Featured Phi: Dominique Bowden
What are your summer plans?
I'll be spending my summer at my home in California, in Chiapas, Mexico and in Vancouver. While at home, I'll be visiting my family as well as volunteering for The Music Room, a non-profit youth theatre performance program. I'll be painting and constructing sets as well as working backstage for their Spring musical "Peter Pan". I will be in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas for the month of July for a summer program with Tecnológico de Monterrey. I'll be doing the Arts and Intercultural anthropology class, where I'll be spending half of my time in the classroom learning theory and the other half working with indigenous Maya weavers in towns neighbouring San Cristóbal. The program is focused on combining academic coursework with experiential learning, doing so by partnering with NGOs working with indigenous communities in the region. While in Vancouver, I will be working as a Student Ambassador on campus delivering campus tours to prospective undergraduate students as well as training to be a Recruitment Counsellor in the fall.
What inspires you?
I grew up in a very arts-oriented household, and so a lot of my inspiration in life comes from culture, craftsmanship, art and other artists. Viewing art has always been a major source of inspiration for me, and visiting art galleries and art studios rejuvenates me, especially when I am in the midst of academic stress during the school year or feel overwhelmed. Being involved with the UBC Pottery Club has been a constant source of inspiration for me, as it gives me a space to step away from reality and be surrounded by other artists and create something original. I am also really inspired by the people who surround me- seeing the accomplishments of my friends, family and mentors inspires me to continue learning, creating and growing as a person. This past year I have been especially inspired by the faculty, classes and my peers within the faculty of Anthropology, as the work that is being done within the department is relevant and necessary in improving the well-being of our world's cultures. Particularly, Vinay Kamat's anthropology class on cross-cultural global health has had a major impact on my goals and future career prospects, as I now wish to get a Masters in Public Health and work as a medical anthropologist to incorporate culturally appropriate solutions to health problems. I draw inspiration from pretty much everything in my life, and it shapes not only my mental and creative well-being but also my future as well.
What does being in Alpha Phi mean to you?
Alpha Phi has been a cornerstone of my UBC experience, and has always been a place of support and encouragement throughout my degree. To me, being an Alpha Phi means being a part of a strong network of women who inspire each other to be the best they can be while at the same time being there for each other when things are not the best. I've been able to turn to my sisters in any situation- they are the first ones I talk to if I need advice, encouragement, motivation or just a simple rant session. Being a university student is really difficult, there are a lot of ups and downs academically, professionally and socially, however I've always had the support of my sisters in Alpha Phi to get me through anything. The most meaningful part of being a member of our chapter is being able to be a supportive and positive influence to others, just as my sisters have been for me.
How has Alpha Phi helped you grow?
Alpha Phi has allowed me to see the opportunity and value which arises from having leadership roles on campus. Alpha Phi was the first organization I joined, and being a part of our chapter has opened my eyes to everything UBC has to offer. My first leadership role in university was being Alpha Phi's Chaplain, where I served on the ceremonies team. I've continued assist with our ceremonies throughout my degree, being Guard last year and Chaplain again this year. Alpha Phi also helped me grow as a leader on campus as it shown me how other women engage in campus wide affairs, inspiring me to continue to seek leadership roles within and outside our chapter. When I had any sort of interview for a leadership position, I was able to consult all of the women in my chapter for advice and tips which made me feel fully prepared for whatever would be thrown my way; I consider this support integral to every position I have gotten during my degree. This upcoming year, I will be the President of the Archaeology Club, Events Manager for the UBC Pottery Club, a Student Ambassador for the International Student Initiative and Chaplain for Alpha Phi. I would not have been confident enough to join every leadership position I have if it were not for Alpha Phi giving me my first leadership roles on campus and motivating me to expand my involvement within and beyond our chapter.