Foundation Ambassadors

 

Foundation Student Ambassador Program

The Foundation Board recognized its ten outstanding past chairs by establishing the UVU Foundation Ambassador Endowed Scholarship. The recipients of this scholarship become UVU Foundation Student Ambassadors, charged with representing the institution at key events throughout the year. The scholarship is awarded to ten UVU students, one in the name of each board chair to honor the chairs' dedication and loyalty to the University.

Mission

The UVU Foundation Student Ambassador program aims to support the work of the UVU Foundation and the Division of Institutional Advancement through student ambassadorship-select students serving as the face of UVU and its students and telling the story of the University.

Vision

The program assembles a group of student leaders dedicated to UVU and its mission and eager to develop the skills for ambassadorship, to represent UVU, and to assist its administration. As a result of their participation, these students will become better prepared to serve in their professions and as leaders in their communities.

Objective

The program will establish and maintain a specially trained group of UVU students equipped to effectively represent the University in a strategic and uniformly branded way, with a goal of engaging current and prospective donors, friends, alumni, and VIPs. Ambassadorship will provide an experiential opportunity for students and will support UVU's mission of engaged learning.

Purposes

  • Promote UVU's mission, academic excellence, and core themes.
  • Provide a positive link to students for donors and alumni at development, alumni, and presidential events and at the University in general. Assist during key campus events in any capacity necessary.
  • Represent the Foundation in philanthropic and fundraising efforts.
  • Promote the UVU Foundation Board, the Alumni Association Board, and other UVU advisory boards as needed.
  • Conduct campus tours for VIP visitors, current and prospective donors, and returning alumni.
  • Greet and welcome visitors to campus, specifically in the Alumni House.
  • Promote volunteer participation or attendance at UVU activities as directed.

Become a Foundation Ambassador

2020-21 Foundation Ambassadors

Mark Brown

Mark Brown

Junior, Finance
Hometown: Provo, UT

Growing up while moving around Europe, Mark knew from a young age that he wanted to play Division I soccer in the United States and also serve a religious mission for his church. But when it came time to apply to colleges and universities, he felt that UVU was the only school that supported him in both of those goals. “The sense of care and commitment I felt from the coaches and administration early on turned out to be representative of almost all of the faculty and staff I have had the chance to interact with during my time here as a student,” he says.

Mark says that what he loves best about traveling around the country for UVU soccer games is that it gives him the opportunity to tell people what a great institution UVU is.

To help prepare for a career in finance, Mark has interned at local valuation, investment banking, and private equity firms and has served as the director of finance for the UVU Wolverine Fund. He founded UVU’s Investment Banking Club to help other students learn about markets, financial concepts, and different career paths in the financial realm. He is also a Wolverine ambassador, men’s soccer representative on the UVU Student Athlete Advisory Committee, program director for the UVU Service Council, and mentor for the UVU Freshman Initiation Team.

After graduation, Mark aims to earn an M.B.A and work for a private equity company that specializes in growth equity. He hopes to be a successful employee, husband, father, and friend to the people in his life and to consistently give to the community around him.

Sam Choi

Sam Choi

Senior, Business Management
Hometown: Hong Kong

When Sam Choi was thinking of coming to the United States for higher education, he applied to many schools, but he chose UVU because it was growing fast and looked like it would only continue to become stronger. He didn’t know much about Utah, but photos of the campus looked beautiful.

As a UVU student, Sam realized that his school was turning into something he hadn’t expected — not only was it becoming the largest university in Utah, it was becoming his home. “The professors, the staff, the advisors, everyone on campus has made UVU a home to me. It’s a place I’m proud to be,” he says. “UVU has helped me to become who I am today by welcoming me with open arms and by being there when I needed help, both personally and academically. It is a place where I can develop my very best self.”

After he completes his bachelor’s degree, Sam plans to earn an M.B.A., and he’d love to be able to do that at UVU. “My hope is that I will be able to use what I have learned from UVU in my life, whether it is at a workplace, in my community, or at home. I hope to help others to find a place they are proud to call home, a place where they feel they are needed and belong. UVU has shown me that this is possible and has inspired me to do the same for others.”

Reuben Holdaway

Reuben Holdaway

Senior, Communications/Computer Science
Hometown: Pleasant Grove, UT

When Reuben Holdaway was completing high school, college was the last thing on his mind. “Four hours before the graduation ceremony, I wasn’t even supposed to graduate. My career plan was to get a full-time job with anyone who would hire me, and that was it,” he says. But he quickly discovered that most employers would only take him seriously if he had a degree. So he decided to go to college, quickly get an associate degree, then reapply for jobs.

During his first year at UVU, Reuben took an entrepreneurship class, where successful founders made presentations. "That class helped me realize my passion for analyzing and solving business problems and helping startups grow. After that semester, I wanted to further my education," he says. Because of that class, Reuben and another student created a hospitality-focused staffing agency that went on to partner with Qualtrics, The Utah Marriage Commission, and Rent Event Utah. He says, "These opportunities would have just been dreams if it had not been for UVU’s emphasis on academic engagement with real-life experience.

"The best part about the UVU experience is its focus on engaged learning. Every single class at UVU is intentional about implementing at least one activity, project, or assignment in its curriculum that combines academic knowledge with professional experience," says Reuben. UVU helped him find his passion for entrepreneurship, and he hopes to continue pursuing that passion throughout his career. "Whether that’s in a growing startup, in venture capital, or in management consulting, I hope to find my place in the startup ecosystem."

Over the years, Reuben has had the opportunity to intern for Hadley Impact Consulting, Album VC, and Portfolio Advisors. Currently, as an investment associate on the UVU Wolverine Fund, he gets to continue learning and applying business analysis and strategy. On campus he has been an assistant program director for the Wolverine Ambassador program, has represented the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in the UVUSA Senate, and was part of the Center for the Advancement of Leadership.

Victoria Hooper

Victoria Hooper

Senior, Exercise Science/Biology
Hometown: Great Falls, VA

Tori Hooper started her college career as a varsity basketball player at a university in Virginia. After serving a religious mission, she needed to return home for family reasons. During that time, she attended a community college in Virginia. She loved the college’s focus on student success and the involvement of her professors, but she wanted a bachelor’s degree. That eventually led her to Utah Valley University.

"I wanted to go to a school that was invested in me," says Tori. "I wanted a four-year school that had the same values. I wanted to come to UVU, because I wanted the opportunity to be involved in many facets of campus life and academics. At UVU everyone and anyone can get involved."

At UVU, Tori has served as a residential community leader, planning events and encouraging students to continue their education at UVU. She has also served as an assistant in the Student Government and Clubs Office and as a student researcher in biology and exercise science. She has been the program director and basketball coach for the UVU Special Olympics and has been involved with the Center for Social Impact and the Pre-med Association.

Tori plans to attend medical school after graduation and dreams of specializing in dermatology and one day owning her own practice.

Lauren James

Lauren James

Junior, Marketing
Hometown: Flagstaff, AZ

When applying to colleges and universities, Lauren James had originally planned to major in nursing. Touring all the nursing programs in Utah, she fell in love with the UVU campus and everyone on it. “It stood out from all the other schools, and I knew in my gut that this was the place for me,” she says. “There is something here for everyone.”

Lauren is currently president of the Student Alumni Association and has participated in the LEAD program and athletics. She is eager to use her interpersonal communication skills, determination, persistence, and loyalty as a Foundation ambassador.

In the future, Lauren would like to remain involved with UVU in any way she can and hopes to work with a philanthropic organization that benefits her community.

Andrew Jensen

Andrew Jensen

Junior, National Security Studies/Computer Science
Hometown: Gilbert, AZ

Andrew Jensen chose UVU because of its engaged learning opportunities. “I was able to engage with stakeholders at the United Nations within my first semester of starting at UVU,” he says. “I believe that opportunities outside of tests and quizzes in the classroom can help students learn and grow in unique ways. I love UVU and its commitment to engaged learning!”

At UVU Andrew has engaged in numerous activities. He has been a team lead and student leadership taskforce representative for the Residential Community Leadership Program, a team lead for the LEAD program, a member of the National Security Studies Program Leadership Committee, a senior student representative for the Utah International Mountain Forum, an honors ambassador for the UVU Honors Program, a senior student representative for UVUN (which organizes and promotes activities related to the United Nations on campus), a program director for the Center for Social Impact, a Presidential Intern, and a UVU Innovation Catalyst.

Beyond UVU, Andrew was a member of the Youth Subcommittee for the 68th United Nations Civil Society conference that took place in Utah in 2019. He helped to design activities for the students who traveled to Utah from across the world and helped to draft the 2019 Civil Society Youth Climate Compact.

“In my current studies, I promote innovation by utilizing design thinking, data analytics, and systems analysis to foster cross-campus interdisciplinary learning,” says Andrew. He is passionate about innovation, sustainability, and development and hopes to pursue a cross-disciplinary graduate degree in computer engineering, interdisciplinary data analytics, and business administration with the intent of working in the technology and nonprofit sectors. “I want to use technology to benefit people’s lives!”

Kadee Jones

Kadee Jones

Senior, Communication
Hometown: Lehi, UT

Kadee Jones applied to several colleges, but only UVU offered her a full-year tuition waiver. “Since that point, UVU has continually invested in me and my education, providing me with so many opportunities and experiences,” she says.

Kadee has been a Presidential Intern for Vice President Cameron Martin, a legislative intern for Representative Jefferson Moss, an Innovation Fellow, and an honors student. She’s also Miss UVU 2020. “These experiences have allowed me to grow and have given me the adequate experience to figure out who it is that I want to be and what I would like to do in my future,” she says.

As a triplet, Kadee has always worked to establish her individuality. In 2017, she was crowned Miss Lehi, which meant that she represented Lehi City for a year. To increase youth leadership, she instituted the Know Greater Heroes program in several elementary schools across the state and presented to more than 12,000 students. She represented the city in various council meetings and donated hundreds of hours of service. “I spoke to diverse audiences on various issues, acting as the face of a growing community,” she says. “I visited all of the local schools and shared my unique message of embracing individuality.”

After graduating, Kadee plans to earn a master’s degree in public administration and a Ph.D. in leadership and policy. She hopes to work in strategic communication, either for a company creating meaningful campaigns or in government, helping citizens understand policy and its impact. She also hopes to own a fashion line one day, finish a series of children’s books, and run for political office.

Noah Martinez

Noah Martinez

Senior, Human Resource Management
Hometown: Orem, UT

Noah Martinez chose UVU because it offered him a scholarship. After returning from a religious mission, he had very little money and was extremely grateful that the university was willing to invest in him. During his freshman year, he discovered that UVU’s dedication to student success went far beyond just financial aid. He says, “I love that UVU opens its doors to all and seeks to provide opportunities for its students to succeed. I have had so many unique and engaging opportunities to learn and grow that I will be forever grateful for.

“I strongly believe that UVU champions limitless potential by providing a multitude of opportunities for students to excel, thrive, and most importantly grow in the way they want to grow. If a student wants to succeed at UVU, then UVU will help them to succeed.”

Beyond the classroom, Noah has served as the executive vice president, marketing vice president, and head of marketing for the Philanthropy Council of the Student Alumni Association. He has been an orientation leader and team lead for First-Year Experience, a member of UVU’s Society for Human Resource Management chapter, and a Presidential Intern.

After graduating, Noah hopes to pursue a career in human resources with the potential of teaching as an adjunct professor to help future students succeed.

Oumar Traore

Oumar Traore

Junior, Information Technology
Hometown: Orem, UT

Growing up Mali in West Africa, Oumar Traore was told he would not be able to get an education. But he beat the odds and came to the United States for higher education. After learning English, he applied to UVU because of its diversity, student success services, and wide variety of programs.

“It was hard to leave my family and friends behind, but UVU became a new family for me,” says Oumar. “It is a place where every student is valued and treated equally. I fell in love with UVU and decided to take advantage of the many scholarship and leadership opportunities.”

Oumar is a mentor in the International Student Council, helping students transition to life in the U.S. and organizing the annual International Festival. As an information technology major, he has been an IT ambassador, reaching out to high school students to introduce them to UVU. He has also been vice president of the African Student Union and a Wolverine ambassador. He says that UVU’s small class sizes give students opportunities for individualized attention from professors, which helps them learn about scholarships, internships, and job openings.

Oumar plans to get a master’s degree in cybersecurity at UVU, then he hopes to return to Mali and open a school of computer science for promising students who don’t have the means to go abroad for education. “My country is poor. Hopefully I will be able to help many people by doing that, because, as Nelson Mandela said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’”