Student ambassadors partner with Alumni Association, Foundation to help fellow students

Funds raised through sale of special stocking caps will aid Student Emergency Fund; new ambassadors named
UW-Stout Ambassador Willa Rodencal models one of the Stout Impact Project stocking caps that are being sold to raise money for the Student Emergency Fund. /Chris Cooper photo
November 16, 2021

A new University of Wisconsin-Stout Alumni Association and Stout University Foundation partnership with the Stout Ambassadors is designed to help build a culture of philanthropy on campus.

The Stout Impact Project this week started selling to students 300 unisex Carhartt-style black stocking caps with a leather “S” logo. The caps sell for $20, with the proceeds going to the Student Emergency Fund, said Jennie Smith, alumni and donor relations coordinator.

“It is a peer-to-peer fundraising project,” Smith said, noting the stocking caps came from Fleet Feet in Menomonie. The leather logo was designed by UW-Stout’s Marketing Communications.

The Stout Ambassadors determined what would be sold and helped determine where the funds raised should go this year. If all the caps are sold, $2,500 will be raised for the Student Emergency Fund.

The caps will be sold online the first week and then at various on-campus events throughout November, Smith said.

Jennie Smith photo
Jennie Smith photo / UW-Stout photo

“We want to help start the peer-to-peer conversation,” Smith said. “It is about raising money for a cause on campus and raising awareness about that cause. Students should know the Student Emergency Fund is there for them and how to access it to get the help they need.”

The fund was created to assist students faced with difficult decisions and challenges based on unexpected financial demands. Emergencies may include an accident, illness, death of a family member, fire damage, temporary housing needs or some other unexpected extenuating circumstance causing financial hardship. It is assumed that students seeking funding have exhausted other resources for financial aid.

Students who benefit must be enrolled at least half time, experience some form of unexpected financial hardship and provide documentation. Awards will typically not exceed $500.

The plan is to continue the Stout Impact Project in the future and pick different sale items and causes to fund.

Stout Ambassadors named

Eight students, including five seniors, have been named ambassadors for the 2021-22 academic year at UW-Stout.

Ben Larson photo
Ben Larson photo / Photo courtesy Ben Larson

The Stout Ambassadors program, in its sixth year, gives students opportunities to represent the student body and engage with campus leadership, alumni and corporations through a variety of special events and opportunities.

Ambassador Ben Larson said he learned about the program from his supply chain program director.

“I wanted to experience the value that the club has to offer with its connection to alumni and networking as well as the advantages professionally it offers,” Larson said. “I am looking forward to networking with alumni and creating a unique edge professionally in the business world.”

The ambassadors, their hometowns, majors and years in school are:

Five of the eight were chosen for the second straight year: Rodencal, Webber, Weber, Wilmot, and Umarova.

The ambassadors program is a collaborative project with the Involvement Center and the Alumni Association.

To become ambassadors, students had to fill out an application and be interviewed. Criteria for eligibility includes having a grade-point average of at least 3.0; taking at least six class credits; and being available to share their UW-Stout experience with alumni and prospective students. Applicants also must answer three essay questions and provide a resume.

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