My name is Nadia Vanda Monaia. I am a Postgraduate Research Student at the Graduate School of Education, at the College of Social Sciences and International Studies. I have embarked on my PhD journey this year; my research study will be focusing on women's issues through the lenses of equality, equity, inclusion, tolerance, diversity, and empowerment through education curricula. I am passionate about teaching, languages and cultures, photography, calligraphy, cinema, poetry, quotes, and I enjoy listening to music from around the World. I also enjoy spending time with my children and getting involved in volunteer and charity work, as I strongly believe that "we rise by lifting others" (Ingersoll, R.).
Among the traits, characteristics, and skills that make me a unique candidate for this position is the fact that I come from a multiracial, multicultural, and a multilingual background- Ethiopian, Italian, and Eritrean. Moreover, in terms of education, I have been educated and lived in various parts of the World: Ethiopia, Italy, France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United States of America and the United Kingdom. As a result, I speak seven languages, among them six fluently: English, French, Italian, Arabic, Amharic, Tigrigna, and Chinese. Interacting and building friendships with people from different countries have enriched me culturally. They have taught me to have tolerance, to respect differences, to appreciate the colours of diversity, and to build bridges of understanding by focusing on common grounds while respecting differences. Hence, I believe my background, academic journey, and life experiences put me in a strong position to understand and respect cultural differences, and to communicate effectively with people of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
In my academic journey, I have been elected as students' representative several times. In High School, at the Lycee Guebre-Mariam Franco-Ethiopien School, I was elected as students' representative for three consecutive years. Later, at the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas, I was selected as the Commencement Speaker, representing all students of Class 2013. And recently, I have represented for five consecutive years, students and parents in various grades, at the AGS School, in Jeddah.
If I am elected as the representative of the University of Exeter's students, my primary concern will be making sure that every student's voice is heard, as every voice matters! In a critical time, such as ours, where our lives and interaction are restrained with the lockdown, my role will be to ensure that every students' needs and concerns are addressed. I will work with other colleagues at the University to bring solutions to the several issues that arouse around students such as the issues of inclusion, discrimination, racism, covid-19 or online teaching. Our voices need to be heard, echoed, and taken into consideration for change and a better academic experience. Despite the challenges our families and we are facing due to the pandemic, with understanding, social-responsibility, collaboration, positivity, and teamwork; we, the students of the University of Exeter, will come together to make our learning journey a fruitful one.
Our voices matter!