Monika Ramotowska: Using Her Power Positions and Wanderlust to Make a Difference

Name: Monika Ramotowska

Age: 21

Major: International Affairs, Russian

Year: Junior

Hometown: West Palm Beach, but I’m originally from Bialystok, Poland.

Relationship Status: Taken

Involvement: Interim president for Empowering Women Globally, Treasurer of InternatioNole, Treasurer for the Student Leadership Council for the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, and a PeaceJam Mentor.

Her Campus (HC): So you’re the president for the organization “Empowering Women Globally”, how do you feel you’ve grown and developed as a leader?

Monika Ramotowska (MR): I’ve had such a great experience with my involvement in EWG for the past two years, and it’s completely shaped who I am. Through all of my leadership roles, I’ve learned how to effectively work in groups and use everyone’s talents in order to create awesome events and opportunities for others. I love seeing the people I work with grow and develop their strengths. I’ve also learned to take everything in stride and embrace change because things aren’t always going to work out how you wanted them to.

HC: What impact do you want the organization to have on campus?

MR: EWG provides people with a deeper understanding of social justice issues all around the world. We focus heavily on intersectionality, sexual assault, ethnocentrism, racism, human rights, and health, and we hope our members use this knowledge to solve problems in their own communities. Our motto is “think globally, act locally,” so if everyone takes the time to learn about women’s rights issues and is active in making a positive difference, then that’s one step closer to gender equality being realized.

HC: That all sounds so awesome, do you all hold any events throughout the school year?

MR: Yes! We hold bi-monthly meetings on Wednesdays at 7 PM in the Center for Global Engagement, where we’ll either host workshops or put on events focused on specific international issues faced by women. Additionally, we’ve started a campaign to get the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) passed through Congress, so we’ve been holding petition drives and rallies all semester long (our next one is April 15th from 11:00 to 1:00 PM by Strozier).  Also, we do a few gender-oriented community service projects with local non-profits in the area. We’re an inclusive group, so anyone is welcome to join!

HC: Nice! Last month was Women’s History Month. What female inspires you most and why?

MR: Everyone and everything inspires me, but I have to say my mom. She’s the bravest, smartest, most supportive female I know, and I definitely don’t give her enough credit for putting up with me for all these years. She got her master’s degree in Poland while working a full time job and taking care of me (I was a newborn at the time) all at once.  I always think of that whenever I need some extra motivation.

HC: How has your involvement shaped your FSU experience?

MR: My involvement at FSU has taught me a lot about who I am and what my interests are. I wouldn’t have discovered my passion for intercultural education had it not been for my involvement with the Center for Global Engagement and organizations like InternatioNole, which seeks to bridge the gap between U.S. and international students. I’ve made the majority of my good friends through the clubs I’m in, and had some pretty memorable experiences along the way.

HC: What’s your favorite memory at FSU?

MR: Every single time I’ve ever sat on Landis and a puppy ran up to me.

HC: They are way too cute… So what helpful advice would you give to incoming freshmen women?

MR: Be actively involved in trying new things. FSU has so many great resources for students, and college is definitely the ideal time to learn about yourself and what your passions are. Even if you try something and you don’t like it, then it’s okay. There are hundreds of things you can do, whether it is community service, athletics, travelling, etc. Also, surround yourself with amazing people.

HC: That’s perfect, now more about you! What’s your favorite book?

MR: Wuthering Heights.

HC: Describe your ideal weekend.

MR: Traveling around Tallahassee or in the southeast.

HC: Most memorable vacation?

MR: My favorite trip was when I went to Helen, GA with my boyfriend in February. It was this cute Bavarian village surrounded by beautiful mountains where we went hiking and the German food was amazing.

HC: What are some of your hobbies?

MR: I love doing anything outside and going on adventures!

HC: What are your post-college plans?

MR: I’m moving to Siberia and never looking back.

HC: Haha true, lastly, a quote to live by?

MR: “Even after all this time, the sun never said to the earth ‘you owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.” – Hafiz