For Florida Polytechnic University freshman Benjamin Dinal, leadership is rooted in a true desire to serve others. It’s a desire he knows well.
“I have always been a leader in my community,” said Dinal, a computer science major. “Whether it was becoming freshman representative for the Student Government Association or volunteering for those less fortunate, I am always involved within my community.”
Dinal was the low brass section leader in his high school marching band. He helped run student clubs, including the first Straight-Gay Alliance to provide a safe space for everyone in the school. For years, he volunteered to provide cooked meals for the elderly in his hometown of The Villages, Florida. Now, at Florida Poly, he’s found another way to lead and serve.
“My commitment to being a leader and my love for interacting with others motivated me to apply to become a Presidential Ambassador,” he said.
Florida Poly’s Presidential Ambassadors are students with proven leadership abilities who are appointed by the University President to serve as official hosts at designated events. They are selected by President Randy K. Avent each year for their academic standing, leadership skills, citizenship, and service activities.
Dinal is one of six new Presidential Ambassadors selected for the Class of 2020-21. The new Presidential Ambassadors are:
- Ahna Cecil ‘23, Computer Engineering, Pensacola, Florida
- Andre Archer ‘22, Mechanical Engineering, Pensacola, Florida
- Benjamin Dinal ‘23, Computer Science, The Villages, Florida
- Hailey Skoglund ‘22, Business Analytics, Spring Hill, Florida
- Magalee Delgado ‘23, Business Analytics, Lake Alfred, Florida
- Mykell Spencer ‘23, Computer Science, Port Charlotte, Florida
The returning Presidential Ambassadors are:
- Megan Morano ‘21, Chair, Business Analytics, Clearwater, Florida
- Brandon Nickas ‘21, Vice Chair, Computer Science, Jacksonville Florida
- Ritchel Calvaire ‘22, Secretary, Computer Science, North Miami, Florida
- Dylan Amisano ‘22, Mechanical Engineering, Miami, Florida
- Isabel Zimmerman ‘21, Data Analytics, Moline, Illinois
- Lilian Frometa ’22, Electrical Engineering, Miami, Florida
“Being in the program allows us to give back in ways we could not anywhere else,” said Megan Morano, Presidential Ambassador chair. “Making connections with donors and being inspired to help improve areas in our university is something we all will cherish wherever we may go.”
The Presidential Ambassador program is a one-of-a-kind development opportunity for its members. The students get the chance to network with important University constituents and enhance their public relations, event planning, and professional etiquette skills while engaging in service to the Florida Poly community.
For Brandon Nickas, Presidential Ambassador vice chair, he says the program has helped him break out of his shell.
“I am quite introverted, and the idea of leading a tour and being the face for the school made me very anxious,” said Nickas, a computer science major. “After being in the program for a year, I can be in front of people and throw out an elevator speech at a moment’s notice with full confidence I will do well.”
Presidential Ambassadors serve voluntarily for one academic year and program applications are available each January. The Presidential Ambassadors Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from the Office of President, Academic Affairs, and Advancement, review the applications, conduct initial interviews, and make recommendations to the president, who then makes the final selection of students to serve as ambassadors.
Director of Communications