group of people where you're bound to meet someone who shares a common interest. Everyone is so supportive and the sense of community really helped me transition into college. 

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far? I love doing my long-term service projects because they're essentially my side passion projects. This past fall, I was able to volunteer at my favorite Smithsonian museums(Freer and Sackler Museum). There's always a service project for everyone and you can always look for projects about which you're passionate.  

Peyton Siegel's HeadshotPeyton Siegel

Hometown: Fairfield, CT
Major(s): Public Policy and African American Studies, Concentration in Public Policy
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2023
Clubs and Activities: Transportation Officer for College Mentors for Kids, Do Good Institute Ambassador

What do you love about CIVICUS? I love that I am challenged every day to participate in difficult conversations. I love that CIVICUS students are not afraid to disagree, but are always willing to listen to the other side and gain perspective. Being in college is about stepping outside of your comfort zone and embarking on bold experiences. CIVICUS provides the perfect opportunity to catalyze this experience.

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far? I am a well-educated and engaged citizen in College Park because of the CIVICUS program. As a college freshman, it is often easy to get overwhelmed by the ample opportunities for campus involvement. Having sophomore mentors guide us in getting involved with something meaningful has altered my life path for the better. CIVICUS students have introduced me to clubs and activities that I will be a part of for the rest of my years at the University of Maryland. 

Camille White's HeadshotCamille White

Hometown: Arnold, MD
Major(s): Public Health Science
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2023
Clubs and Activities: Pre-PA Club

What do you love about CIVICUS? I love the family CIVICUS makes! We all bond in Somerset and make life long friends! I also love learning about world events and being able to listen to different backgrounds and ideas. 

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far? The stress-free relaxing nights in the basements. We do face masks and play with play-doh. 

Ryan's HeadshotRyan Wojciechowski

Hometown: Calvert County, MD
Major(s): Government and Politics and Economics 
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2023
Clubs and Activities: TerpSki, Alpha Gamma Rho, College Republicans, Club Fishing Team, Club Spikeball Team, One U Christian Faith Group, Intramural Soccer team

What do you love about CIVICUS? I especially love that membership in CIVICUS guarantees strong connections in social and professional life. As an outlet for service, CIVICUS allows me to continue to engage in service to a community with which I had previously been unfamiliar. CIVICUS is a medium through which opportunity flourishes, and I am thankful to be a part of such a prestigious and reputable organization at the University of Maryland. 

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far? In my time as a CIVICUS student, I have especially enjoyed participating in the required coursework for CIVICUS. Discussing social issues and complications surrounding them is certainly of interest to me, and I am glad to have the opportunity to engage in such intriguing conversation while also earning school credit. 

Brady's headshotBrady Zacker

Hometown: Annapolis, MD
Major(s): Economics 
Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2022
Clubs and Activities: PSE (Business Fraternity) Intramural sports, Supervisor at Eppley Recreation Center, Innovation Catalyst at Startup UMD

What do you love about CIVICUS? I love being able to have a series of classes dedicated to practicing leadership.

What has been your favorite CIVICUS experience so far? The CIVICUS Retreat during my sophomore year was my favorite experience to date.

 

Last modified
01/22/2020 - 11:28 am