President Gene Smith and Student Ambassadors
Student Resources

Student Ambassador Program

The BCC students serving as Student Ambassadors for 2022-2023 are pursuing a variety of degree programs and career goals. Their time outside of the classroom is filled with extracurricular interests ranging from playing for BCC Athletics and singing in church choirs to disc golfing and establishing new clubs on campus. Our Student Ambassadors are employees of local businesses, aspiring musicians, loving parents, as well as dedicated BCC students. They are a microcosm of the great determination, creativity, and diversity of our entire student body.

Student Ambassador and Scholar Spotlights

Andrew Burgmuller

After nine years serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, BCC student Andrew Burgmuller found himself on the BCC campus for orientation after enrolling in his first college classes. Also present were two BCC employees and veteran mentors who approached Andrew, offering help and guidance. Like Andrew, they understood how it felt transitioning from the military to civilian life and wanted him to know that he wasn’t alone. 

Two years later, Andrew has stepped into their shoes, helping student veterans succeed in every way possible at BCC and beyond. “There are so many resources for veterans at BCC,” said Andrew. “I had no idea about them until I arrived on campus. I was familiar with the GI Bill but soon learned that much more is available. I’m grateful for the help I received and enjoy paying it forward to those who come after me.”

While beginning college in your thirties might intimidate some, Andrew dove right in and hasn’t looked back. He took advantage of resources like free tutoring and, before long, became a tutor himself. He applied for scholarships created for student veterans and received several awards. Andrew also applied for the federal work-study program and is now employed part-time at BCC in The Learning Center (TLC) while he attends school. 

“The Foundation is a wonderful resource run by people who care, ” Andrew said. “I’ve been fortunate to benefit from scholarships funded by organizations like the Committee to Honor America’s Veterans and Calabash Elks Lodge. It’s humbling to see people who have given so much of themselves as part of the military still giving to the next generation. They make me want to do the same. There’s nothing quite like helping a student who enters TLC with an ashen face leave with a smile.”

Student veterans can find Andrew in TLC or contact him via email at

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson exemplifies what’s possible when a student takes advantage of all that BCC offers. He is an excellent student and public speaker and serves as an ambassador and member of the Student Government Association. Andrew is among the first to volunteer when help is needed and is incredibly proud to have met North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.

Andrew is also the first student to graduate as part of the new NC State University Community College Collaboration (C3) program with BCC. C3 is a dual-admission program for high-achieving community college students who plan to continue their education at NC State after completing their associate degree. This fall, Andrew plans to do just that as he pursues his bachelor’s degree in Political Science.

Lucas Merriam

Student Ambassador Lucas Merriam arrived at BCC last year having already earned two Bachelor’s degrees, one in Parks & Recreation Management and another in the German Language. His return to college was as surprising to him as it may seem to us. “After earning my degrees at ECU, I thought school was behind me,” said Lucas. “I was ready to find a job and have a wonderful life.”

As is the case for so many of us so often, things turned out differently than he planned. That’s okay, though, because what’s ahead for Lucas will be even better and get him closer to achieving his goal of making a difference in the world.

“I’ve always wanted to be a Park Ranger,” said Lucas. “I love the outdoors and want to help restore ecosystems. After working in my field for a few years, I felt stuck and unable to do what I was most passionate about. At the proverbial fork in the road, I took the one that led me home to Ocean Isle Beach and eventually to BCC.”

Today, Lucas is thriving. He is pursuing an Associate degree in Engineering and plans to transfer to North Carolina State University in the fall of 2024 to complete his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. He works as a Math and Science tutor in BCC’s The Learning Center and serves as a Student Ambassador.

“I’m on the right path now, and I look forward to making a difference in the world by living my passion for nature and the environment,” said Lucas. “I’m loving my time at BCC and grateful for the support all around me, especially from the Foundation. The scholarships I’ve received are making my dream a reality. Being an Ambassador is my way of giving back, saying thank you, and inspiring others to find their way.”

President Gene Smith and Student Ambassadors

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