Student Leader Spotlight: Anita Feng

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By Sonali Raghunath

Meet Anita Feng (she/they), a Culture Corps leader from China. Anita is currently a master's student studying Higher Education at the University of Minnesota. She started her journey with the Culture Corps in 2019 as an undergraduate student. Anita has held 3 different positions and worked on 3 projects with the Culture Corps.

Her first project was posting a blog called “Rose, Thorn and Bud” on Culture Corps Facebook page which improved her writing skills. For the second project, they served as a CLA peer mentor and assisted in advising incoming CLA international students. According to Anita, she was happy to partner with Culture Corps as a peer mentor assisting with incoming CLA international students’ questions and concerns. Her project ensured that students felt connected with the University and also helped them build a sense of belonging to the campus by sending weekly newsletters and creating videos. Although most of the incoming international students during that time could not even come to the U.S. for their college life, that project still successfully helped foster a sense of community among these students. For the third project, she is currently working as a graduate consultant with Culture Corps. They have been assisting with events such as Global Gopher Experiences (GGE), collaborating with check-in sessions for incoming graduate and professional students, and providing useful information and resources for these students. Additionally, she has been working with Culture Corps participants on the intake and application process as well as some macro-level projects for Culture Corps.

Anita shared their thoughts on how these projects have impacted her personal development. They enjoy working with international students and programming events for this community. These collaborative projects helped her understand more about herself as an individual, which has helped her realize what being an international student means in the U.S. context. These experiences enable them to put every piece of her identity together and see themselves in a new way. Additionally, they also use these experiences as opportunities to narrow down her area of interest for pursuing Higher Education as a future career. Their time and efforts in have greatly helped incoming international students.

According to Anita, being part of the Culture Corps has improved her communication skills on how to provide clear and organized professional responses and communicate effectively, building confidence, and achieving personal growth.

“Appreciate your identity and yourself” - being an international student brings you a lot of challenges, but it is important to remember that your unique identity and experiences make you an awesome person who can bring back a lot of value to the community around you. International students should know how awesome they are, and sometimes they do need that self-appreciation. Appreciate your identity as an international student.

About the author

Sonali Raghunath is a Culture Corps Graduate Consultant working with Advocacy projects with ISSS. She is a 4th year PhD student at the Food Science and Nutrition Department from CFANS and she is originally from Chennai, India. She has been working in editing and interviewing students who are GGE leaders and Culture Corps consultants with a goal to highlight their skills and impacts of their projects to a wider audience as part of her Advocacy project.