Laurier Alumni’s Global Ambassador Program provides an opportunity for members of the Laurier community to stay connected, no matter where they call home. Sixty passionate Laurier global ambassadors currently serve around the world, acting as local contacts and ambassadors for the university in their geographic regions.
Global ambassadors have helped fellow Golden Hawks navigate the rental market, find a career, or even find the best coffee shop in their new city. They also serve to connect the university community and expand networks; foster relationships among alumni; encourage professional development opportunities; and assist with the recruitment of prospective students. These ambassadors volunteer their time and energy to share their Laurier experience, hosting events, networking and so much more.
“Laurier’s global ambassadors are passionate about our growing community and are eager to build community in their home locations,” says Brittany Russell, development officer and Global Ambassador Program coordinator with Laurier Alumni.
Allen Adamusiak moved to Taiwan two years after graduating from Laurier and has called Shanghai, China home for a decade. Adamusiak, who works in the real estate industry, wanted to become a global ambassador to give back to the alumni community in China.
“Volunteering and giving back to the community have always come to mind when I think about Laurier spirit,” says Adamusiak. “I do my best to help add to the community here by sitting on a few committees and helping in the organization of social events, sports leagues and charity fundraisers.”
Since 2016, Adamusiak has helped grow a small network of 12 Laurier alumni to more than 160 active alumni in Shanghai. “We've helped each other find work, find suitable employees and help fulfill business needs,” he says.
“But I like it best when I see couples meet and get married. I keep suggesting the name Wilfrid, hoping one of the couples does, too.”
Adamusiak says the Global Ambassador Program allows the expat community in Shanghai to connect, make friends and feel comfortable. He says the program also helps Chinese nationals who have returned after graduation from Laurier with connections in a very competitive job market.
“Connecting with my fellow alumni always makes for an easy conversation and always brings up great memories,” says Adamusiak. “Everyone always has so many great memories to share and it's always great hearing them.”
While studying science at Laurier, Aldaine Hunt found a passion for travelling, which is what took him to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
“I was inspired to see the world,” Hunt says. “It’s always hot in Dubai and bustling with nightlife and excitement.”
Hunt, a teacher, has spent the past three years in Dubai. He discovered Laurier’s Global Ambassador Program through a college and university fair his school was hosting.
“I was ecstatic that Laurier had representation,” says Hunt. “I was directing my students to ask questions and sharing stories of my fond memories at Laurier, hoping I would convince them to consider Laurier as their first choice.”
Hunt joined the Global Ambassador Program to keep in touch with fellow alumni and friends and he’s passionate about connecting with other Laurier graduates. He recently played a pivotal role on a Laurier Alumni panel focused on working abroad, sharing insights into opportunities and tips for alumni considering a move.
Hunt is currently planning a move to Seoul, South Korea, where he plans to stay involved with Laurier.
“Getting my education at Laurier opened the world to me,” says Hunt. “As I grow, change and evolve, I’ll always be purple and gold.”
Claudia Hape moved from Germany to the United States as an exchange student before studying economics and Spanish at Western University and completing her MBA at Laurier. A job opportunity took Hape back to Germany, where she’s been working in marketing ever since.
Hape wanted to stay in touch with her alma mater. She noticed there was a blank spot on the map for representation of Laurier Alumni in Germany.
“My objectives were to make Laurier more visible, to interact with other alumni and share experiences, to support newcomers from Laurier and be a touch point for the university here,” says Hape.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to gather in person these last few years, Hape has been able to host a meet up with other alumni to visit a Canadian art exhibition and participate in virtual events, including the Homecoming Hawk Walk. She’s also been active in recommending Laurier to potential students as an international studies option.
“The Global Ambassador Program keeps Laurier in the forefront of the minds of alumni,” says Hape. “It supports alumni when trying to expand their businesses or jobs internationally. The program has proven to be very supportive and personable.”
Even in the little town of Skagway, Alaska, population 1,240, a Golden Hawk is there to foster Laurier community spirit and pride. Rachel Dewan moved to the small town when her husband started a job with the National Park Service.
“What started out as a fun adventure has evolved into a wonderful home as we have felt so welcomed by the amazing community here in Skagway,” says Dewan.
Dewan worked as an on-campus student ambassador for three years as an Archaeology student and loved it. When she discovered the Global Ambassador Program, she was excited to continue her involvement with Laurier.
“My Laurier experience really shaped my future career in archaeology and the network that surrounds me, so I am always eager to connect with others who share similar Laurier experiences,” says Dewan. “Attending Laurier was a very special time in my life, and it is always so wonderful to speak with others who feel the same way and who have taken those experiences to diverse places and done unique things.”
Dewan has served as a global ambassador for just under a year and has participated in several virtual events. She always represents her alma mater by wearing Laurier gear while out hiking and camping. And even though she lives in the U.S., Dewan is just 30 minutes from the Canadian border.
“A good friend of mine from Laurier’s Archaeology program is in Whitehorse and we are in closer proximity now than we would have been in our hometowns in Ontario,” says Dewan.
The pair have been able to connect in person, talk about their archaeological careers and reflect on their Laurier experiences.
“Laurier alumni are everywhere,” says Dewan.
In the 10 years Dimitri Dimopoulos worked toward his degree, he stayed involved at Laurier, working with student employees and volunteers at the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union. After graduation, Dimopoulos headed west to Calgary, where he works in municipal government.
His involvement with Laurier never ended.
“With Laurier being such a big part of my life, I wanted to retain that with my cross-country move,” says Dimopoulos.
With 600 alumni in Calgary, it’s easy to stay connected with fellow Golden Hawks. The largest event year after year is virtual Homecoming, where alumni gather to live-stream the Homecoming football game at a local restaurant and brewery co-owned by two Laurier alumni, Tyler Potter (BSc ’09) and Sarah Goertzen (BSc ’08).
Dimopoulos has hosted other engaging alumni events in the Calgary region, including a cooking class and cross-country skiing event with Olympian John Morris (BA ’03), an after-work social and professional photo night with Jessica Kostka (BA ’06), and a networking event facilitated by James Finnigan (BBA ’00).
“Being able to hold these events with Laurier alumni in Calgary has reiterated to me that regardless of graduation year, professional backgrounds and potential differing opinions, we all truly are ‘Laurier for life,’ connecting and bonding around our love and memories of Laurier,” says Dimopoulos.
Get involved! To learn more about Laurier Alumni’s Global Ambassador Program, contact Brittany Russell, development officer and Global Ambassador Program coordinator, at email@example.com.