Scarlet & Brown Stories

Arturs Saburovs '10

January 09, 2023 St. Lawrence University Season 2 Episode 6
Arturs Saburovs '10
Scarlet & Brown Stories
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Scarlet & Brown Stories
Arturs Saburovs '10
Jan 09, 2023 Season 2 Episode 6
St. Lawrence University

Join us this month as the team sits down with Arturs Saburovs '10. Arturs has translated his experience as an international student on St. Lawrence's campus to his career as a diplomat for his home country of Latvia. We discuss what SLU was like for him as an international student, what his role entails as a diplomat living in London, and a bit about how he stays connected as a volunteer for St. Lawrence.  

Show Notes Transcript

Join us this month as the team sits down with Arturs Saburovs '10. Arturs has translated his experience as an international student on St. Lawrence's campus to his career as a diplomat for his home country of Latvia. We discuss what SLU was like for him as an international student, what his role entails as a diplomat living in London, and a bit about how he stays connected as a volunteer for St. Lawrence.  

[Music Plays]

Beth:   Hello everybody and welcome back to another edition of Scarlet and Brown Stories, the podcast where we break down what it means to be a Laurentian through our various different Scarlet and Brown stories. We interview faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and whoever else identifies as Laurentian to hear a little bit about how St. Lawrence has played a role in their lives. I'm your host, Beth Dixon. I'm the Executive Director of New York City Internships and Laurentian Engagement Associate, and it is so exciting to have another amazing interview to kick off the 2023 calendar year. Hard to believe that we're already in 2023.

I had the distinct pleasure last month of chatting a little bit with one of my classmates, Arturs Saburovs, class of 2010. Arturs Saburovs is a career diplomat with a Latvian foreign service having focused largely in communications, public diplomacy, and a whole bunch of different affairs. And it is so exciting to not only hear a little bit about his international relations career, but also how did that get jumpstarted through being an international student at St. Lawrence University. It'll be really exciting to break down a little bit about what did being an international student mean and how has he maintained being such an engaged alum for the university since graduation. So without further ado, let's kick it off to my interview with my classmate, Arturs Saburovs.

[Music Plays]

Beth:   Hello everybody and welcome back to Scarlet and Brown Stories. I'm so excited today to be speaking with a classmate of mine who has done amazing things in the world of international relations, especially for his home country of Latvia, and I am so excited to be talking with Arturs Saburovs today. How are you doing?

Arturs:   Hi Beth. I'm great. Hello From London.

Beth:   Oh yes, that's right. I should have mentioned that you are living in London now for your work. How was the weather in London today? Because again, we have a five-hour difference right now, so I have to say was because it's like nighttime for you.

Arturs:   It's living up to its expectations, so it's dark and rainy.

Beth:   Well there we are. I studied abroad in London in the fall, and that's pretty much exclusively what I remember from it.

Arturs:   Well, we do have warm weather and we had a extraordinary dry summer and very sunny summer, so we were kind of treated with good weather.

Beth:   Well, that's good. It's always important to have a little treat every once in a while. Arturs, one of the things that we really wanted to discuss with you is going back to St. Lawrence with your international student experience. As I mentioned before, you're from Latvia and it would be great to hear a little bit about what was being an international student like for you on campus?

Arturs:   Well, thank you for asking. Yeah, I've been a huge fan of the international student community at St. Lawrence. I've tried to keep up with all the work that my classmate is continuing to do and I'm really, really loving to see what she's doing with the students and I'm glad to hear and see that they have a new, separate house, which is an actual I house.

Beth:   Yes.

Arturs:   We actually used to have a floor that we call the I-House, but yeah, I used to be a coordinator for three semesters. One of the coordinators, there used to be two at a time, so I was one of them as well. And we organized a very busy schedule of events from Diwali to various cultural nights and where we cooked international cuisines to discussions and so on and so on. So it was very, very active. And weekly, we still had the I-House tea time, which continues, is a strong tradition.

We also had an IHOP thing where we making pancakes with the international student community and with the American student community as well because we have to remember that the I House was always a mix of students and we always loved having International House have American students in it.

Beth:   Absolutely.

Arturs:   And one of my co-coordinators was also an American student, Matt Spearing, at one time. So it was just, we got a lot of support from the university, from the president at that time as well. And we had incredible support and love from the late Kathleen Buckley who we loved dearly. And I was very glad to be back on campus after she had passed away to speak at her memorial service. A very moving experience and a huge responsibility, very humbling responsibility to try to capture in words what she meant for everyone. So yeah, loved St. Lawrence ever since I stepped on campus, I've had the best experience there.

I've tried to give back. Maybe I'm not in position to write huge checks, but I'm in position to contribute a bit and I continue to contribute by being a link mentor with the Center for Career Excellence. I must not say the old words, not the old name. And they've been amazing as well supporting the mentors. And I've had several international students that I've worked with, the American students as well, and I just manage to keep up with what's happening on campus through those students as well.

And each time they surprise me that they're just so smart and so hardworking and they thrive at St. Lawrence and everyone goes through this transition period in college where they're trying to adjust to the new situation, being away from home. Even if their American student is there away from home. But somehow, I don't know, I never realized that I will have such strong love for St. Lawrence when I was a student. And it's just this love has always just grown and I continue finding my ways back and I'm trying to find ways to contribute and connect. And I've posted the London program students at the embassy.

Beth:   Oh, yeah.

Arturs:   At the embassy of Latvia I hosted them twice last fall and this...

Beth:   That's so cool.

Arturs:   And sorry, not last fall, last spring and this fall. So they have a course on European Union politics and so they come to a European Union Embassy. And so we discussed various international topics and I was able to talk in more detail about foreign policy as well, which I love to do. And it's just a great way. I never knew that as a student I would be one day at the Embassy of Latvia to the United Kingdom and I would be welcoming students there and have them ask me hard questions.

Beth:   Absolutely. And that's what I think is so fascinating and amazing about you in particular, Arturs, is that you have been somebody that I got to be friends with when we were at St. Lawrence and I lived on I House for one semester when I got back from being abroad. And it was a wonderful way to stay connected with this global community. When you live in London, as I know that you can identify with now, you live in a very multicultural area and one of the most multicultural cities in the world. And to go back to St. Lawrence, for me, I wanted to make sure I was still engaging with various different cultures. And I have always been struck by the passion that you've put into all of your projects, whether it be I House when we were students or trying to bridge this gap between domestic and international students and continuing that work after you have graduated.

I think that that's such a wonderful way of giving back to the community. It's something that will always continue to be a challenge, I think for a lot of students. Like you're saying with the international community and the domestic community, college is about finding yourself, finding your interests, what are you going to be good at, how do you want to translate this into a career afterwards? And growing and learning, thinking critically. And at the same time, there have been feelings of, "Well, the international students kind of keep to themselves and the domestic students don't really engage with international students." But there were many people like you and there continue to be people like you who are going, "No, no, no, no, we're breaking down those walls, let's integrate. Let's make sure that we're sharing our stories and so that we can continue to learn from each other."

I think that is personally why you feel so connected to St. Lawrence is you've dedicated so much time when, from the moment you stepped on campus as a student to now to make sure that those experiences become a little more seamless for those students. Can you speak a little bit to, did you experience what I'm trying to communicate a little bit on campus where you kind of felt like the international students were their own group on campus and were maybe sometimes having a hard time getting domestic students to engage with I House or with any of the other programming that you put on?

Arturs:   Yeah. Well I think that when we are at college, we are very young adults. We think we're adults, but we are young adults. And I realize it now much more clearly. So that's I think one aspect. So all of us are in a new situation with a lot of schoolwork, with different schedules and interests and clubs and organizations that we take part in and we're trying to understand what we really are interested in. So we try different activities. And also, as part of this, is also when we try to find like-minded people or similar people that we think are similar.

Look like us, come from the same region like us, same country, maybe from a same setting, urban or rural setting and kind of clicking that way. And I've experienced my own ways of maybe clicking more with somebody or less finding out. And so of course I was with the International Student Community because I was an international student. But I would oftentimes, especially when I would go abroad with St. Lawrence and I went abroad with the Francophone studies program to Canada, France, and Senegal. Senegal being the best part of it, I must say, please nobody come at me.

And then Kenya and Tanzania and when I was abroad, when I was abroad for the France program, I was the only American, no, no, sorry, the only non-American student. And I was constantly kind of put in a group with Americans. So I felt how it was to be treated like an American even though I wasn't, until I open my mouth and they hear my accent and they're like, "Oh, where are you from? You're not an American." But my white skin makes people think, making assumptions. And same thing in Kenya, people thought constantly, I was an American, I would just tell them I was a European. And so my point being that some of these groupings will happen more or less naturally and that's kind of to be expected. So some of these groups will happen, these affiliation groups will happen, but I think that I House has tried to provide the opportunity for students to come in and engage with International Student Community. Tea time being the perfect example where an American student will come along and be like, "Oh yeah, it's just a tea time. There's nothing scary about that." And then you engage with students.

I remember when I was trying to come to terms with my sexuality and being afraid to go to the Saga House or the Pink Triangle House back in the day and kind of thinking, "Oh my goodness." And they're being very worried about entering that space. And maybe it's a similar situation for different students entering these new spaces, whatever that new space is. College is a new space. And so that's why we see, "Oh, you look like me, you act like me, let's stick together." But then more and more college challenges you to speak to students from different backgrounds. And I always loved the professors who would challenge you no matter what position or opinion you held. And I remember there was a wonderful American politics teacher, Darby Morso, who sadly also passed away, she was such an excellent teacher that to this day, I have no idea what her political affiliation is, which is amazing.

Beth:   Absolutely.

Arturs:   Which is amazing because she made it difficult in terms of asking intellectual really difficult questions to whatever side you were presenting. International side, US, liberal or conservative or anything in between or beyond. And so that's what I loved about St. Lawrence. It's a space, it's new, it's challenging, it can be intimidating, but I think it's like being thrown into water and you quickly learn to swim and then you're a master swimmer by the time you're done and you love it and you want to go back to it.

Beth:   I absolutely agree with that. And I think that one of the best parts of what you're saying is this idea that I think it's only natural for us to kind of gravitate to people that we identify with. But the beauty of a place like St. Lawrence, in particular for college, is that it's really about engaging with people who are different from you and learning to expand your global perspectives, your ability to critically analyze from different perspectives, those that you may not have experienced and learn how to listen respectfully to those other opinions or those different experiences and such yourself. I want to go back because you've now mentioned tea time a few times, and could you explain for those that don't know what tea time is, what goes on at tea time?

Arturs:   So I can maybe say what it was and I hope that it's still the same because...

Beth:   Gotcha, that's fair.

Arturs:   Yeah, so it was every Wednesday, but I would say the International House, to ask what time it is these days or what date of the week it is. But it would be just once a week in the evening you show up, there's always tea, there's always mugs, there's sometimes cookies or something else to snack on. And it's just a networking event I would even call it. Now we kind of like, we're used to thinking of networking events as these fancy suit and tie kind of things, but every week there's a international networking event happening on campus actually, if you see it that way and people create new friendships, catch up with their old friends who they already know.

It's just a wonderful study break and I think it just leaves you inspired. Another thing that really left me inspired was the Gospel Christian Worship led by the wonderful, the amazing, the superstar Sean Whitehead, absolutely adore and love her. And I went to the church for four years and I'm still a non-Christian actually, but I absolutely loved it. It was a place of love, acceptance, and peace and it just completely calmed my mind and gave me confidence to proceed with my goals, with my tasks and homework and projects. So there's many spaces on campus that are like that that just make the college experience incredibly wonderful. So.

Beth:   Absolutely. I really, it's so fun because I know that while we did engage with the I House when we were students and a few other activities and such, you and I actually obviously had very different experiences. I was a local north country girl who was going to St. Lawrence and looking around and saying, "Oh, this is not Gouverneur," even though it's 20 minutes away from Gouverneur. "Okay, great." But meanwhile you went halfway across the world for college. We had different social groups, we had different experiences, but it's always wonderful to hear that we found refuge in some of the same places that the Chapel, Kathleen Buckley and Sean Whitehead were people that we could turn to for guidance, for safety, for acceptance that we could turn to I House and tea time, which I loved going to as a student before I lived in I House, I went, oh, I don't know, I think the first time I went was my sophomore year.

I didn't go. My freshman year I didn't know existed. And then sophomore year, I'm trying to remember who it was, it might've been Darrlyn Moorer, I think, from our class who took me. So shout out to Darrlyn, and got a group of us to go. And I just remember, again, growing up in a very homogenous rural area where I didn't have really access to learning from people of different cultures and countries. I just remember walking into that room and instead of feeling intimidated by what I didn't know about each person, I got to connect and learn about who they were and what made us similar, but also be so accepted and understood that I might have some ignorance as I walk in the room. And that was okay, that I was there to connect and learn about other people.

I wasn't there to be put on for a study or, "Okay, now you're going to be quizzed about what do you know about these different countries," for example. And I think because that was such a welcoming environment, that it became a place that if I had a free Wednesday, I would show up. That became kind of a refuge site for me. And I really, really credit the students like yourself and the international coordinators on campus, like Tsewang nowadays for making that environment easy for domestic students to feel like they're also welcome and encourage them to come because it can only help both the international students for feeling like they're truly a part of campus, but can only help expand those global perspectives as well.

Arturs:   Right. Well, I would also add another kind of a layer of the international conversation that we're having. I house and the tea time I think is almost like a pre-orientation for going abroad as well at times. A lot of students who have some interest in going abroad, they kind of start with testing the waters by going to the tea time. Or I would oftentimes meet students who are saying, "Oh, I'm going abroad," or, "I just came from abroad and I want to kind of keep with the feeling of having the international kind of environment." And I think it's also important to remember that maybe some American students feel worried about entering an international space and worried if they're going to be judged for knowing facts or not. The international student community feels very, very worried at the very beginning when they enter the St. Lawrence community. It's academically rigorous, it's international for them as well.

Beth:   Absolutely. Yeah.

Arturs:   So, I think we're all in the same position and that should serve as something that equalizes all of us. And while I'm at the talk about studying abroad, when I was at St. Lawrence, I think it was a bit less than 50% that we're going abroad and the school was really trying to go over 50% and at some point they achieved it very well. And I think it's now over 50%, which I'm extremely happy about because I think St. Laurence is one of the most international colleges of its rate. And I think it's something that the school should be extremely proud and really should highlight constantly.

And the Kenya semester program is a pioneering program of its kind and I absolutely loved it. It was life changing for me. That's another aspect of St. Lawrence that I want to completely highlight is the studying abroad. North country is great, but the winters pretty hard. And if you can spend the winter in Kenya getting an international experience at the UN, for example, like I did, then it's, yeah, it's great.

Beth:   Absolutely.

Arturs:   That's another St. Lawrence opportunity you know, so.

Beth:   Did that open the doors having the experience at the UN for what you wanted to do post-St. Lawrence?

Arturs:   Yeah, so weirdly, when I was at the Kenya semester program and I was on my independent study in Tanzania, I was applying for random things and I applied for the UN internship and I got in and they're like, "Oh, can you come almost next week?" And I'm like, "Sorry, no, I'm still in the mountains in the east in Tanzania. I can't." But I did join it right after the independent study and the director of that time continued to help assist me, even though the program was concluding, she was continuing to assist me with the internship and getting a host family for that experience as well.

And I was doing an internship in a communications unit and somehow I continued to gravitate towards that. And when I was starting my job at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the Foreign service, a lot of my tasks would be kind of connected with communications. And then when I went from my first posting to Washington DC, my main job was also among others, was communications. And now when I'm in London, that's also kind of one of my main jobs. So I don't know how, but life has continued to push me into that field. I never really started, but people see something in me, I guess, I don't know. And I just constantly end up being the comms guy.

Beth:   Well, I think it's clear, and I hope that those listening also feel this way, that you are a wonderful communicator, that you have an incredible way with words to describe experiences and bring people together. So I think it makes sense that you're in communications for sure, making sure that, especially from an international relations standpoint, this gives people an opportunity to, again, build those bridges. I really see you in my life as one of those people that if I think about those that build bridges and make those connections, you have consistently been that person. If I look through all of my Rolodex of people that I knew at St. Lawrence. So I think it makes a lot of sense, Arturs

Arturs:   Thank you.

Beth:   Absolutely. So can you talk a little bit about your job now? So obviously we know that you're in London and you're working in communications and you're working at the Embassy? The Latvian Embassy?

Arturs:   So maybe just to go back a bit, I graduated in St. Lawrence and then I thought I'm going to take a short break of three or so years to go to grad school. It ended up being nine years. Then I entered grad school, actually did an international affairs degree at the Fletcher School of Flow and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston as well. And it's been very useful for my job. And then when I left St. Lawrence, I lived in Ogdensburg for a little bit and I was actually helping the city of Ogdensburg with energy and sustainability and climate change projects. And I also helped the St. Lawrence County with the same kind of tasks. And then I moved back, to Latvia and I worked with an international translation company. I wasn't doing any translation myself, but I was leading a team of six translators, Swedish translators.

So they were translating European Union documents into Swedish. So it was a management job. And then I've always had the interest in international affairs. I've always been reading newspapers since I was a little kid. And then there were job openings for foreign service. I joined it in 2013. I've been with the Foreign Service ever since. And I was covering the Nordic Baltic region, which is kind of the closest neighborhood of Latvia. And the corporation within that region is extremely active. We were coordinating the Nordic Baltic Eight, as we call it, eight countries format in 2016. And I counted over 50 meetings of various levels that we just had to coordinate in the single calendar for that year. And that's all the way from... Starts from experts and directors of various matters to prime ministers and foreign ministers, for example. So it's our closest neighborhood and a group of like-minded countries that also share membership in various organizations as such as NATO, EU, and so on.

And then I passed my foreign service exam, which you passed after you've worked there in the ministry for a while. And then I was eligible for postings abroad. And again, actually I was encouraged by my colleagues, I wasn't really seeking that because they saw there was a posting advertised for Washington DC and I thought, "Oh, I've been to, I've lived in the US before, maybe I should do something more exciting, maybe start with a hardship post or something like that." I applied anyways and I got it and I had really three amazing years in Washington DC and I was implementing the public diplomacy program for the centennial celebrations of Latvia in 2018. So we celebrate 100 years since the establishment of Latvia, and we had a lot of cultural projects all over the US in cooperation with the American Latvian community. They're wonderful and just to highlight one of the projects, which was amazing, which wasn't all my doing, there was other people involved, but I assisted in a small way, which was the lighting up of the Niagara Falls in the colors of the Latvian flag.

Beth:   Oh wow.


The dark red and white and the Latvian flag is one of the oldest in Europe, and it's just extremely beautiful. The falls looked amazing. And so that was done for the Latvia 100 celebration, so I was very proud of that moment to see it happen. So just all kinds of activities. Different places were lit up in the Latvian flag all over the US, but there were conferences, events, concerts, the receptions, you name it. So that was really, really exciting. And then happened to be posted again to London. And here I work with communications as well, but there's another huge file which is relations with the Latvian diaspora. And the LA diaspora is... The largest one abroad is here in the UK, so 40% of all Latvians who live abroad live in the UK.

Beth:   Oh, wow.

Arturs:   It's the whole spectrum of society, different people from different walks of life, and they have many, many smaller regional organizations, folk dance and folk singing groups. They have clubs for a table game, I guess it's called. It's similar to pool or billiards, it's called Nobuss, N-O-B-U-S-S. It's a Latvian created game actually from the 1920s. So we have a lot of those clubs and then we cooperate with different groups of these diaspora with the Latvian business people. We recently had a networking reception for researchers and students. So it's an extremely busy agenda and they are really amazing, hardworking people. They organize a lot of events and they kind of keep the Latvian community life very active, and we are just engaged as an embassy as much as we can to support their work and take part and really help the community thrive here.

Beth:   That's really fascinating for me to hear because I guess for myself, I didn't realize that a lot of what an ambassador could do is also to make sure that the culture and traditions of your home country are alive in these new countries, in these other countries. So in the UK and making sure that there are festivals and cultural events and celebrations, and that to me, is really, really exciting to hear about. I always just kind of figure, "Okay, he is a diplomat or an ambassador, so he's dealing mostly with people from other countries. Informing them about Latvia." So I didn't recognize that you're actually doing a lot of work for people from your own country.

Arturs:   True. But I think it's, to clarify, we have several diplomats and they cover various areas.

Beth:   That makes sense.

Arturs:   And the ambassador herself, she covers everything, and that's the dialogue with the British institutions and officials. And we have different corporation in different areas, let's say scientific science policy or economic policy, trade policy, and so on. So different diplomats cover different subtopics, and we coordinate very closely with our EU member states. Unfortunately, the UK is no longer an EU member state, it's the third country to leave the European Union, but the European Union member states continue to work very closely in all of the capitals where we're represented. Coordinating, having meetings together, inviting guest speakers, experts to address us, to talk to us. So it's a big wonderful European family here in London as well. And I just happen to be the diplomat, all of the embassy staff engage with the diaspora, but I happen to be the one kind of keeping the notes for everything. Yes.

Beth:   That's really fantastic. Is there something that you should take this opportunity to explain to our listeners either about international relations in this current world that you would like to just impart that knowledge on, or specifically about the work that you are doing in the UK that we haven't already covered?

Arturs:   Well, I think that I'm going to go and go ahead and just say that I would really quite seriously welcome everyone to come to Latvia. I think it's a beautiful northern European country, and to believe it, you have to see it kind of a experience. It has a lot to offer in terms of nature, just half of the country is covered in forests. It's actually larger than people think. It's actually a mid-sized country in Europe. It just has a smaller population than many other European countries. The capital, Riga is actually the Art Nouveau capital of the world. So the most Art Nouveau architecture you can see...

Beth:   Wow.

Arturs:   In Riga. And whenever you go to Riga, we always tell people to look up because if you look down, you just see cobble stone, but when you look up, you see all of the Art Nouveau. We have to watch out otherwise you run into things because you constantly looking after the beautiful buildings and Latvia has wonderful food. A lot of it is just kind of organic by default, let's say. It doesn't have to even be labeled that way it's just organic by default, and it's delicious and nutritious, and it's just so many opportunities. One thing to highlight as well, we just concluded the London Baltic Film Festival. We brought two Latvian feature films to London, and it's just another thing to highlight about Latvia is the cinema culture and industry is so advanced. We have a great national opera and ballet that's regionally known. I could go on and on just give...

Beth:   I like it. This is turning into a tourist video, which I'm here for. This is exactly what we would love to...

Arturs:   Yeah, just find me on LinkedIn and ask me questions about Latvia or I'll just give you, like if you need a tour somewhere, I'll connect you to our tour guide very quickly.

Beth:   There you go. Yeah.

Arturs:   Latvia is small and very connected. We know each other very well, so if you need something, everything's kind of a phone call away, and if you want to help an international friend, you'll always have a counterpart in Latvia to kind of take it from there for you.

Beth:   I love that so much because again, I really feel like that draws back to this whole St. Lawrence community.

Arturs:   Yes, absolutely.

Beth:   Where we are all kind of interconnected in that way.

Arturs:   Definitely very good connection you make between those two. Yeah, I would definitely compare that in the same way. Yeah, the sense of community, yes.

Beth:   Absolutely. And I think that, again, it makes sense to me after having this discussion with you, why you still feel so connected to St. Lawrence if you were growing up in such a country where you have that sense of community. Absolutely. Arturs, is there anything else that I haven't asked you that you would like to talk about? Whether it was about your St. Lawrence experience, your work now, your involve... We didn't really talk about your involvement with Link, but I do want to just thank you because I do think that the LINC Mentorship Program is a really wonderful way for students to connect with somebody who is either in the field that they're interested in or has a similar, potentially had a similar student experience. So the fact that you've had that mentorship with other international students I think is also something that's really fantastic.

Arturs:   Yeah. I'm happy to quickly talk about Link as well. So when I was invited to take part in the program, I think it was like eight or so years ago, it was, I thought, "Oh, it's just going to be reviewing the resumes and cover letters." But it's really about creating these relationships with doing the alumni and the students. We get to keep in touch with the school and they get to get a glimpse into what is the life in so-called real world? How do you fare after graduation? What I noticed with each one of the students that I've had is that there's a barrier, a taller or smaller for some, of confidence. They don't sometimes believe it themselves at the very beginning. They don't think that their resume is long enough, advanced enough, that they're getting it right with the cover letter, for example, or with the job search or with networking or interview skills.

And I think my job, 90% of the time, has been just to really tell them, "You're doing a great job. You really are. And you should have that confidence in yourself because you wouldn't be at St. Lawrence if you were just not an excellent student. Just the fact you're at St. Lawrence, that really is a sign of quality of the kind of person and student you are and continue to be." And so I think I really suggest all of the students to really try to compete for those slots with Link mentors. I don't think that all of the students are given one, even if they want to, I'm not sure. I hope I'm wrong with this.

What I would say is that there's different kind of mentor experiences. I think generally everyone comes out of it really having enriched themselves in different ways. The students that I've mentored, just to see them enter PhD programs, writing papers, being interviewed themselves in media is just, it's incredible because you'll feel like, "Wow, I was part of their St. Lawrence experience in a special way."

Beth:   Absolutely, yeah.

Arturs:   And that's, for me personally, worth more than a check, honestly.

Beth:   Yeah.

Arturs:   You should contribute. If you're able to.

Beth:   You should contribute, yeah, of course, of course. No, I definitely agree with you. I think the LINC Mentorship program is definitely a unique program to St. Lawrence. It's one that other schools have started to take a note of and are trying to implement in their own schools as well. We have expanded it over the past few years to have way more mentors and spots available. It used to be only really available for sophomores, and we're expanding that out to juniors as well, especially with the effects of the COVID Pandemic, there's a lot of students who when they started out either, they really couldn't engage with a lot of programs on campus given the pandemic, so they kind of lost out on these support opportunities. So we're trying to make sure that students, especially who are in the middle of their college career, have this mentorship opportunity.

And when this podcast comes out in January, this will be around the time that we'll be looking for more people to become Link mentors. So if you are somebody who's looking to make a difference, specifically working one-on-one with a student, feel free to email myself. You can email me at ecdixon, D-I-X-O-N, at, and I will get you in touch, we'll get you going. But Artours is just one of our many wonderful link mentors who have had that ability to just be able to engage with those students.

Arturs:   Well, let me just say that soon I'll be ending the mentorship relationship with the current to the active mentorship relationship. Now, I'm actually looking for a new mentee, but the thing is that I don't run the recruitment process. So you have to go through the center of career excellence and they'll recruit the student for me.

Beth:   Exactly.

Arturs:   But I really encourage you to apply, and I hope I'm the lucky one to have one of the listeners be the mentee for me next year.

Beth:   It would be fantastic to have that. That would be a pretty great connection. Arturs, I want to thank you so much for taking the time, again with the time difference with you being in Europe. Thank you so much for joining us today and telling us a little bit about your experience, both as an international student when you were at St. Lawrence, and what you've done with that experience afterwards and a career of international relations and your continued connections with St. Lawrence. We really appreciate all that you do for the St. Lawrence community and for the impacts that you're making on the world.

Arturs:   Thank you, Beth. It's an honor.

Beth:   Of course.

[Music Plays]

Beth:   And there we have it. Just another incredible interview. I had such a great time catching up with Arturs. We had the opportunity to live in I House when I returned back from being in London, and I really got to see and get to know him a little bit better, but I got to really see him shine in a leadership role among not only just the international students on campus, but among so many of my other classmates and peers. Arturs has continued that through his service back to St. Lawrence and is an exciting person for so many people who are interested in international relations to connect with. I know that I've sent quite a few students his way in the past, and I know that they won't be the last ones. I'm also really interested to hear some other Scarlet and Brown stories from our international alum.

So if anybody has a story that you would like to share, please feel free to email us at Again, that's Actually, Arturs got in touch with us and let us know. "Hey, it would be really fascinating to have an international student alum perspective on the podcast." And we kind of looked around at each other as a podcast production group and said, "We got to have him." I mean, if you're going to have somebody, why not have Arturs? So, I'm so excited for the doors that this will open for more stories, so I cannot wait to have another international student alum on the podcast.

Again, I want to thank Arturs for taking some time, you know, with a five-hour difference, he's in London, we're here in New York. It's a little bit more challenging to schedule, but I want to thank him again for taking the time out of his busy schedule to chat a little bit about St. Lawrence and his career. And until next time, I hope that you all have a safe and wonderful New Year and kickoff 2023, the Scarlet and Brown way. 

[Music plays over credits]

Beth:   Scarlet and Brown Stories is produced and edited by Amanda Brewer, Beth Dixon, Megan Fry Dozier and Dennis Morreale. Our music was written by Christopher Watts, inspired by Eugene Wright, class of 1949. Subscribe to Scarlet and Brown Stories, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Consider leaving us a rating review as well. If you have a story to submit to us, you can email us at

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