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Meet the Team: Marketing Coordinator

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 26, 2018

Ariana Peña - Marketing Coordinator

 

Tell us about yourself:

 

I recently graduated Cum Laude from Saint Michael’s College in Burlington, Vermont where I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Media Studies, Journalism, & Digital Arts with a minor in Business Administration. During my time at St. Michael’s, I had the incredible opportunity to study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina for a full semester.While in Argentina, I witnessed firsthand the underrepresentation of ethnic-minority students such as myself in study abroad programs. As one of the few people of color enrolled in my study abroad program, I had difficulty navigating my identity and experiences as a Mexican-American woman studying abroad for the first time amongst a cohort of mostly white men and women. These experiences inspired me to dedicate my senior thesis to researching the historic underrepresentation and unequal access of study abroad opportunities for ethnic minority students. During this time, I also served as a study abroad ambassador during my final year of college, specifically targeting first-generation, ethnic-minority, and financially disadvantaged students. 

 

Why did you join Diversity Abroad?

 

In my role at Diversity Abroad, I am able to give back to the local and global community that inspired my career. I studied abroad because of scholarships that were awarded to me. Knowing that someone else invested in my future reminded me of the continued generosity (both tangible and intangible) that has been granted to me throughout my educational journey. We know that education is the gift that can’t be taken away, therefore the opportunity to provide students with resources to expand their knowledge and experiences in our globally interconnected classrooms is my way of “paying it forward”. Diversity Abroad allows me to do that in a very unique way.

 

Why did you join Diversity Abroad?


I believe every student should have access to the transformative power of receiving a global education. I joined Diversity Abroad because it is dedicated to providing students and professionals with the resources necessary to bridge the accessibility gap in international education and to make for a more inclusive environment. 


 

What do you do at Diversity Abroad?

 

As marketing coordinator at Diversity Abroad, I manage the daily editorial and promotional content for our student and professional audiences via diversityabroad.com, diversitynetwork.org, social media platforms, and email. I also assist in the planning and coordination of company events, including the Annual Diversity Abroad Conference.

 
 

Where do you see global education going in five years?

 

As our world continues to be more connected through technology, business, and social media, it will be more important than ever for young professionals to be able to communicate interculturally in order to compete in the 21st century global market. As a result, I believe education abroad will slowly become a standard for the educational and professional development of generations to come. Therefore, the work of organizations like Diversity Abroad and others in the field of international education will be crucial in shaping accessibility to global education programs. 

 

Tags:  Diversity Abroad Staff 

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Diversity Network Member Highlight: UC San Diego

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 22, 2018

Institution name

University of California, San Diego

 

Location

La Jolla, California

 

Institutional Profile

Large (over 15,000)

 

Why did your institution join the Diversity Abroad Network?

UC San Diego joined the DA Network primarily to be part of a larger network of global educators who value the scholarship, conversations, and actions that will lead us to mentoring and empowering a more diverse population of students from the United States studying abroad.

 

How long has your organization/institution been a member? 

Founding member of the Diversity Abroad Network.

 

What Diversity Network resource has been most useful for you and your colleagues in advancing diversity & inclusive excellence in global education? 

The AIDE Resource Library

 

How has membership with the Diversity Network helped your institution make global education more accessible to students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds?  

Membership with the Diversity Network has offered us tools, literature, and trainings that are unparalleled in global education, and perhaps even in higher education, with regard to accessibility.  All of our staff regularly use materials from the Diversity Network to advise students and we continue our own education regularly through the webinars (often free for members) and the annual conference.

 

Please describe any innovative initiatives related to diversity and inclusion in global education that your institution is currently undertaking.  

UC San Diego has been doing "mobile advising" in our Campus Community Centers for nearly two full academic years now.  Benefits have not only included our office seeing an increase of underrepresented students on campus coming into our office for advising, but we've also developed a tighter network of advocates on campus in the Center staff and a greater understanding of our programs and our mission to make study abroad accessible to all students on campus.

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Meet Angela Manginelli: Diversity Abroad Community Highlight

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Angela ManginelliAngela Manginelli
Director of Alumni & Diversity Initiatives
College Division
American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS Study Abroad)

Level of Experience: 10+ years

What does diversity & inclusive excellence mean to you in the context of your work?

For me, diversity and inclusive excellence means ensuring that I, and my organization, are doing everything possible to facilitate successful study abroad opportunities for students that, historically, have been underrepresented in education abroad. I serve as an advocate for inclusive practices for underrepresented students and encourage others to do the same. I also provide resources and connect individuals with others who have gone abroad from the same identity groups, so they can recognize that study abroad is an accessible and necessary opportunity for them. 

Please describe the factors that led you to pursue your current career track?

I studied abroad during my junior year of college through a faculty-led program in London. I struggled with the returnee experience and felt all my peers were happy to be back on campus, while I felt unresolved and anxious to return overseas. I stayed on at my university for a Master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education and during this time returned to London as the Graduate Assistant for the same program I did as an undergrad. I took what should have been a one-year Master’s and turned it into a 2.5-year program – spending 1.5 years of it abroad in the GA role. It was a tremendous learning experience and solidified my interest in working in international education.  

For the first six years I worked at AIFS, I was a Regional Director, so I visited a lot of different campuses and saw firsthand how students received the idea of going abroad. Some wanted to, but felt there were barriers that prohibited their participation. I worked with the schools in my regions to break down these perceived barriers and connected with different student organizations to ensure they knew about opportunities and funding available to them for studying abroad. 

In addition to my role at AIFS, I am also the Vice President and New Conference Liaison for Lessons From Abroad, a non-profit organization that hosts regional returnee conferences for students who have recently come back from an international experience. My experiences working with returnees ultimately allowed me to transition into my current role at AIFS, where I work with our alumni and was recently asked to lead our diversity and inclusion initiatives. I feel incredibly lucky that I can combine so many of my interests into my position and am excited to continue focusing on inclusion for underrepresented students and the returnee continuum. 

What aspects of your work are you most excited about?

I love that through my work I can try to make the study abroad experience better for students who are underrepresented in study abroad. Being able to develop policies that didn’t exist before and connect students with resources is incredibly rewarding. As well, my work with our Alumni Ambassadors allows me to help make the learning curve - from being a student to going into the professional world - more manageable. The program has monthly meetings, which focus on different areas of professional development, including how to craft resumes and cover letters, how to ace the interview and what to do once you get the job to be successful long-term in your career. It is an amazing feeling when former Ambassadors reach out and tell me that participating in the program helped them land a job or pursue opportunities abroad after graduating.  

Please describe any challenges you've encountered in relationship to your current role? What strategies have you employed to overcome them?

I think the biggest challenge is one that a lot of people in the field have, which is having more ideas than I have time to implement. Because my work encompasses both alumni programming and diversity initiatives, I am looking at study abroad as a continuum and working with my colleagues to decide how we can positively impact the student experience from the point of initial interest through while they are in-country and when they return to the US. To manage this, I’ve created a giant Excel sheet with all the ideas we have generated for making our programs more inclusive and have divided them into different phases. Some of the ideas we can implement immediately or soon and others are a part of our long-term strategic plan. This also helps me to measure progress and think about ways that I can weave the work I do with our alumni programs into the work I am doing with diversity and inclusion. 

As you reflect on different aspects of your career, what are you most proud of?

I am incredibly proud that NAFSA asked me to serve as a co-author on their publication for returnees, "Making Meaning of Education Abroad: A Journal for the Returnee Experience," which will be coming out in April 2018. As someone whose path into international education started with having a rough time on my own return, it’s exciting to see how far I’ve come and to think that I can help make the return a bit easier for others. Although my formal work with diversity and inclusion started more recently, I am proud of the changes I’ve facilitated at my organization and am hopeful that I will make additional positive changes, which will contribute to even better study abroad experiences for students of diverse backgrounds. 

What do you work toward in your free time?

My work with Lessons From Abroad has afforded me the opportunity to emcee and keynote 30 regional returnee conferences around the country, which has been an incredible experience. Based off those presentations, I am working towards giving a TED Talk someday. 

Recent Engagement with Diversity Abroad

Planning Committee Member: 3rd Annual Global Student Leadership Summit (2017)
Presenter: 4th Annual Global Student Leadership Summit (2018)
Other: I am the liaison to Diversity Abroad at AIFS and during fall 2017 helped complete a beta test of the DA AIDE Roadmap for providers.

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Meet Devin Walker: Diversity Abroad Community Highlight

Posted By Administration, Thursday, February 8, 2018

Devin Walker PhotoDevin Walker
Ph.D. Candidate, College of Education
University of Texas at Austin

Level of Experience: 4-10 years

What does diversity & inclusive excellence mean to you in the context of your work?

Diversity and inclusive excellence means that we are centering the needs of historically and continuously marginalized groups within our educational efforts. It is not enough to simply diversify the pool of study abroad participants, instead we must design study abroad programs that speak to these groups needs and desires. 

Please describe the factors that led you to pursue your current career track?

I studied abroad 3 times as an undergraduate and had life changing experiences. However, I realized that I was often one of few Black students on the trip. Not only did I see this as an issue of inequity for the students who weren't on the trip, but it also negatively impacted my experience. After working abroad for a few years, I made it a personal goal to develop programs that could help engage students of color in international education. I have had the unique opportunity to work with cutting edge programming with the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at UT-Austin over the last 5 years. Here, instead of trying to get students of color to join traditional trips, we develop trips based of off their desires and feedback.

What aspects of your work are you most excited about?

I am most excited about trying to extend the notion of inclusivity within international education to groups that are often over-looked, like Black student-athletes. Dominant narratives around this group suggests that they are living the dream as famous collegiate athletes, however, they are often denied some of the institutions most transformative learning opportunities like study abroad.

Please describe any challenges you've encountered in relationship to your current role? What strategies have you employed to overcome them?

There are always many challenges to the work to be done. If there are no challenges, then the work is probably feeding oppression rather than disrupting it. Student-athletes live a very controlled life due to the revenue they bring the institution, so attempting to navigate athletic department politics is always a struggle. However, I have realized that relationships go a long way. Once people trust you, they are more willing to hear you out because they understand you want to do whats best for the students. It is also important to help institutions recognize how they might also benefit from the work that is trying to be accomplished.

As you reflect on different aspects of your career, what are you most proud of?

I recently started a non-profit called the WorldWalker foundation that is focused on providing educational, programmatic and financial resources to help Black adolescents travel within the African diaspora. 

Do you have any heroes? Who are they and why?

My parents- when I think about the things that both of them went through, I am amazed that they were able to raise three successful men, who are genuinely good people. The sacrifices my parents made for my brothers and I fuel me to be selfless and work on behalf of others.

What do you work toward in your free time?

My non-profit, my health and becoming a better partner, family member and community member.

You're a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Sunset- it would be great if as they crayon became more and more used, the colors would fade into each other like a sunset, showing that everything is in the process of becoming.

Do you have a mentor? If so, please describe this mentorship relationship and how it has benefitted your work. 

Dr. Moore is one of my most influential mentors. He has not only provided me with a platform to do what I love, he demands that I be myself and do things the way I see fit. It's great to have a mentor who not only let's you be you, they encourage it.

Recent Engagement with Diversity Abroad

Member: Task Force on Male Students (2016 - 2017) 
Presenter: 4th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference
Award Recipient: Global Student Leadership Award - Graduate Student 

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Student Perspectives on the Global Student Leadership Summit (GSLS)

Posted By Trixie Cordova, Thursday, February 8, 2018

The 4th Annual Global Student Leadership Summit (GSLS) is being held on from April 7-10 in Miami, FL concurrently during the 6th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference. GSLS is an innovative and unique opportunity for students returning from global opportunities to gain leadership and professional development skills among a cohort of diverse young leaders from around the country.


We’ve written at length about the benefits of GSLS as a unique re-entry opportunity for diverse students who have recently been abroad. GSLS students have shared incredible insights with us following their experience at the conference; and you can read more about their experiences through their firsthand accounts here:


By sharing their feedback with us about GSLS, students have confirmed that GSLS is a much-needed space for first abroad students and global leaders. We’re excited to feature two student alumni who have shared with us exactly how GSLS has impacted them personally and professionally.


Amira Beasley, Miami University Graduate, GSLS 2016 Alumna

In May of 2015, I boarded a flight flying from Madrid, Spain to Cincinnati, Ohio. Although I had spent five months studying in Madrid, my semester abroad felt surreal. I was grateful that my family, friends, and study abroad advisor had helped me knock down the obstacles that came with being a first generation student of color studying abroad. While on the plane home, I promised myself that I would find a way to help other students like me study abroad.

 


 

As the questions from friends and family died down, I decided to get to work in fulfilling this mission, but I had no idea where to start. Outside of my pictures and passion for international education, I felt like I didn’t have the right tools or platform to work on my mission. That’s where GSLS came in.


GSLS built the foundation of my international education activism. It surrounded me with exceptionally bright students and educators from all around the country who were equally as passionate about international education as I was. The two things about the conference that created lasting memories for me were the amazing sessions and the amount of support I received while there.


The hardest part about attending GSLS was picking which sessions I wanted to attend. Each session was an opportunity to learn an essential skill to help me make sense of my time of abroad and learn how to share that experience with others.


In addition to getting the opportunity to attend some incredible sessions, my experience at GSLS was also characterized by the amount of support I received while there. I not only felt immensely supported by my peers, I also felt supported by the educators. During the student presentations, they picked our brains to see how they could better support diverse students like us in the future. This made me feel like I had a stake in future efforts of diversifying international education. This was key in making me 100% invested in the mission ahead.

After the conference, I couldn’t wait to put everything I had learned from my peers into action. The first thing I was able to accomplish using my experience from GSLS 2016 was assisting in the creation of my university’s first Multicultural Student Symposium. It was a one day conference where students, particularly underrepresented students, were invited to a series of sessions about finding resources to study abroad, unpacking your study abroad experience, and more. One of the highlights of the conference was speaking with famed travel blogger and #travelgoals, Oneika the Traveler.

 

A few months later in the summer of 2016, I began an amazing year as a Diversity Abroad intern. During that year, I was able to work to fill the gaps that I found when searching for information being a person of color abroad. Before studying abroad, I had no idea what it was like being black in Spain, how to take care of my natural hair abroad, and how to unpack uncomfortable experiences triggered by differences in culture. Today, Diversity Abroad has articles about all of those topics... and MORE.


As a GSLS 2016 alum, I would encourage students to run, not WALK, to sign up for the next GSLS. Don’t let your experiences abroad die out once you return home. Let them live on by helping others experience the same. Unsure of where to start? Let GSLS be your guide.



Kiara Brown, The Ohio State University Graduate, GSLS 2016 Alum

My name is Kiara Brown and I was a student at the 2016 Global Student Leadership Summit (GSLS), and later attended the Diversity Abroad Conference in 2017 as a young professional. I would certainly say that GSLS made an impact on me in relation to my academics, career aspects, and personal growth.


Before going to GSLS, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Uganda for a month with my peers at The Ohio State University (OSU). As the first person in my family to go abroad, my experience in Uganda opened my eyes to how few people of color go abroad, (for various reasons) and I wanted to help change that. My experience abroad was so fulfilling, and it is because of this that I want to become a study abroad coordinator and do what I can to change the narrative that few people of color go abroad (and even less go to Africa). I believe that more underrepresented people should be able to go abroad; not just to have a good time in a new environment, but to grow and learn something new that can positively impact their communities. Many people I have spoken to want to go abroad but are scared to do it. But when I tell them about my own experience, I encourage them that they could do it, too; and many have!

 


GSLS encouraged me to continue these conversations with people of color and to change the narrative of who can go abroad. I learned how to become an international educator through networking opportunities with professionals, future mentors, and fellow GSLS students with similar interests. After GSLS, I started working with my study abroad office as a student outreach assistant and gave advice on how I studied abroad in Africa as a first-generation student of color, while also explaining how my experience gave me professional skills that employers truly desire from their employees. I also had the opportunity to return to the Diversity Abroad conference as a young professional and was inspired to study abroad in Senegal before graduating in August of 2017.


I plan to continue encouraging people of color to go abroad through mentorship opportunities domestically. I am also considering becoming a high school teacher (focused on world history, visual art, and/or French), do mission trips abroad, and eventually go to graduate school in order to advise college students. I would love to create opportunities for people of color to go abroad where they can use the things they’ve learned abroad to develop their communities at home.


In conclusion, if you were to ask me “Why should students go to the Global Student Leadership Summit”, I would say that this opportunity will provide students with a space to adequately reflect and understand their experience abroad, network, develop leadership skills, develop their resume, and become inspired to start something new on campus or in their community.


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