Rosybell Maria, a recent graduate of the School of Diplomacy and
International Relations, realized her dream of helping to bridge gaps in
human rights when she acted as an American Ambassador at the 2015 World
Expo in Milan, Italy.
The World Expo is a large, public exhibition that allows countries
to come together to discuss issues that affect the international
community and explore how those issues are being individually and
collectively addressed. Participating countries sponsor exhibits that
demonstrate how they are utilizing innovative technology and sustainable
mechanisms to feed growing populations. Exhibits often celebrate the
diverse cultures and traditions of participating countries.
The theme of the 2015 World Expo, which ran from May through
October, was “Expo Milan: Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” Over 140
countries presented and shared their humanitarian-focused innovations.
“Working as a Student Ambassador has been an incredible experience,”
Maria said. “It showed me first-hand how collaboration can counteract
the pressing humanitarian issues faced around the world.”
As a student ambassador, Maria provided onsite resources to over 6
million guests who visited the United States Pavilion and led
specialized tours in multiple languages, including Spanish, French, and
Arabic, for V.I.Ps and dignitaries. In her free time, she traveled to
France and Germany, taking full advantage of the opportunity to immerse
herself in European culture.
Maria explained that, “Using the tools and skills I gained as a
Diplomacy student enabled me to overcome cultural or language barriers,
and foster cross-cultural connections, enhancing my role as a student
Maria first learned about the opportunity to be a World Expo
ambassador through her connections as a Benjamin Gilman Scholar. At
Seton Hall, she received assistance with the highly competitive
application process from Dr. Catherine Ruby, Director of Internships and
Career Development in the School of Diplomacy, and Maria Bouzas,
Director of International Programs. Rosybell competed with over 1,000
American college students who applied to be student ambassadors and was
chosen as one of the 120 ambassadors from across the country.
When asked about her favorite moment as a Student Ambassador, Maria
referenced the opportunity she had to meet Secretary of State John
Kerry, calling it “the highlight of [her] entire experience.”
“His acknowledgment of the work that my fellow Student Ambassadors
and I were doing with the USA Pavilion was extremely inspirational and
further validated my passion for Diplomacy and International Relations,”
Maria expressed gratitude for the skills she gained from her
experience as a Student Ambassador stating, “I realized that working at
the World Expo and representing the United States of America Pavilion as
a Student Ambassador would build upon the knowledge and skillset I need
to proactively problem-solve in my future career.”
Since participating in the World Expo, Maria has applied for a Fulbright Scholarship. She hopes to eventually teach English in the Middle East or North Africa. Maria is also working toward her ultimate goal of becoming a Foreign Service Officer, where she hopes to one day contribute to the implementation of U.S. foreign policy and the advancement of the country’s interests abroad.