Wikipedia Regional Ambassadors/CA Trainings

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Logistics: Tips and Tricks


Congratulations, you're planning your first Campus Ambassador training! We've decided to share with you a few logistical items to refer to and keep in mind as a help to you in planning your event:

  • Keep everything close: having a university as your location is preferred in our experience because most have onsite catering, are near public transportation and relatively inexpensive hotels. By keeping your logistics in one central location your costs are lower and your travel time is minimized.
    • Example: For the Northeast Regional Training held in January of this year we had an opportunity to hold training in New York itself, but moved the training to the City University of New York in Long Island. The room they had on campus worked great and they had all the logistics nearby: onsite catering, close proximity to public transportation and the hotel was within walking distance and inexpensive. By moving the training just outside of the major city of New York, we eliminated the need for navigating the city traffic and avoided the inherent higher costs of food and hotel in that metro area. Whenever you can, have everything in one small area to minimize cost and travel time.
  • Look to the past: if training has taken place in your region before, look to past training contacts to help you out at that location again. By doing that the folks that helped out before will already know what you need, and things will be put together more smoothly.
  • Watch out for Murphy!: "Murphy's Law: If something can go wrong, it will". Be prepared and have a Plan B for all of your logistics. Have a back up contact for you, and all of the vendor phone numbers in both of your hands.
  • Gather All Info In One Place: Gather and have all of your data on your trainings in one spot and refer to it as needed. Make sure your back up person has it also.
  • Explain the Way: The What, When, Where, Why, How: Be prepared with a "logistics email" to ALL ATTENDEES one week prior to the training. This should include what the training is for, the dates, where all locations that will be used are located using maps or addresses provide that in the all important "logistics email". If you have gone through a training with WMF you have received one of these in the past.

Campus Ambassador Training Logistics And Reimbursement Policy


To help clarify what Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) will pay for in regards to the training logistics, we have created a quick reimbursement guide below.

Generally, Wikimedia Foundation will pay for all the items listed below. Please note that we will arrange and pay for Flights, Amtrak trains, hotels, breakfast and lunch (at the training venue) at the event. All other items listed below will need to be paid for by the Campus Ambassador trainee and be reimbursed after the event -- once all receipts and expense forms have been submitted and approved for payment.

NON-LOCAL Ambassador Travel Reimbursements/Arrangements:

Wikimedia Foundation will arrange and pay for:

  • Flights or train
  • (3) nights at the hotel

If you take a plane or train: You (Campus Ambassador Trainee) will need to arrange, pay and be reimbursed for:

  • Public transportation from the airport/train station to the hotel
  • Public transportation from the hotel to the training venue if required
  • Public transportation from the training venue to the hotel if required
  • Public transportation to the airport/train station from the hotel

If you take a bus: You (The Campus Ambassador) will arrange, pay for and be reimbursed for:

  • Ambassadors taking the bus will need to arrange and pay for the tickets themselves, then submit on an expense form
  • Public transportation from the bus station to the hotel
  • Public transportation from the hotel to the training venue if required
  • Public transportation from the training venue to the hotel if required
  • Public transportation to the bus station from the hotel

If you are driving:

  • We will pay for actual gas and toll receipts to and from your home to the training venue and back home.
  • Parking at the hotel, and training venue (if no public transportation is available between the hotel and the training venue)

LOCAL Ambassador Travel Reimbursements/Arrangements:

  • Public Transportation to and from the hotel to the training venue (subway, city or campus buses)

1) Mishelle Gonzales from WMF will send a Wikimedia Foundation EXPENSE FORM and completion instructions to all individuals prior to the training.
2) To be reimbursed, WE NEED YOUR RECEIPTS. All expenses must be submitted on the approved form with original receipts according to Wikimedia Foundation accounting policies/procedures that Mishelle will outline in her email.
3) Submit your expense reports within 1 week after completion of the training.

Room Cost at the Venue:

  • Wikimedia Foundation will pay for one room only up to $250/day at the venue (which needs to include a projector and wireless internet access).


  • WMF won't be covering dinner expenses for these trainings, but will be paying for the breakfast and lunch meals both days at the venue for the attendees.

Internet Access

  • WMF won't be covering internet access at the hotel for your rooms.

Individual Training Details


We request that all information for each regions be returned to Mishelle no later than Wednesday, August 10th. The previous deadline of "two weeks prior to the training date" was not correct. The new deadline provides sufficient time to ticket flights (with more options and costs), book hotels, send training materials, and arrange for food at each training venue. Thanks!

New Haven, CT (Need Catering delivery location and Training Materials sent)


Will also include trainees from Massachusetts.

Dates: Sept. 11, 2011

Venue: Yale University Woolsey Hall 100 Wall St, Room 001 New Haven, CT 06511

Trainers: PJ Tabit and Cheryl Moy

RAs Responsible: Max Klein

New York, NY


Will also include trainees from the rest of New York and New Jersey.

Dates: August 9, 2011 and others

Venue: New Work City and others

Trainers: Richard Knipel

RAs Responsible: Richard Knipel

Washington, DC (Training Complete/Expenses Pending)


Will also include trainees from the rest of Virginia and Maryland.

Dates: August 13 & 14 (and possibly another training in early September)

Venue: CNDLS, Georgetown University

Trainers: Rob Pongsajapan, Alex Stinson

RAs Responsible: Rob Pongsajapan, Alex Stinson

Toronto, Canada (Training Complete/Expenses Pending)


Will also include trainees from Des Moines, IA (we're doing this in Canada because we'll also have 7 CA's and 3 classes in Toronto in the fall!)

Dates: August 17-18

Venue: University of Toronto, School of Information Studies, Room 728

Trainers: Annie Lin + Frank Schulenburg

RAs Responsible: (Annie Lin/Wikimedia Staff) + Bryan Cox

Statesboro, GA (Logistics Complete)


Will also include trainees from the rest of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, and Alabama

Dates: September 19 & 20

Venue:Georgia Southern University

Trainers: Tony Garrett + Rod Dunican

RAs Responsible: Dylan Staley (+ Annie Lin)

Baton Rouge, LA (Training Complete/Expenses Pending)


Will also include trainees from the rest of Louisiana, as well as Texas and Oklahoma City (OK)

Dates: August 18 & 19

Venue: Louisiana State University, Coates Hall, Room 202

Trainers: Dylan Staley and Rebecca Burdette

RAs Responsible: Dylan Staley, Bryan Cox

Seattle, WA (Training Complete/Expenses Pending)


Will also include trainees from the rest of Washington and Idaho.


  • August 19th and 20th

Venue: Allegro Espresso Bar 4214 University Way NE (between 42nd St & 43rd St) Seattle, WA 98105


  • Tom Cloyd
  • Rod Dunican

RAs Responsible: Tom Cloyd (

Complete training information summary page - BRIEFING SHEET - Aug. 19-20 Campus Ambassador training

San Francisco, CA (Logistics Complete)


Will also include trainees from the rest of California and Utah

Dates: August 27-28, starting at 9am

Venue: Wikimedia Foundation Office, 6th Floor, R66 Conference Room

Trainers: Derrick, probably also Matt, probably also members of WMF staff

RAs Responsible: Matt Senate, Derrick Coetzee

Bloomington, IN (Training Complete/Expenses Pending)


Region 5 "Great Lakes" training

Dates: Aug 20-21

Venue: Computer lab in Wells Library, IU Bloomington

Trainers: Chanitra, Saeed Moaddeli

RAs Responsible: Chanitra Bishop, Rob Schnautz



Here are some FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) related to coordinating Campus Ambassador trainings! If you have other questions not answered here, please contact Bryan Cox, our Lead Training Coordinator for this round of trainings. Thanks everyone!

Why do Campus Ambassadors need to go through training?


Professors depend on our program to provide solid, reliable support for their class on Wikipedia-related issues. We've promised them that, and we should deliver to the fullest extent possible (there will always be problems and setbacks, but our goal is to minimize them and effectively resolve the ones that do arise). Campus Ambassadors are a crucial piece of the support infrastructure, so we want to make sure they're high-quality, reliable, knowledgeable people who are friendly and good at teaching. You all already did a great job screening out people who match these criteria, but the training is what will solidify this and make sure all Campus Ambassadors understand what is expected of them. The training will teach them teaching and public speaking skills that are essential to their role. The training is also a great opportunity for people to bond and built rapport, and understand that they're part of a larger community!

What does a typical Campus Ambassador training look like?


This is the agenda that many of our January 2011 Campus Ambassador trainings worked off of. This should give you a pretty good sense of how these trainings usually work - a lot of emphasis on public speaking, practice teaching about Wikipedia, and setting expectations/norms. Not all trainings will look alike, of course - the trainers adapt them to fit the needs of each training - but many follow this fairly closely. We'll provide all CA trainers with training materials and resources like this agenda.

Does the Regional Ambassador need to be present at the training(s) that s/he coordinates?


Not at all, but you're certainly welcome to. Also, if you're leading a training, of course you need to be there. =)

What about CAs who cannot make it to their closest training, due to time conflicts?


We expect some CAs to not be able to make it to the training, and that's okay. We'll figure out ways to train them a bit later, maybe virtually, maybe in-person... One thing we will definitely NOT be doing is bringing CAs to a training that is not their closest training.

What about CAs who come on board after next Friday, August 5th?


As I mentioned above, they will not be trained at this round of CA trainings. Similar to my answer to the previous question, we'll figure out ways to train these latecomers a bit later, maybe virtually, maybe in-person.

Re: CAs who come on board after Aug. 5th


Explanation: It doesn't seem right to say that there is a hard cut-off Aug. 5th, for 3 reasons:

  • We need every CA we can get (at least in my region 9, and it looks like a number of others are in the same situation).
  • Some schools don't start classes until late September, so we have plenty of time to keep recruiting (theoretically up to 55 days or so), as long as we have a training still pending...
  • And we do - there's one tentatively set for the second weekend of Sept., in New Haven, Ct. I keep hearing that the Foundation will fly people to trainings, period. Why isn't this training a solution for late-comers? I think it is.

Q: Is not the New Haven training our solution for CA prospects who want to come aboard after Aug 5th? TomCloyd (talk) 17:22, 4 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]

A: The August 5th deadline is important for two things: 1) allows WMF to manage the overall logistics for all nine training locations (e.g. food, hotels, materials); 2) provides WMF the ability to manage the budget for all training locations accurately and in a timely manner. Obviously, we cannot exceed our budget and each location has multiple variables that we have to account for.

To my knowledge, the New Haven training in September is on the same deadline as everyone else.

Qualifying for airfare


Explanation. The email about this spoke of a 2-hour driving time, then a 4-hour driving time as the upper limit for trainees, before the Foundation would pay for airfare.

Q: Which is it? TomCloyd (talk) 19:16, 1 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]

A: The two hours was just an example of an unreasonable request for a flight. Wikimedia recommends approximately a 4-hour cut-off. But, this is not a hard limit. Use your judgment but don't make promises one way or the other if it's close. Remember to fill out this form for trainees' needs - borderline cases can be taken care of via conversation if there are any issues. Manumitany (talk) 19:31, 1 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Doing the training ourselves


Explanation. The email about this invited us to volunteer to do the trainings ourselves. I see many advantages to this, but I've also read of a 2-day training-for-trainers, given to CAs, to qualify them as trainers. I haven't had that training (but would be willing to run the training for my CAs if I can have access to the syllabus and materials in advance.

Q: Do we, in fact, have to have that 2-day training to qualify as trainers? If so, how is it to be done before the August training? If not, how soon can I (and interested other RAs have the syllabus and training materials? TomCloyd (talk) 19:16, 1 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]

A: Previous train-the-trainer sessions have been 2-days themselves, and have been in person. However, we have a tighter schedule now, therefore we'll be doing these online and one-to-one. It will not take the full two days. These will be arranged once we know who the trainers are, so remember to check the PDF with personal contact information for already-trained trainers that can train your trainees - it's best to have at least 2 trainers there, so one experienced one + one trainee trainer to train trainees would be great. But again, set up who the trainers are and then specific plans will be made regarding training the trainers. Manumitany (talk) 19:39, 1 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Paying for training venues


This has never, to my knowledge, been addressed, so:

Q: Since sites for two day trainings aren't usually free, may we assume the W.Foundation will pick up the tab? If so, what do we need to know before we go shopping? I'm thinking that universities and municipalities (city governments), and possibly churches are the best places to find venues. And, we need to do it fast! Recommendations, please? TomCloyd (talk) 02:10, 3 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]

A: Our experience is that room cost vary and range from "totally free" to $300/day. Wikimedia Foundation will pay for one room only up to $250/day (which needs to include a projector and wireless internet access).


Please email Bryan Cox and/or post it here! If he is unsure about how to answer a question, he'll speak with Annie about it.