Eduarda Lague, the Academic Chairman for the Beta Lambda Chapter at University of Tennessee/Knoxville, is dedicated to many things in her life. But college and learning are foremost. As Academic Chairman, scholarship is a commitment she takes seriously. And learning for Eduarda goes beyond the classroom, into the global classroom that is our world. She plans to never stop learning.
Eduarda, a sophomore with a double major in political science and Hispanic studies and a double minor in Portuguese and Latin American studies, was born in Brazil. While that country is her home, she has found another one -- the Delta Zeta chapter of Beta Lambda on the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville.
"When I first arrived at college," she said, "I knew I wanted to branch out and get out of my comfort zone. While I felt a sorority was the best way to do this, I didn't realize everything I would receive from being in a sorority. Delta Zeta truly gave me a 'home away from home' and introduced me to women who will be my friends for far more than our four years of college.
"Through all the selfless women and leaders in Delta Zeta, I was inspired to give back to my community, and Delta Zeta truly strengthened the importance of being a part of something bigger than yourself. It helped me find my passions and moved me to get more involved in my community and campus."
To give and serve is her biggest passion. Eduarda is a part of several organizations on campus, including Minority Enhancement for The University of Tennessee (ME4UT); serving as co-president of I Am That Girl, a movement inspiring girls to love, express, and be exactly who they are through open forums without fear of judgment or ridicule; and as communications officer for law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta.
"I could not have imagined being on the Executive Board of not only Delta Zeta, but also multiple other organizations on UT's campus," she said. "With the endless love and support from my Delta Zeta sisters, I was inspired to be the best me and encouraged that I could do anything I set my mind to. Along with many 'yes's' come the 'no's,' and with many highs come many lows. I don't know what I would have done without my sisters' support through all the good and bad. I was shaped into a stronger and compassionate person by the endless love and support that Delta Zeta has shown me."
How does Eduarda believe that she is making a difference in the lives of others? "I never do something for the title or the acknowledgment," she said emphatically. "My passions and goals motivate me, and whenever I take on a leadership position, it is to give back to something that I love in hopes to give my all to help the organization continue to grow. I hope that I can inspire people to chase their dreams and make them believe that they can truly do anything with hard work.
"I hope my passions and work ethic reflect in who I am in my day to day life," Eduarda continued. "I try to step up to the plate when needed and help others to succeed. By being a leader, I hope to help people strive to give their all and find their passions. In Delta Zeta, as Academic Chairman, my goals are to motivate women to do well academically and be a guide whenever they need help or a resource. I try to build others up as well as help them achieve their potential in whatever they hope to do. I want to build others up, and by doing so, I hope to have positively impacted the people I come in contact with.
Through her love of culture and language (Eduarda speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese) and her passion for giving, Eduarda is sharing Delta Zeta values through global citizenship. She spoke about this when she said, "Just as in Delta Zeta you are a part of something bigger than yourself, I believe being a global citizen means realizing you are a part of a global community bigger than just your local identity. A global citizen tries to bring together and belong to different cultures, values and impact the world around her. Being born in Brazil and having a Brazilian family and culture, but growing up in the United States, has shaped me into the person I am today. I don't have a set identity and rather just identify to a range of cultures and values with a mixing of all the different people, places and knowledge I have interacted with."
Eduarda explains why global citizenship is so important in our world today. "It is important to keep an open mind and know there is always something more to learn or experience. I want to keep expanding and exploring different cultures and languages in the world and never settle for what I am surrounded with. While I may be studying abroad in Spain this summer and speak three languages, my goal is to continue studying in different countries and expand my language knowledge. Through my passion for languages, cultures and leadership, I hope to pursue a career in international or immigration law in the hope to make an impact on the global community.
"My parents have always inspired me through my Brazilian roots in the importance of community and being globally aware. As one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books, 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower,' by Stephen Chbosky, says, 'We can't choose where we come from, but we can choose where we go from there.' It reminds me to always stay humble and never forget your roots, but to also know no matter what, you can do anything you set your mind to."