Congratulations Isabela Molitor Silva, an international student from Brazil for being selected as the spring 2016 ISV Spotlight Award Winner! Learn more about Isabela’s work at Eastern Washington University and more about this award.
What is the ISV Spotlight Award?
This award puts the spotlight on an international student who not only cares about his/her campus community, but who also takes an active leadership role and serves as a positive role model for all students.
The following nomination was written by Elena Axton, Study Abroad Advisor at the Study Abroad Resource Center at Eastern Washington University.
I am nominating Isabela Molitor Silva for the International Student Voice (ISV) Spotlight Award. Miss Molitor Silva is an international student studying at Eastern Washington University (EWU) from Brazil. She came to EWU in the winter of 2014 as part of our first cohort of Brazilian students and ahs helped to globalize the campus culture in part by opening the eyes of domestic students to expand their definition of the classroom. you see, in addition to being an international student that came to the small college town of Cheney, Washington in the United States to pursue her undergraduate degree, she took her major of International Affairs a step further this year when she participated in an exchange with one of our partner institutions, the University of Agder in Kristiansand, Norway for the fall 2015 term.
As well as pursuing her own individual studies, Bela, as she is known here, wanted to assist other international students adjusting to life in the United States and also help students interested in pursuing studying abroad in another country. Shortly after arriving to EWU, she was hired to work as a Global Ambassador in the Office of Global Initiatives. In her role as a Global Ambassador she helps international students transition into their lives at Eastern as students and also participates in leading cultural excursions in the area to assist students in adapting and integrating into “American life.”
The way she goes about performing her duties inside the office have also been integral in the manner in which the office is able to function. Her native language of Portuguese has obviously made her an asset working with other students from Brazil, but her spirit, character and approachability have been beneficial to all of our students regardless of their spoken language or home country. Her infectious spirit has also been a delight for all of the office staff members who she works with as her attitude and contributions help to foster an environment of intercultural exchange with everyone she meets.
Her visible leadership though doesn’t stop at the responsibilities that are dictated by her paycheck because her enthusiasm and passion to share her love of exploring cultures is also exemplified through the way she has volunteered to assist our outgoing study abroad students on her own time. until two years ago, EWU had not had a student that had seriously considered studying in Brazil. As is the case with most of our domestic students, the first student that committed to going to Brazil had never traveled outside of Washington State. She had a lot of questions about Brazil, specifically travel in general. Right away I thought of Bela and asked if she would be willing to speak with the student. For a number of reasons, that student had to push back her study abroad until this year so she was in Brazil to begin a yearlong study at the same time that Bela was in Norway. Bela had spent so much time getting to know the student and answering her questions, the two developed a very strong bond and when Bela went home to Brazil for her break between semesters in Norway and the U.S., she invited the student to come stay a week with her and her family.
Bela has been a beacon on campus that has gone out of her way to bring people together. The impacts she has had on our university are long-lasting and will be felt long after she graduates. The stories I have shared are just a snippet of the footprint Bela has made at EWU. She has called Brazil, the United States, and Norway home already in her life. I have no doubt that the mark she makes ont he world will only continue to grow as she pursues her career goal to become an Ambassador or International Services Officer.