Dean's Brand Ambassadors



The Dean's Brand Ambassador Program is a marketing and communications initiative at the UCR School of Public Policy aimed at cultivating the School’s brand profile with a focus on external relations, while providing high-achieving public policy students who participate in the program with numerous professional development opportunities. Founded in 2014, the program is open to UCR public policy majors, minors, and Master of Public Policy students. 

Roles and Responsibilities

Ambassadors serve as representatives of the SPP Dean, giving students a glimpse of what it would be like to serve as government appointees (akin to U.S. Ambassadors who are appointed officials in the executive branch). The experience also provides students a better understanding of the differences between being in elected and appointed office, or being a policy maker vs. a policy implementer.

Ambassadors are charged with cultivating relationships with the SPP’s various external customers, be they prospective donors, government officials, or other special guests of the SPP. They are also highly involved in various public-facing events and activities meant to engage the community.

Each ambassador is required to staff a minimum of four SPP-hosted events and activities per quarter, which includes duties such as event planning, event promotion, emceeing or moderating, photography coverage, and participating in student panels, among others. Additionally each ambassador must participate in committees that align with the SPP’s business needs and public relations efforts; for the 2020-2021 school year, separate committees are devoted to marketing and communications, events, and podcasting (ambassadors are involved in the production of "Policy Chats," the official podcast series of the UCR School of Public Policy).



[am-bas-uh-der, -dawr]

  1. diplomatic agent or authorized representative of the interests and policies of a government
  2. policy implementer charged with protecting and promoting the government's interests, maintaining diplomacy, organizing visits, welcoming visitors, etc.


About the Dean

2020-2021 Cohort Composition

As of Summer 2020

  • Average GPA: 3.58
  • Size: 17
  • Female: 76%
  • Ethnic Diversity: 82%


Mission & Vision:

Serving the marketing, communications, and events arm of the UCR School of Public Policy as brand ambassadors, our mission is to:

  • Actively build brand awareness for the School
  • Increase its brand reputation and protect its interests
  • Provide an exceptional brand experience for all our constituents

Our vision as ambassadors is to:

  • Influence and inspire current and future generations of public policy students by role modeling our shared values and through leadership by example
  • Benefits of Being an Ambassador
    • Trainings on information dissemination skills (i.e. email marketing, graphic design, social media, etc.) and community engagement tools (i.e. event management) useful for public affairs careers
    • Potentially qualifies for the PBPL 198i requirement as a public affairs internship (must put in 100 hours minimum for the year)
    • Personal branding, leadership, and management development opportunities
    • Public speaking development opportunities (i.e. emceeing, presenting, impromptu speaking, etc.)
    • Opportunities to learn from and interact with policy professionals (i.e. via staffing of policy makers, practitioners, researchers)
    • Serving as the student face of the School in marketing materials
    • Receiving branded gear exclusive to ambassadors
    • Special recognition at commencement
    • Potential for letters of recommendation for the most qualified ambassadors
  • Selection Guidelines
    • You must be a declared UCR public policy student.
    • Freshmen who aspire to continue beyond one year of service, first-year transfer students, or first-year MPP students will be given priority consideration. Those with sophomore or junior standing may also be considered.
      • Ambassadors must be able to put in at least one complete academic year of service.
    • You must have a minimum 3.2 cumulative GPA.
    • For undergraduates, exceptions can be made for students who compensate with high public policy/upper division major GPAs and/or whose transcripts do not include any Ds or Fs from the past year. Transcripts from previous higher education institutions are taken into account for undergraduate transfer students.

    If accepted into the program and after passing a probationary period, as well as contingent on continuing satisfactory performance, you would serve continuously until graduation. You would not have to reapply for an ambassadorship.

  • Application and Interview Process

    Applications open in fall, and interviews are conducted in the winter quarter. You can submit your application as soon as you receive all your fall quarter grades, as you will be required to provide your cumulative GPA through the end of the fall quarter.

    Qualified applicants will be selected to undergo a rigorous interview process, which may consist of a first interview and a second set of interviews.

  • What Qualities Do We Look For in a Candidate?

    The ideal ambassador candidate is someone who displays the program’s shared values:

    • Dedication - committed, reliable, displays organizational and time management skills
    • Enthusiasm - passionate, sets a positive tone, shows motivation
    • Professionalism - shows tact through outward appearance and conduct
    • Teamwork - cooperative, collaborative, trust builder, good sport
    • Customer Service - service oriented, patient, humble, attentive, responsive, resolution-minded
    • Conscientiousness - self-aware, mindful of perceptions, diplomatic
    • Initiative - proactive, go-getter, manages up, goes above and beyond
    • Refinement - detail-oriented, displays growth mindset, open to feedback
    • Communication - mindful of the power of words, tone, language; respects confidentiality
  • What Does the Commitment Entail?

    The ambassador program is a commitment, and applicants should make sure they understand the expectations of the program before applying.


    • You must be available for the entirety of the academic year you are applying for. You must remain for all quarters of the academic year (fall, winter, and spring; summer is optional) for each year of service.
    • You must sign a photo/video release. As the face of the School, you must allow use of your image to be used for School purposes.
    • You must sign consent to allow FERPA-trained personnel to review your academic record for the purposes of verifying demonstration of continuing academic excellence.

    Ambassadors typically put in an average of 3 hours per week; many opt to devote more. As an ambassador you should expect to:

    • Undergo a two-day orientation and probationary evaluations during your first quarter
    • Staff ambassadorial events (seminars, panels, conferences, etc.) and/or participate in ambassadorial activities (projects, podcast interviews, etc.) - minimum 4 for undergraduates and minimum 2 for MPPs
    • Participate in a general assembly meeting every quarter
    • Participate in a committee and all related meetings and activities for the entirety of the year; committees are charged with particular external-facing projects as dictated by business needs
      • Participate in word-of-mouth activities to promote events, activities, and news from the School and its partners (i.e. via social media, email, etc.)
  • Professional Development Trainings

    Ambassadors undergo extensive and rigorous training as part of their onboarding. They are all required to attend two full days’ worth of orientation sessions which include:

    • Soft Skills Development:
      • Developing a Refinement & Growth Mindset
      • Personal Branding
      • Leadership and Teamwork: Johari Window, Personality Typing, Conflict Management Styles
      • Professionalism
      • Customer Service
      • Public Speaking & Small Talk
      • Email Etiquette
      • Inclusivity Training
    • Introduction to Public Affairs and External Relations
      • Government Relations
      • Donor Relations
      • Faculty Relations
      • Media Relations
    • Introduction to Marketing, Communications, & Branding
      • Social Media
      • Email Marketing
      • Graphic Design
      • Photography
      • Videography
      • Podcasting
    • Introduction to Event Coordination
      • Event Planning
      • Event Marketing
      • Event Execution

    In addition, every quarter guest speakers are invited to speak with ambassadors for supplemental professional development trainings. In the past we have hosted speakers who have given trainings on:

    • Management
    • Public affairs
    • Graphic design
    • Public speaking


  • Team Morale

    The program employs several motivational tools to encourage self confidence and team-building. These include:

    • Quarterly High Achievement Awards. Each quarter, an “Ambassador of the Quarter” is recognized for achievements that go above and beyond the minimum requirements of the program. 
    • Team Socials. To foster getting to know each other and increase trust building, ambassadors participate in quarterly get-togethers. These have included hikes, escape rooms, roller skating, and virtual game nights, to name a few.
    • Dean/Associate Dean Socials. Occasionally, ambassadors are given the opportunity to interact with the Dean and Associate Dean of the SPP through ambassador-only meetings.
  • Other Information

    Team Management

    • The ambassador program is overseen by a staff member, the Marketing Manager.
    • The Chief Ambassador is a student worker who acts as a deputy student manager.

    Probationary Period

    • All newly appointed ambassadors undergo a probationary period during their first quarter of service.
    • Ambassadors will undergo a performance appraisal at the conclusion of their probationary quarter.

    Dress Code

    • Business professional is the default attire for ambassadors, unless otherwise noted. Ambassadors are expected to strive to be the best dressed in any given room, regardless of how others are attired. Ambassadors are expected to present a polished, sophisticated, and professional looks for others to look up to.

    External Commitments and Leaves of Absence

    • Ambassadors are expected to prioritize the program when entering into other commitments. Taking a break from the program during the academic year is not allowed.
    • Ambassadors are discouraged from participating in other ambassador programs; if you are passionate about joining another ambassador program, you must propose a time management plan.
    • Ambassadors are encouraged to undertake UCDC, UC Sacramento, or Study Abroad during the summer quarters.
      • Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis by the Marketing Manager, taking into account whether a proposed leave during a non-summer quarter would lead to decrease in coverage of ambassadorial events and/or negligence in committee work.
    • By serving in the executive branch, ambassadors cannot concurrently serve in a legislative capacity or student government capacity like ASUCR or Graduate Student Association or any other capacity as a representative of the SPP student population. Doing so would be a conflict of interest (cf. how U.S. Ambassadors cannot concurrently serve as a U.S. Senator, as they serve in different branches of government).


    • Ambassadors may be dismissed from the program due to unsatisfactory academic performance, lack of participation, and lack of adherence to the program's shared values and/or policies and procedures.

Ambassador Year in Review

Meet the Ambassadors

For more information: