Get to know our Engineering Ambassadors! They are a diverse group of passionate engineering students who collaborate to serve and promote the Department of Engineering. They foster intellectual curiosity on the JMU campus and beyond by engaging individuals of all ages in high-impact, hands-on experiences. They inspire the next generation of engineers to grow and learn by challenging themselves personally, academically, and professionally. 

Kelly Riggan
Kelly Riggan ('22)

Kelly became an EA because she wants to help prospective students better understand the program, what it offers, and help ease the pressure of college decision-making. In addition to the Ambassador Program, she is involved in the Society of Women Engineers, Madison Welders, Tri Delta Sorority, JMU ECO Club, and is a First-Year Orientation Guide. Her hobbies are arts and crafts, spending time outside, and thrift shopping. Kelly chose the Engineering Program because "it's a fun, supportive, and passionate program that gives its students the tools and opportunities to succeed as an engineer." 

How is JMU Engineering preparing you for your future?  JMU Engineering provides endless opportunities for projects, teamwork, innovation, and connections with professors. The diverse coursework gives me the confidence to pursue a wide variety of careers.

Advice for prospective students: Follow your heart and pursue what interests and challenges YOU! You can always change your mind, and we are here to help wherever you need it.

Lauren Dargan
Lauren Dargan ('22)

Lauren became an EA because she loves outreach and connecting STEM in the local community. She also belongs to University Innovative Fellows, University Program Board, and the Alternative Break Program. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys dancing, playing tennis, watching movies (Marvel!), and reading books. Lauren chose JMU Engineering so she can help others solve real-world problems. 

How is JMU Engineering preparing you for your future? Since the engineering program at JMU is general, I have been able to grow my skills within each engineering discipline, which is important for my career goals. I have already interned at U.S. Inspect, Dulles Engineers, and Kite Pharma

Advice for prospective students: It is okay to not be sure what area of engineering you want to pursue! College is all about exploration, so don't feel pressured to be confined in one space; take your time, it will be worth it!

Colby Schneider
Colby Schneider ('22)

The Engineering Ambassador Program played a big role in Colby’s decision to come to JMU." I want the opportunity to pay that forward and help other young students make their decision to become JMU Engineers.” In addition to being an EA, Colby is involved in the National Society of Leadership and Success, and Madison Welders. He loves playing basketball, going on hikes, bike riding, surfing, snowboarding, and downhill skating.

Colby chose JMU Engineering because of its exciting, hands-on, project-based curriculum and its young, energetic, and forward-thinking professors. He is currently interning with Chambers Theory where he uses his design and SolidWorks (CAD software) knowledge to research and develop the most climate-positive living complex using the latest in green technology and sustainable design.

How is JMU Engineering preparing you for your future? JMU Engineering has equipped me with the design knowledge, leadership experience, teaming experience, and the confidence to be an integral part of any engineering team.

Advice do you have for prospective students? If you like hands-on learning, thinking outside of the box, close relationships with your professors and classmates, and the platform and support to do whatever you put your mind to, JMU engineering is the program for you. You will get out of this program, what you put into it. The value gained from the projects you take part in will be based on the effort you put in with your team. Do not set limits for yourself, set ambitious goals and explore ways to reach them. It is okay to fail, this is the time to fail and learn and try again. The professors will be there to support, encourage, and answer questions for you along the way and the department will provide the resources. If you want to get the most out of the program, push yourself, push others, and strive to do things you didn't think were possible. That is where the most valuable education is gained!

Andrew Sklavounos
Andrew Sklavounos (’22)

Andrew chose to become an EA so he can show prospective students what a great opportunity it is to be a JMU engineering major. “This place is special, and I want to show others how great our program is.” Andrew is also an Intramurals Site Manager at UREC and is part of Madison Welders, the Student Officials Association, the National Society of Leadership and Success, and the Madison Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) - National Leadership Honor Society. He enjoys fishing, hiking, camping, playing pickup sports, watersports, and spending time with family and friends.

​He chose JMU Engineering because of how unique the program is. “No other program offers a hands-on, interpersonal, and interdisciplinary engineering degree like JMU Engineering does.”

How is JMU Engineering preparing you for your future? My two-year capstone project has allowed me to experience what it is like to be out in the work field, and this has helped prepare me for my future as an engineer. The interdisciplinary learning of various engineering disciplines has allowed me to gain a background in all types of engineering to allow me to carve my own path after JMU. Andrew interned for the Major Capital Projects Division of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey where he learned the process of construction project management from inception through project closeout.  He gained on-site experience by working on a major project at The World Trade Center “This was a great opportunity and it helped me discover that I have a passion for engineering and project management in the construction field.” 

Advice for prospective students? Do not be afraid to reach out of your comfort zone. You have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable and even though that may sound weird, it is very true. If you try new things, are curious, and work hard you can achieve anything you set your mind to!

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