Undergraduate Admissions welcomes first Equity Ambassadors

Undergraduate Admissions welcomes first Equity Ambassadors

New peer advisors are set to engage and support applicants and prospective students.

By Dave Rideout

February 10, 2021


Photo collage of the five Equity Ambassadors.
Queen's first five Equity Ambassadors (clockwise from top-left): Tamjid Bari, Tatiana Yunadi, Kidus Leul, Fahmida Hossain, and Astrid Louise.

Prospective Queen’s University students can now connect directly with upper-year peers to learn about student life from a shared perspective. The first five Equity Ambassadors have joined the Undergraduate Admissions team and will be connecting about their lived experiences as BIPOC members of the campus community, and supporting applicants from equity-seeking backgrounds through the admissions process, as well as their transition to first-year studies.

The first ambassadors represent a range of academic disciplines in arts and science, and recruitment continues for ambassadors from all faculties and schools. Ambassadors are current students who have demonstrated leadership and a commitment to advancing equity, diversity, inclusion and Indigeneity (EDII), and are excited to be engaging with prospective students and their families about what Queen’s has to offer.

“A sense of community always seems to be a major factor in a student’s deliberations when they’re deciding which university to attend – it surely was for me!” says Fahmida Hossain, Equity Ambassador and fourth-year Life Sciences major. “Knowing in advance that there are current students from equity-seeking groups attending Queen’s, and also being able to hear and talk about our experiences here, helps establish this sense. My hope is that by having these conversations, our unique approaches to finding our way at Queen’s will help prospective students from equity-seeking groups navigate their admissions experience.”

Hossain is joined by fellow ambassadors, Astrid Louise Nandoh, a second-year Political Science major; Kidus Leul, a second-year Economics major; Tamjid Bari, a fourth-year Global Development Studies major; and Tatiana Yunadi, a fourth-year Sociology major. Many of the ambassadors are engaged in EDII-advancing Queen’s clubs, as well as with community organizations, and both Canadian and international students are represented within the group.

“Our first Equity Ambassadors are enthusiastic, young leaders with experience and insight I know will be invaluable to applicants,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. “Prospective students and their families want to know they are choosing a university where they will thrive academically and feel welcomed and supported. Speaking with current students – their peers – is a fantastic way for them to have their questions answered and be able to access support as they navigate the university experience.”

On Feb. 11, the campus community is invited to join a Meet the Equity Ambassadors webinar during which the group will talk about their own experiences, as well as choosing programs, financial aid options, campus supports, and more.

Following the Principal's Declaration of Commitment to Address Systemic Racism, the Equity Ambassadors initiative was announced in November 2020 as one of a number of strategies being implemented within Queen’s undergraduate admissions and recruitment processes to help eliminate potential barriers for BIPOC applicants.

Among the other strategies are new merit- and needs-based financial awards to provide assistance for applicants who identify as underrepresented, as well as a new Equity Admission Self-Identification form designed to support the university in gathering and understanding new data about campus diversity. Already, over 5,000 applicants have chosen to complete the new form—information that will benefit the Equity Ambassadors as they begin connecting with prospective students.

Equity Ambassadors are paid experiential learning positions, and include comprehensive training and support. Students can learn more about the initiative and how to apply to become an ambassador by logging into the Career Services MyCareer website with their NetID.