Resident adviser, President’s Leadership Institute fellow, Student Government Association president, campus tour guide — all titles of Nataliya Malaydakh ’19. While Malaydakh is proud of the roles she fulfilled at Olivet College, she’s most excited to be known as an international student from Ukraine, an empowered woman and a global citizen.
“We can learn so much from other cultures and personalities,” Malaydakh said. “I’ve always wanted to share my story and learn from others to create a greater understanding. A community based on differences helps educate and empower everyone.”
On her mission to build that community, Malaydakh hosted the “No Borders” event during her time on campus. Students, faculty and staff were invited to the Olivet College planetarium for an evening of observation and fellowship. The outcome was a lesson of acceptance and togetherness.
“Looking at the stars, constellations and planets was a great way to show that there are no borders,” Malaydakh said. “Everyone looks at the same, beautiful sky where there are truly no borders. We are all in this together; we are all one.”
Malaydakh added that everyone has a responsibility to educate others. She offers a simple reminder: “College isn’t about just taking classes and sitting in Mott. It’s about being educated and building community on a global level.”
Malaydakh’s personal mission embodies what it means to be a global citizen, a testament stated by the College’s founders in 1844.
“A global citizen does not mean you are just international,” Malaydakh said. “We all come from different parts of the world. There are so many different cultures and aspects of life. Coming together to share that is what makes you a global citizen.
“Your culture influences who you are, but you can also use it to educate and empower others. Being a global citizen means you foster an environment where we listen and build a community.”
Now, Malaydakh is carrying the global perspective she developed at Olivet College into her career. The history and political science graduate has transitioned to a professional role as a legal specialist.
“My Olivet College education gave me all the necessary skills to go out there and show how I can contribute to a company,” Malaydakh said. “I used breathing exercises I learned in the Women’s Leadership Institute to prepare for interviews, and I presented my leadership roadmap developed in the President’s Leadership Institute to show the goals I had for myself.
“I have great communication and problem solving skills from my work as a resident adviser and admissions tour guide, and most importantly, I have the confidence to not just step outside of the box, but to build a whole new box.”