Carolina Together Ambassador Program (CTA)
- Rick Wernoski, Senior Vice Provost for Business Operations
- Nicholas Sengstaken, Program Coordinator for Operational Excellence and Strategic Initiatives
- Amie Sigmann, Carolina Together Ambassador Program Coordinator
The Carolina Together Ambassador Program (CTA) exists to provide a dynamic community solution to evolving operational needs on campus related to COVID-19 and Carolina’s return to a more normal campus experience. CTA supports the university’s response to COVID-19 by combining customer service, event management, and building operations support which promotes positive health behaviors and the COVID-19 Community Standards. Most importantly, ambassadors help to make Carolina’s campus friendlier, safer, easier to navigate, and a bit more like “home.”
The CTA Program previously operated during the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters to help students navigate changes to campus operations – such as new classroom locations, one-way doors, and a modified instructional schedule – and promote COVID-19 health and safety protocols. You may have seen Ambassadors in green polos or yellow at some building entrances and exits.
In the Fall 2021 semester, the CTA program continually adapted to reflect new and ever-changing campus operations and needs. For example, CTAs played a pivotal role in welcoming the Carolina community back to campus by supporting University-sponsored events such as the Week of Welcome, Smallfest, and more. CTAs also supported numerous other university events, including music department performances, ceremonies at Memorial Hall, 2020 Commencement, and VIP seating locations for football games. As students settled into their classes and daily schedules, CTA’s primary locations evolved to include mobile shifts to help de-densify campus dining hall locations, to promote mask-wearing in indoor spaces such as the Carolina Union, and provide a sense of togetherness and welcoming for campus visitors at the Old Well.
During every week of the semester, ambassadors handed out Golden Tickets to individuals they saw properly wearing their mask or engaging in other positive health or community building behaviors. In Fall 2021, the Golden Ticket program also expanded to incentivize COVID-19 vaccination and thank UNC faculty and staff for receiving the vaccine and reporting their status to the university. After activating their Golden Ticket, ticket-holders became eligible to win a variety of prizes, including UNC Student Store gift cards, Carolina Dining Services meal vouchers, or other special university experiences.
Beginning in Spring 2022, Carolina Together Ambassadors adopted a more targeted, efficient program model. In this model, work-study ambassadors are assigned specifically to units across campus that requested the assistance of a CTA in ongoing projects that promote community building and the health and well-being of campus. As of early January, student CTAs are assigned in 7 unique campus units, including the Asymptomatic Student Union testing site location, the Student Affairs Heels Care Network Initiative, Accessibility and Resource Services, the Facilities and Technology Group and more! We are excited to see what the CTAs will accomplish this year, and know that no matter their location, CTAs will help to make a changing Carolina campus friendlier, safer, easier to navigate, and a bit more like “home.”