The American Indian Center’s (AIC) Ambassador Program is designed to provide students working at the Center the skills, opportunities, and mentoring necessary to be successful in their personal development while at Carolina.

The Ambassador’s Program has allowed the Center to grow its staff by hiring student ambassadors to help carry out the mission of the Center.  Our Ambassadors are hardworking, respectful, and work collaboratively with the Center staff, campus partners, and Native communities across the state.

In general, Ambassadors are expected to:

  • Promote Center programs and initiatives through social media and marketing
  • Assist in event planning, preparation, and clean-up for Center activities
  • Provide general administrative support
  • Update the website and other social media outlets
  • Manage communications and documents in the electronic filing system
  • Maintain a welcoming environment for all our Center’s guests and attendees

This year, the AIC will host three Ambassadors.

Meet our former AIC Ambassadors and Interns!

Shayna Jacobs is a Health Career Connection summer intern for the American Indian Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a member of the Lumbee Tribe and is from Sanford, NC. Ms. Jacobs is currently a sophomore at UNC-Chapel Hill, pursuing a degree in Biology on the Pre-Med track. Ever since she was a young girl, she was fascinated by healthcare professions and wanted to be able to make a beneficial impact within her community. She previously served as a Hospice Care volunteer, providing care and comfort to those in need. Through the American Indian Center and HCC, Shayna is looking forward to the opportunity to visit numerous Tribal Nations, engage with tribal community members and gain guidance towards future life goals. In her spare time, she enjoys getting out on the soccer field to kick a ball around.

Taylor Wrencher is currently a Health Career Connection intern for the American Indian Center (AIC) at UNC Chapel Hill. Originally from Pinehurst, NC, Taylor is a member of the Lumbee Tribe. She is currently a senior at UNC Chapel Hill double majoring in Psychology and Sociology. Upon graduation in May 2016, Taylor plans on joining the Peace Corps to gain experience in serving abroad. Upon her return, she plans to obtain Masters degrees in Social Work and Public Health Administration. Medical School will be her next focus in order to pursue a career in Psychiatry. After graduating from high school in 2012, she began her academic studies at UNC through the Summer Bridge Program, which helps incoming first-year students transition to college. Throughout her college career, Taylor served as a Research Ambassador at the AIC compiling a list of internships and scholarships for Native American students. She also developed a report identifying where the UNC American Indian Center stands compared to other Indian Centers from the top ten universities in the U.S. She then volunteered at Moore Free Health Clinic in Southern Pines, NC. Taylor has been working as a Research Assistant in UNC Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry with the Mother Infant Research Lab over the past two years. While there, she has gained experience with data collection, data management, and implementing the Trier Social Stressor Task (TSST). Taylor studied abroad in Nijmegen, Netherlands during her junior year. This experience afforded her the opportunity to serve as a Study Abroad Peer Advisor. The Health Career Connection internship at the AIC will allow Taylor to gain more knowledge in serving different tribal communities, networking, mentorship, and making long-lasting relationships with the AIC staff. She is looking forward to these new experiences, which will support her future endeavors.

Harley D. Locklear serves as the Health Careers Connection Public Health Intern at the American Indian Center. He helps to facilitate Healthy Native North Carolinians and offers support in other facets in the office. A member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and originally from Pembroke, NC, he is currently pursuing a degree in American Indian Studies and Exercise and Sports Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His involvement in the Native community on campus has led to him serving as the President of Phi Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc., and the Vice President of the Carolina Indian Circle. He also sings with Unheard Voices. Over the course of his time at UNC, Harley has come to consider the Center his second home. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree, he hopes to enter a health related program that will foster his goals of depleting the many health disparities faced by Native people in Indian Country.

Airianne Posey, Piscataway Tribe, is from Temple Hills, Maryland. She is currently a first semester senior here at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is majoring in Sociology. Airianne is an Ambassador at the American Indian Center. When asked about opportunities through the American Indian Center, Airianne shared that as an Ambassador, she has appreciated getting the chance to travel across North Carolina and meet leaders of all kinds in Native communities, such as elected tribal representatives, elders and other active grassroots leaders. This has helped to expand her community and network, especially as a student coming from out-of-state, from Maryland. Airianne also shared that the professional development at the Center has helped to improve her communication skills and comfort level with public speaking. Upon graduation in December 2014, Airianne hopes to attend graduate school for Public Health.

Brittany Danielle Hunt is from the Lumbee Tribe of Robeson County, North Carolina. Born in Lumberton, NC, she received her B.A. from Duke University in 2012 and is currently a Masters of Social Work student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She is also an MSW intern at the American Indian Center, and has been working there since August of 2013. Brittany likes the welcoming environment of the Center and enjoys working with the staff there and interacting with Native students. Upon graduation, she hopes to continue her work with Native communities through promoting higher learning among Indian youth and through participating in initiatives that educate the public on Native American issues.

Chelsea Kay Barnes is a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. Born in Fayetteville, NC, she is currently studying Political Science and Interpersonal Communications at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a member of Honors Carolina and also serves as the president of the Carolina Indian Circle on campus and holds multiple positions within the Alpha Chapter of Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Inc. She has served as a Student Engagement Ambassador at the American Indian Center since August 2013. Chelsea enjoys using her position through the Center to connect with the campus community and getting to know leaders at the AIC on a personal level. Upon graduating, she hopes to attend law school and learn more about the federal recognition process or work within private practice.

My name is Jessica Oxendine and I am Lumbee and Haliwa-Saponi. I am a senior psychology major and currently serve as a Student Ambassador at the American Indian Center. I serve as Powwow Chair and Recruitment & Retention Chair for the Carolina Indian Circle. I also hold the Vice President position for Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Inc.  I have been working at the American Indian Center since the fall of 2013 and have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. My favorite part about working at the American Indian Center is interacting with all the students that stop by.  I have also enjoyed learning about how I can positively impact Native American communities from Amy, Randi, and Christina. After graduation, I plan to further my education through graduate school.

My name is Kayshel Lee Payette Trudell. I am Menominee and Oneida Indian, but my tribal affiliation is with the Menominee Nation of Wisconsin. I am currently a sophomore here at UNC and will graduate on Mother’s Day, 2016. I recently declared Communications Studies as my major in the concentration of Interpersonal and Organizational Communications, with a minor in Aerospace Studies. I, along with the majority of my fellow Tar Heels, am very active and involved on campus. During my freshman year, I was a rower for the Carolina Women’s Novice Crew team and I worked as the Marketing Ambassador for, what has become my “home away from home,” the American Indian Center. This year, I attained employment with the Department of Housing and Residential Education as a Residential Advisor (RA) for the on campus community of Granville Towers. I am also a cadet at Detachment 590, here at Carolina, in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC). This year my position at our Detachment is the Alumni Affairs Flight Commander. I also have a bi-weekly alternating position within my flight, Alpha Flight. The Carolina Indian Circle is one of the foremost campus organizations that I am involved in, as the Historian for the club. During my second year here at UNC I was able to reapply for the Marketing Ambassador position at the American Indian Center and was rehired. I am so grateful for the Center and do not know what I would do without it, both as my work and as my home. I have loved every moment of being involved with the Center and have learned valuable life skills, while being surrounded by the most supporting and loving community I could have ever hoped to find. I plan to remain involved with the Center for the remainder of my time here at UNC and hopefully for life. After graduation on May 11th, 2016, my ambition is to commission as a Second Lieutenant Pilot in the United States Air Force.