- At UALR:
Leads a diverse group of students as president of UALR’s International Club, Donaghey Scholar
Vivien-Sara Fechner’s easy leadership style and vivacious personality have helped the International Club at UALR blossom from 100 to almost 300 students–and that is just since the beginning of the 2013 fall semester.
Fechner has been a member of the club for two years and was elected president this fall.
As a newly named Donaghey Scholar at UALR, her leadership stems from having walked many international miles in her peer’s shoes. The Berlin native first came to the United States as a high school exchange student.
She enthusiastically recalls her first visit to America as finding a “great fit.” In fact, the 21-year-old remains close to her host family to this day. While the junior photography major holds onto the German traditions she cherishes, she also embraces learning more about other cultures.
“You travel from the other side of the world and you realize how different everything really is,” she said. “It’s not right, and it’s not wrong. It’s just different.”
Striking the right balance between distinct cultures is a driving force behind Fechner’s leadership of the International Club. Fechner said the club seeks to bridge the gap and diminish cultural divides among people who come from different backgrounds. The club serves the needs of not only international students on campus but also of American-born students.
“Both have much to share and learn from each other,” she said.