Introducing the 2019-2020 FIUTS Student Board
The FIUTS Student Board is a year-long learning and leadership experience that amplifies the organization’s mission, supports programs, and represents the diversity of the UW. The new Student Board for the 2019-2020 academic year was unveiled on Saturday at Global Gala, FIUTS’ end-of-year celebration.
Meet the Student Board:
President: Rachel Greenwood, International Studies, U.S. and New Zealand
Vice President: Anna Chu, Communication & Psychology, Taiwan
Treasurer/Fundraising Co-Chair: Layla Jamil, Neuroscience, U.S.
Secretary/Marketing Co-Chair: Hei Shirley Cheung, Economics & Education, Hong Kong
ASUW Senator/Fundraising Co-Chair: Lufei Wang, Economics, China
GPSS Senator: Gloria Tang, Applied Mathematics, China
Programming & Leadership Co-Chair: Kathryn Zhang, Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health, China and Singapore
Programming & Leadership Marketing: Vincent Doan, Public Health-Global Health, U.S.
Marketing Co-Chair: Annie Trieu, Marketing, Vietnam
CulturalFest Expo Co-Chair: Man Marcaida III, Environmental and Forest Sciences, Philippines
CulturalFest Expo Marketing: Kimiko Boswell, International Studies, U.S.
CulturalFest Performance Co-Chair: Marvin Jordhi, Accounting, Business, Economy, Indonesia
CulturalFest Performance Marketing: Ehler Win, Medical Anthropology and Global Health, U.S.
Global Gala Co-Chair: Michael Wiem, Computer Engineering, Indonesia
Global Gala Marketing: Jamie Olss, International Studies, Mexico
Rachel, Anna, and Lufei are current members of the Student Board who are returning for 2019-2020 and were elected by their peers for their positions next year. Rachel and Anna shared their speeches from the elections about why they wanted to be president and vice president.
When I first started out on the Student Board last year, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I knew that I was really excited to help lead the CulturalFest Expo committee after attending Expo the previous year as a participant and being in awe of all of the countries represented by our school. But I didn’t know how I would get there. Who would I work with on this event? What values would be important to us? How would we measure our growth?
These three elements - community, values, and growth - are ones that I learned as CulturalFest Expo co-chair. As Student Board President next year, I hope to use these elements to guide the Student Board and create an opportunity for everyone to collaborate with and motivate their peers, to acknowledge common values and respect differences, and to develop as leaders and as people.
First, community is an essential part of the Student Board. There aren’t a lot of opportunities on campus for sixteen individuals with totally different backgrounds and life experiences to come together for the common goal of building cross-cultural understanding. As President of the Student Board, I hope to create a space for Student Board members to bond and genuinely get to know each other.
Second, values mean acknowledging commonalities while respecting differences. It means understanding what drives us and the work that we do. I hope that everyone participates in setting the values for our team and working every week to make them a reality. For example, if we decide to prioritize cultural diversity and to get to know each other’s cultures, that means creating regular activities focused on cultural exchange and connections. It also means holding each other accountable to our values concerning work.
Finally, growth means that everyone on the Student Board learns and takes away something from their experience. Importantly, growth looks different for everyone, and it’s up to each Board member to determine what growth looks like for themselves. As president, I will encourage each Board member to set monthly and quarterly goals individually and to reflect on them at the end of that period. To help Board members in achieving these goals, I will distribute surveys and also check in with them during one-on-ones.
I believe that principles of community, values, and growth would help me be a successful President and give Student Board members a truly enriching experience. The FIUTS Student Board has been one of my most fulfilling experiences at the UW, and I hope to make that a reality for everyone on next year’s board.
FIUTS has a very special place in my heart. As cliche as it sounds, I didn’t know how else to express what FIUTS means to me. Struggling to find my community on campus during my first year at the UW, I decided I’m better off without a community and closed myself off from others. However, things changed during my sophomore year. Starting from being literally dragged to a FIUTS event by my roommate (aka Fia), to becoming a facilitator, to being a committee member, to leading the CulturalFest Expo committee and now running for the vice president of the Student Board, FIUTS has proven myself wrong again and again.
To me, FIUTS is a safe shelter; where I feel comfortable being who I am, where I’m allowed to make mistakes but also learn from them. Most importantly, I know that what I do in FIUTS matters and that they value the work I do. Reflecting on my journey with FIUTS, it has motivated me to give back to FIUTS by enabling the Student Board members to grow and thrive.
To me, a supportive environment is required for an individual to grow and thrive. One of my visions as the vice president of Student Board next year is to foster an environment that encourages the members to feel comfortable to challenge themselves and step out of their comfort zones while knowing that their work is valued. Creating a supportive environment takes time and effort. Whether it’s through socials, one-on-ones, skill-based workshops or retreats, I hope Student Board will be a place where the members feel they are able to receive support in any way that allows them to grow and thrive in this community.
A supportive environment also needs support from the Student Board members. Therefore, I hope to strengthen the bonds between the members through building a more cohesive team where they can all contribute to each other’s FIUTS experience. Through creating opportunities from cross-committee collaborations to leading the Student Board members to hold our own events, I see my role as a facilitator (wink wink) to bridge the gap between our differences and utilize them as a strength of our diverse team.
My journey with FIUTS has provided me with a supportive environment where I could not only explore my potential but also growth and thrive. As the vice president of next year’s Student Board, I hope to continue to foster the same environment I was provided to ensure the member’s experience as a Student Board is as fruitful and meaningful as my Student Board experience.