In celebration of Women’s History Month, the College of Humanities is spotlighting a few of our most dedicated and long-serving faculty and staff members who operate behind the scenes in various roles and are part of the essential fabric behind the work we do. This week, meet Stephanie Topete, who’s been Administrative Associate for the School of International Languages, Literatures & Cultures for eight years.
Q: Can you briefly describe your role in your own words?
A: I am an Administrative Associate for the School of International Languages, Literatures & Cultures, and have worked for this department for more than eight years. One of my main roles during my career at SILLC has been as the assistant to the school’s director, but my duties have always been wide and varied. I’ve worked on undergraduate student recruitment efforts, financial services, human resources transactions, analytics requests, many other general administrative tasks, and, lately, graduate services. I have been moving into a new role in SILLC, and am excited for the future.
Q: Are there any women who have been particularly influential in your life or career?
A: All the women in my life have been extremely influential to me. My mother and grandmother have always been great examples of strength and resilience, facing life’s challenges with an eye towards solutions, and always remaining optimistic for the future. The women I’ve worked with, from my first business manager in the Department of Physics to my current colleagues, have directly and indirectly taught me countless lessons in professionalism, business acumen, and dedication. My friends, who are all equally impressive women, have shared experiences in life and love that help me view mine from different lenses. Their friendship, love, and support have been incredibly impactful to me, and I am so grateful that they are in my life.
Q: What’s your favorite part about working for the College of Humanities?
A: Working with so many people of different backgrounds, and hearing them speak about their cultures or research. And, of course, trying all the tasty food or snacks whenever someone brings back something from their travels.
Q: Is there anything you would like to share about your interests or life story that others may not know?
A: I’m a first-generation college graduate (UofA all the way!), and a Mexican-American who grew up on the Arizona-Sonora border. My first language is Spanish, and you might still hear a hint of my accent on certain words. During quarantine I delved deeper into my love for cooking, and gave into the bread making craze. I ended up making one very over-proved focaccia, and haven’t attempted baking breads since. Maybe one day when I get over wasting so much good olive oil I’ll try again.