A is for Ambassador: Students serve as role models at WKU

WKU Spirit Masters Alvin Farmer, Daniel Williams, Alex Kimura, Kaylee Egerer and Sarah Lowe catch up before their Spirit Masters meeting began this week on the third floor of Downing University Center. Spirit Masters are a group of leaders at WKU who volunteer on campus, give tours to potential students and help out with many other campus activities.

Zirconia Alleyne

Senior Alvin Farmer, of Memphis, Tenn., recalled meeting a Spirit Master during his first tour of WKU.

The Spirit Master, Reginald Lane, talked to Farmer about not only the transition to a campus much smaller than his hometown, but the importance of getting involved in his new environment.

“Being a Spirit Master sounded like a prestigious honor that I wanted to be a part of,” Farmer said.

Farmer was soon hired as a peer advisor in the Academic Advising and Retention Center, joined Phi Sigma Pi honors fraternity. Lastly, he applied to become a Spirit Master, a position that makes him an ambassador for WKU.

As an ambassador, Farmer said he strives to hold all the values of the school along with his own.

He said he is always conscious of the level of esteem and responsibility that come with the title.

“I have to be on my P’s and Q’s,” Farmer said. “Even when I’m not in my uniform or on an assignment, I feel that I have to set an example for younger classmen.”

Spirit Masters give tours to future students, volunteer at events on and off campus and talk to potential donors about student life.

“There are glamorous and unglamorous parts,” said Burlington senior Zack Ryle. “We could be holding a parking spot in the rain at a regents meeting or attending the president’s gala.”

As vice-chair, Ryle filters emails filled with assignments from the president’s office. Spirit Masters take assignments based on their availability to fulfill their required service hours, 60 in the fall and 40 in the spring.

Ryle said this part of the honor can be difficult since he and others are involved in activities outside of being an ambassador.

“It definitely takes some time management,” he said.

Louisville senior Alex Kimura is a member of Alpha Delta Pi, president of the non-profit organization Feel Good and organized several bone marrow drives on campus.

Kimura said she became a Spirit Master, because she fell in love with WKU and wanted to give back to her second home.

“It’s a big responsibility, but good practice for figuring out balance in the real world,” she said.

Becoming a Spirit Master helped Farmer hone his time management skills.

“I was horrible my first two years about managing my time,” he said. “I always carry my calendar with me, so I know when I have to work or when I can squeeze in a nap.”

Ryle said he and fellow Spirit Masters must enjoy serving or they won’t be a successful representative for the university. This means being willing to sacrifice down time.

He is also an anchor for Extra Point and News Channel 12, a member of Phi Gamma Delta and manages two jobs.

“You’re doing something out of your heart and not for your own gain,” he said. “I’m just another student trying to help out.”