Leadership opportunities on campus and beyond
While working as an intern for the Obama campaign in 2012 may have turned International Studies major Adiah Hicks '14 away from running for public office due to her dislike for door-to-door campaigning, it also taught her something else: “It gave me a grasp on what I need to do to make myself a better leader.”
This learning moment has driven Adiah’s Arcadia experience. Her résumé includes clubs, such as For the Women, Arcadia for a Better Community, Black Awareness Society, and Exalted Movements (of which she serves as president), as well as positions as a new student orientation leader and a Gateway mentor. Adiah also finds time to work with Judy Dalton, associate dean in the Office of Institutional Diversity, organizing events on campus.
All of Adiah’s hard work paid off when these leadership roles helped her follow her dream of studying in Japan. Exposure to Japanese cartoons as a child and Japanese history and politics in some of her International Studies courses, such as Comparative Politics with Dr. Angela Kachuyevski, had inspired an interest in Japanese culture and language; however, cost was an obstacle to study abroad. Refusing to accept no for an answer, Adiah searched for scholarships, eventually applying for and receiving admission into the Vira I. Heinz (VIH) Program for Women in Global Leadership. VIH provides a scholarship to fund an accredited international experience for young women in their sophomore and junior years at participating institutions who have not been abroad previously. The VIH scholarship, which a few Arcadia women typically receive each year, is just one component of the one-year cohort designed to develop leadership capacity in women attending one of the 15 participating institutions including Arcadia. Applicants must demonstrate leadership skills, and each VIH participant attends two retreats focusing on global citizenship and women in leadership in addition to organizing her own program within her community upon returning from study abroad.
“It’s an opportunity to network with a bunch of different girls who are interested in going abroad for a variety of reasons,” Adiah explains. “I actually found someone who can help me with part of my thesis on fan culture, and I found people who are interested in coming to my community engagement event.” Adiah plans on focusing her community program on women’s health issues and domestic violence.
Building on her leadership work on campus and her studies in Japan through the VIH program, Adiah looks forward to pursuing her future, possibly in diplomacy. “Whatever I am going to do,” she says, “I am going to try to build up others.”
Historical & Political Studies
Easton Hall, Room 231
Dr. Peter Siskind, Dept. Chair