Global Aggies: Gen Z Explores Global Opportunities Locally

Maria Arteaga on campus

By Maria Artega, Managerial Economics '19

Maria Arteaga studied managerial economics at the University of California, Davis. As a student, Maria served as a UN Millennium Fellow in 2018-19 and on the Global Education for All Steering Committee in 2018-19.  After graduation she worked as the Communications Coordinator in UC Davis Global Affairs. 

Generation Z, the newest generation tackling the world’s most pressing challenges.

It's been reported that Gen Z is worried most about climate change, large scale conflict, and inequality. I identify with these statistics. So much so that I decided to transfer here after assessing UC Davis’ contributions to these challenges and seeing the opportunities coming here would afford me in finding solutions.

 I am a Generation Z Global Aggie. 

For me, global and local are not mutually exclusive. I sought out global opportunities right away on campus through a diversity of experiences. Knowing not all global experiences are accessible to all students, whether because of travel restrictions or financial hardships or any number of considerations, I searched for a way to get involved in advocating for students who might otherwise be left behind — and found the Global Education for All Steering Committee. 

Millennium Fellows
Arteaga (left) and the 2018-19 UC Davis Millennium Fellows with Nancy Erbstein, associate vice provost of Global Education for All in Global Affairs and associate professor in residence in the School of Education (right).

Here, I was given the opportunity to learn from campus leadership and coordinate a student advisory committee, which was really special for me because I was able to see how a diverse group with various educational backgrounds works together. I was then selected as a part of UC Davis’ first cohort of UN Millennium Fellows and contributed to the development of the UN Sustainable Development Goals on campus.

UC Davis students at the 2019 APRU Undergraduate Leaders’ Program, from left to right: Christal Juarez (Anthropology, College of Letters and Science), Ivan Rocha (Psychology, College of Letters and Science), Maria Arteaga (Managerial Economics, College of Agricultural and Environmental Science).
UC Davis students at the 2019 APRU Undergraduate Leaders’ Program, from left to right: Christal Juarez (Anthropology, College of Letters and Science), Ivan Rocha (Psychology, College of Letters and Science), Maria Arteaga (Managerial Economics, College of Agricultural and Environmental Science). Photo courtesy of Bryant Jiménez/University of Oregon

Once more, I had the opportunity to collaborate with young leaders, this time from Australia, Russia, Korea and many other places, at the APRU’s Undergraduate Leaders’ Program. I learned something that will stay with me my whole life. How even though my fellow program participants came from places I could only dream of visiting, from cultures different than my own, we have more in common than we have in differences.

I met social justice warriors and environmental activists. I met others like myself who are not plagued by the social and environmental turmoil around us but inspired to make a change. I realized that although we live thousands of miles apart, we are passionate about solving similar global, yet local challenges.

You might think global education is about study abroad or that it requires leaving the U.S., but common throughout all these global experiences, is that I came across all these realizations without ever leaving the U.S., which is why I am so passionate about my hope for all future UC Davis students: that they have opportunities to gain global skills and tackle issues they care most about head-on, right here on campus or throughout the region, much like how Global Education for All made possible for me.

This is part of a series featuring Global Aggies – members of the UC Davis community who are living the Global Affairs mission: to inspire global curiosity, understanding, and engagement. Learn more about Global Aggies at UC Davis

About Global Affairs at UC Davis

Global Affairs brings the world to UC Davis, welcoming more than 10,000 international students, scholars and leaders, and hosting programs that inspire global curiosity, understanding and engagement. Compelled by the valuable outcomes of thinking globally, we make transformative opportunities a reality by supporting the thousands of students and faculty learning and researching internationally—and by facilitating collaborations that tackle the world’s most pressing challenges through more than 150 global partnerships.

Putting our vision of a UC Davis community that engages, thrives, and leads in this interconnected world into action, Global Affairs is in pursuit of an ambitious goal: Global Education for All.

 

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