Raina Montgomery - Kultural Kurator
She, Her, Hers
Ethnicity - African American
Occupation - Assistant Director, Study Abroad
Place of Employment - Howard University
Years of Employment - 5-10, depending upon how you define this. Nearly 5 years at Howard Univ.
What global experiences have you taken part in when you were a student and/or as a young professional? Countless; lived, worked and studied in 30 countries. I make a point to integrate myself within domestic international communities and I seek out new cross-cultural experiences.
How has Global Education impacted you and your career choices?
Formal study abroad for an academic year during undergrad influenced my understanding of and perspective on the experience of students taking part in overseas programs through third-party providers. Additionally, this formal experience has validated my personal perspective enhance through professional and informal travel experiences, especially when navigating the field of international education. My career choice was selected in part due to the experiences that I was able to have as a result of spending long periods of time abroad through study abroad as well as due to my area of undergraduate study (anthropology and Spanish).
What do you enjoy most about the work that you do in Global Education?
I most enjoy exercising intentionality to design, develop, teach and create resources and systems that positively impact the lives and well being of communities and individuals (Black students in particular), in addition to the field of international education at large.
What challenges have you had to overcome as you work in Global Education?
The challenges of creating new systems, cultivating buy-in, advocating for what I deserve, seeing past being in the minority, recognizing and owning the strength of my perspective and operating with limited resources are all things that I have had to overcome through my work in global ed.
How has your cultural identity impacted your experience working in Global Education? I am made up of so many cultures that this internal diversity has led to an openness, acceptance and love to connect and enhance the well being of anyone else with a sincere spirit.
How has seeing other people of color/diverse backgrounds in Global Education inspired you?
When I see other folks from diverse backgrounds navigating the field, I am inspired to create ways and/or be a part of environments that bring us closer for the purpose of supporting one another and the students that we empower and advocate for.
As a Kultural Kurator, what does culture mean to you?
Culture means everything to me. It is my true skin and real personality.
Self care is so important as we live our lives and grow in our professions. How do you incorporate self care into your life?
Ha! Self Care within a professional context is an ongoing work in progress, as self-care, at its heart is the practice to doing whatever is necessary to self-actualize. Systems, politics and personalities often feel disadvantaged when one chooses to place taking care of the self at the forefront. I work to advocate for myself, set boundaries around myself and take personal time away to be with myself in an effort to take care of myself.
What advice would you give to a future Kultural Kurator as they think about taking opportunities to explore the world around them?
Simply put, enter the field if you feel a calling to do the work for the right reasons...everything and everyone else will fall into place. "Work hard, be kind and amazing things will happen."
How can others follow you on social media? @hubunchecenter (IG), @hubisonabroad (IG), @rainamontgomery(IG), @raina_worldwide (twitter), LinkedIn