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Cheri Ghan creates scholarship fund for student ambassadors

March 3, 2021

March 3, 2021

If you’re struggling to believe in yourself, you always have one person in your corner: Cheri Ghan. 

A former journalist, Ghan came to Mizzou in 2006. Originally hired to manage communication for the School of Health Professions, she now leads student recruitment efforts for the school. This position connects her with prospective Mizzou Health Professions students and their families.

“I see the post-secondary education decision as one of the most important decisions students make in their lives,” Ghan said. “I take a lot of pride in helping students and their families understand what their options are.”

Mentoring student ambassadors

Above: Cheri Ghan sits with 2017 graduating student ambassadors, from left: Bryce Bogart, Abbey Verslues Twehaus, Patricia DeCastro, Paulina Owens, Olivia Langley and Bethany Berhorst. Top: Student ambassadors accompanied Ghan to Chicago for an Admissions event in 2019.

As the school’s student recruitment coordinator, Ghan directly oversees the Health Professions student ambassadors, who help with recruitment events and represent the school at various activities.

Ghan says one of the most rewarding parts of her job is being able to watch students grow. She meets many student ambassadors while they are still in the process of searching for colleges, and she stays in touch with many former students after they graduate.

The ability to be connected with the student ambassadors is an incredible gift, Ghan said. “It is nothing short of a blessing.”

Alleviating a burden

Inspired by the work of her student ambassadors, Ghan and her husband, Brent, established a scholarship fund for them in 2019.

“We want to do what we can to encourage students and to help them out financially,” said Ghan, who is not involved with the scholarship selection process.

As a first-generation college student, Ghan said she didn’t have the adequate counseling in high school to help prepare her for the experience. Even as a Pell Grant recipient, Ghan worked 50-hour weeks in order to pay for her education.

“I know how it feels to struggle to find support and funding for college,” Ghan said. “It feels good to help alleviate that burden for a student.” 

Paying it forward

Aléja Bates is the most recent ambassador to receive the scholarship. A junior from Peoria, Illinois, Bates is majoring in Health Sciences with an emphasis in Rehabilitation Sciences. She hopes to pursue a career in physical therapy upon graduating.

Bates said she has learned a lot from watching how Ghan interacts with prospective students and their families.

“Cheri is warm and inviting while being incredibly knowledgeable about all things Health Professions,” Bates said. “Her enthusiasm for learning inspires everyone.”  

The opportunity provided by Ghan and her husband is invaluable, Bates said. “Without scholarships, I would not be at Mizzou.”

Ghan gushes about her current ambassadors, including Bates. “Their knowledge of and passion for the school are great ways to connect with incoming students.”

Ghan values learning and education, and she believes in paying it forward any way possible. She hopes to stay involved with the student ambassadors for as long as she’s able whether that be through financial means or by offering support and guidance.

“I want to be engaged with this school for some time — it’s just a lot of fun,” Ghan said.

The Health Professions Student Ambassador Scholarship supports a student ambassador on their way to becoming a health professional to care for people and communities. Anyone can be a donor — even small donations each month can make a significant difference in the lives of students. Learn more about giving to support School of Health Professions students and faculty. 

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