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Global Ambassadors

Global Ambassadors

Fall 2013 Session

Description of Program

Global Ambassadors are a select group of Old Dominion University (ODU) students, both international and American, who serve as liaisons to the ODU international student community. The Global Ambassador Program is facilitated by the Office of Intercultural Relations (OIR). The role of a Global Ambassador is multi-faceted. Global Ambassadors serve as cross-cultural group leaders during the International Student Orientation and continue to support and engage with international students throughout the academic year. They implement and organize globally focused activities or events that educate and connect domestic and international students at ODU. They also actively participate in international programming and host international visitors on campus.

Events organized and/or hosted by Global Ambassadors in the past have included: International Student Orientation, Discover America Resume workshop, Global Game Night, Global Cafe', Cherry Blossom Trip to Washington D.C., and Norfolk at Your Feet.


The Global Ambassador Program is volunteer based. Students must apply to be part of the Global Ambassadors Program.

Undergraduate applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and should have junior/senior standing.

Graduate applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 and have completed at least one full semester of coursework at Old Dominion University. If applicant is a transfer student from another university, student must have completed at least one full semester of coursework at Old Dominion University.

If selected, applicants must adhere to the Old Dominion University Code of Student Conduct throughout the duration of the program.


  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate and interact effectively with diverse communities, especially with the international student community.
  • Experience with planning and organizing programs/events.
  • Exhibit commitment to completing projects and assignments.
  • Flexibility to participate in evening and weekend events


Only a select number of applicants will be contacted for an interview.

Benefits to being a Global Ambassador

  • Gain valuable experience in shaping orientations and implementing major intercultural programs.
  • Opportunity to expand cultural awareness, learn about new cultures and traditions, and make lasting global friendships.
  • Expand social networks and gain professional development experience.
  • Global Ambassador apparel.
  • Upon successfully completing, the commitments and requirements of the program, Global Ambassadors will receive:
    • Certification of participation in the Global Ambassador Program.


The Global Ambassador program is a semester-long commitment. The international leadership role begins in August 2013 and continues throughout the Fall 2013 semester. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Attend the mandatory Global Ambassador weekly meetings.
  • Organize globally focused programs/activities.
  • Encourage and coordinate participation at on-campus events such as cultural, social, or sporting events.
  • Support programs organized by OIR and provide assistance as needed: for example, International Festival 2014 in April.
  • Provide information about and referral to campus areas and resource services, as needed.
  • As a group, Ambassadors will plan the end of the year International Celebration, requiring collaboration with all international student organizations.

Requirement Process


Fall 2013

Myah Snowden

My name is Myah Snowden. I am from Woodbridge, Virginia. My hobbies are shopping, spending time with friends, playing lacrosse, cheerleading, baking, and traveling. In high school I was a member of the International Studies program. Being in the program gave me the opportunity to host students from Europe and Japan as well as travel to Europe (England, France, Italy, and Germany) as an exchange student. I have also traveled to The Bahamas and Jamaica for mission trips with my church. Being internationally involved throughout high school led me to choose International Studies as my major. As a freshmen I hope to gain more opportunities to study abroad .With a degree in International Studies I hope to work for the American Embassy in Italy or in England. Being a member of the Global Ambassador program has allowed me to be active in the international student community, as well as increase my cultural awareness. I plan to do great things with the Global Ambassador program.

Desiree Arriola

"Hello, Monarch family! My name is Desiree Arriola, and I'm a fourth year majoring in Asian Studies with a double minor in French and International Business. I was born and grew up in the Philippines but emigrated to the US when I was 8 years old. I've also studied abroad in Seoul and Paris and just recently, interned this summer in Shanghai, so friends, when it comes to being an international student in the US and abroad, I know how you feel! My goal is to fill my passport with stamps before it expires and to learn as many languages as I can (right now, I "know" 5! Guess which ones!).

Whether you need help around ODU, want a travel buddy to go explore beyond ODU, or even if you just want someone to hang out with, I'm your gal~! From OIR and the global ambassadors, welcome to Monarch Nation!"

Mabel Annobil

Hello everyone! My name is Mabel Annobil, and I am an international student from Ghana currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. I believe whole heartedly in community building and the beautiful, cultural diversity that is prominent at ODU. In the words of Mahatma Ghandi, "No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive." As a student representative from my country and as a present ambassador, I hope to share my experiences as I gain invaluable leadership and team building skills. My current hobbies include singing, blogging, piano, tennis, and in the future I plan to be part of a venture that will strive to promote art and culture in various ways. So far my journey in the Unites States of America has been more than a memorable one, and with a spirit of adventure, I anticipate the next chapters to be written!

Abdul Naseer Faheem

Hi everyone! I am Abdul Naseer Faheem from Afghanistan. I did my undergraduate in English literature and linguistics in Afghanistan. Now I am a graduate student of Applied Linguistics at Old Dominion University with a focus on Teaching English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL). I also work at the English Language Center at ODU as a practicum teacher. I have worked for different national and international organizations and I have experience of working with different types people.

I enjoy helping others; as a result, I joined the Global Ambassador team this semester to help international students have a wonderful experience here at ODU. I am also interested in learning from other people, their culture, and values. I believe that exchanging information can prevent us from misunderstandings and will lead us towards a better future.

Tuan Luc

Hi everybody! I am Tuan Anh Luc, a graduate student from Vietnam. I am pursuing a Master's Degree in International Studies at the Graduate Program in International Studies (GPIS) at ODU. I have not had the chance to visit every country, but luckily almost every continent. Such experiences help me understand how diverse and enormous the world is and also the limitation of my knowledge. I cannot remember how many times I told myself, "I wish I would know this before." However, at least there is high a possibility that I will not make the same mistake again in a similar situation.

The belief that the world will be better off if people from all corners of the world understand each other and my aspiration to share and learn more from the diverse ODU community have encouraged me to apply to become a global ambassador. I am looking forward to serving you all and also enriching my knowledge about the world.

Fall 2012

J.D. Ritenburg Country: USA

My name is J.D. Ritenburg, I am a sophomore majoring in History w/ licensure in Education, at the moment. I am married to a wonderful woman named Elle, and I have a 6 year old son named Noah and I love both of them with all of my heart. Serving in the financial world (Real Estate) for the last 7 years and in the military (USAF) for the 6 years previous to that I have learned that life is what you make of it. There is a joy in service and serving people is what I get excited about. Let's make our time here at ODU great together by bringing an enthusiastic attitude and helping each other and encouraging each other
to persevere through all the challenges until we achieve our goals!

Justin Hogan Country: USA

Hi! I'm Justin and I am a junior at Old Dominion working towards a BA with a double major in English (Linguistics) and Spanish. I grew up in the Ocean View area of Norfolk and love everything about Virginia, especially the beaches! My passion is travel: I participated in an ODU Summer Exchange in Germany and also backpacked with friends in South America. I am very excited to be a Global Ambassador and welcome international Monarchs to their new home in Norfolk. I hope to become a better global citizen by learning all about the unique cultural traits these students bring to campus. I look forward to making great
new friends from all over the world and helping them become successful
students at Old Dominion.

Jordan Bakos Country: USA

There were many things I was interested in by the time I reached senior level in high school, but was unable to identify one particular major I wanted to pursue. Thus, I attended a junior college where I could investigate what was right for me. In doing so, I ended up knowing that I was going to major in Occupational technology with an emphasis in IT consulting and graduated Magna cum Laude and as a member in Phi Theta Kappa. I then transferred to ODU where I entered as a member of Tau Sigma National Honor Society. My hobbies/sports have always been in tennis where I became a rated player by third grade and chess where I represented Virginia in the State and National play-offs by fourth grade.

I am excited about being a Global Ambassador for ODU as it will allow more exposure to diversity and leadership skills. At this point, with only a few weeks into this program I am excited at the many opportunities that being a GA will afford me while on my journey here at ODU.

Hana Abate Country: Ethiopia/USA

I am a senior here at Old Dominion University, and double majoring in International Studies and Political Science. I was born in Ethiopia and grew up here in the States. I am an Habesha of Wollo decent and I can speak Amharic. My aspirations as a Global Ambassador are to make the transition to a new environment as smooth as possible, have a strong lasting relationship between the international students, and to help establish a connection between American students and International
students. In return I am looking forward to learning about the different
cultures out there.

Sarah Bouazzaoui Country: Morocco

Economics My name is Sarah Bouazzaoui. I was born and raised in Morocco, I got my master's in Economic Law and I am currently a graduate student in Economics at ODU.
I am glad to be a part of the Global Ambassadors Program and happy to serve the international student community! I believe that this program will not only be beneficial to me but also to all students allowing us to share knowledge and information.

Simone Reynolds Country: United States

Becoming an ODU Global Ambassador has commissioned me into becoming a leader. This experience has enabled me to gain public speaking skills, international insights, and cross-cultural perspectives on other collegiate environments within the region through student leadership conferences and workshops.

Spring 2012

Aaron Richards Country: USA

The best part of the Global Ambassador program for me was being introduced to the International Student Advisory Board and becoming more familiar with the services and programs offered by the Office of Intercultural Relations. Not only did I get a
more comprehensive view of what these organizations do and the
tremendous resources they provide, but I also made some excellent
contacts, and, yes, friends! : )

Simone Reynolds Country: United States

Becoming an ODU Global Ambassador has commissioned me into becoming a leader. This experience has enabled me to gain public speaking skills, international insights, and cross-cultural perspectives on other collegiate environments within the region through student leadership conferences and workshops.

Shiwei Jiang Country: China

My name is Shiwei Jiang. I am a doctoral student in International Studies at ODU. I am proud of being a Global Ambassador, as it allows me to serve as a bridge between Internationals and Americans. ODU has a wonderful International community. As a Global Ambassador, I am responsible for promoting the
participation and connection of both International Students and Americans.
I am also open to any questions from new coming International students.
I bet you will have an unforgettable experience here at ODU, Norfolk.

Wilhelmina Agyapong Country: West Africa Ghana

The program helped me to overcome certain fears that I had. Through the ODU Global Ambassadors program, I developed leadership skills along with helping international students find an easier time settling into the ODU community socially, and academically. It was truly a rewarding experience and i would certainly do it all over again if I had the chance to.

Ziniya Zahedi Country: Bangladesh

Global Ambassador Program is a great new and innovative program at Old Dominion University. I have learned a lot throughout the whole semester and it helped me overcome my shortcomings. We have shared our ideas to help each other and worked for the establishment of the program. Most importantly, I have made some great friends not only from USA but also from around the globe. I believe that was the true mission of the Global Ambassador Program.

Josh Denkler Country: USA

My time with the ODU Global Ambassadors program was full of amazing cultural experiences :) and the added bonus of making great friends for life. I encourage everyone to join and/or support the Global Ambassadors, then go see the world!