The Women of CF: Amaranta Luna Arteaga
|Date:||09 April 2021|
What are you doing at CF and how did you end up here?
My work at Campus Fryslân focuses on internationalisation strategies. It is a multi-faceted role and I support different activities, from international recruitment, exchange programmes to funding, research projects and strategic partnerships as well as what internationalisation means to our faculty and community, how do we live it and shape it.
I am also the chairwoman of the Faculty Council, I collaborate with the Faculty Council team and the Faculty Board on shaping our faculty and bringing the voices of staff and students to the decision-making table that we continue creating a diverse and inclusive community.
What do you like most about your work at CF?
CF to me is like a jungle and I love it! We have created an ecosystem where ideas and people can grow wildly and beautifully, the soil is rich. There is so much abundance of backgrounds, visions, experiences, ideas, approaches, expertise, and we all try to connect them and create change. I appreciate that we are an organisation that tries hard to be as flat as possible by involving and listening to everyone, there is still room for improvement, but the fact that we are aware of it makes the organisation unique to me. I believe this approach has brought us great experiences and learning, we are curious to see what others bring to the table, how to make the table wider and accessible, and how to collaborate and support each other.
Like I said before, there is still room for improvement, but I feel represented and seen when I walk around and talk to a colleague, students or partners, and I hope others at CF feel represented by me because representation is such an important pillar in an organisation.
Who inspires you?
People! I am fascinated by people, their stories, their actions, their emotions, their day-to-day life. Have you ever been in a meeting or a talk with friends, family or colleagues or strangers or just walking on the street and someone says or does something that you think “oh, wow! what a way to interpret/approach/speak/deal with this issue”? I am inspired by what is around me because we tend to overlook the little things that make this world go around. Sometimes at night, I sit quietly and reflect on what has happened during the day and get inspired and energized by the actions I have experienced throughout the day, even behaviours I do not agree with or do not want to have in my life because it makes me reflect on how I want to live my life and the person I want to be.
This way of approaching life has brought me many enriching experiences. I have learned so much about the people around me and how important it is to recognize them, see them and actively telling them that they inspire you and that you appreciate them.
What advice would you give to your student self?
Dream big but don't let the dreams and fears overtake you. Pay attention to your well-being and resilience. I got so overwhelmed by my dreams, expectations and passions at some point that I lost myself. Being aware of the importance of my mental health and resilience has brought me to a more balanced place, where I am able to carry myself and others better.
If you are from an unrepresented group, find your space and don't be afraid to open spaces for others. Your voice counts, I know it sounds cheesy, but I became more aware of myself and my power the moment I stop questioning why I am not represented here and started representing myself and making space for others.
And remember, EVERYONE is struggling in a way or another. You are not alone and that also means that you have to be there for others, not only for yourself.
How do you deal with being a woman in a man's world/industry?
I don't identify fully with the woman in a man's world phrase because I think it takes away the agency that women and underrepresented groups have created in the past years. They, we, have created and continue creating wider spaces, diverse spaces where more are feeling welcome and empowered, and we are changing the ecosystem where the white male was/is the default. There is still a LOT of work to do and a lot of frustration and fury that comes with not being accounted for because you are a woman or come from an unrepresented group. How do I deal with it? I question everything and I funnel my energy and frustration into creating change and connecting with others.