I love speaking to people of all generations about my books, my travels and connecting with people. I love talking to college students. My Alma experiences in the intercultural communications classes were lively and the students were intrigued. I could see the glow in their eyes as I talked about the fascinating cultures I’ve visited. Their questions were sharp, and I know that the idea of traveling and connecting in the developing world was solidly planted. My dream is to help create a U.S. population that has crossed borders, interacted in other cultures. and discovered the oneness of humanity. I know it changes the traveler…and a population that has experienced the world would dramatically change our country!! Living with families, sharing their lives, working, cooking, playing, celebrating with other cultures opens eyes and hearts and souls. I would love to spread the word as widely as possible.
Here is a lovely testimonial from Joanne Gilbert, Ph.D., Charles A. Dana Professor and Chair, Department of Communication and New Media Studies at Alma College:
Rita has been an incredible inspiration to my students and me for many years. I have assigned Tales of a Female Nomad to students in my Intercultural Communication class for over a decade, have coordinated two of Rita’s three visits to Alma College, and have featured her as the keynote speaker at the Women’s Resource Center of Mid-Michigan’s annual luncheon. Whether speaking to a small group of college students or to a large audience of women, ages 18-90, Rita has made a significant impact with her compelling narrative of cross-cultural connection.
Those fortunate enough to meet Rita in person have been touched by her warmth and fascinated by her many amazing examples of successful intercultural communication. What distinguishes Rita from countless other speakers is her passionate commitment to “walking the talk.” Indeed, Rita’s willingness to enter diverse cultures as a full participant, embracing difference and sharing her own experience makes her a true exemplar for all of us. By trusting and engaging strangers around the world, Rita has created unique opportunities for learning and growth—not only for herself, but also for her readers and audiences. Women especially are impacted by Rita’s journey, often commenting that for the first time, they feel empowered to follow their dreams and pursue international travel. As a dynamic advocate for GAP year experiences, Rita champions her “Let’s Go Global” initiative, educating young adults about the power and necessity of cultural immersion.
Through both word and deed, with indefatigable goodwill, boundless optimism, an open mind, and an enormous heart, Rita teaches us all. I am deeply grateful to Rita for the transformative influence her work has had upon numerous students and community members; I count myself extraordinarily lucky to be among them.
Thank you Joanne, it’s been fun!
I am looking for more speaking opportunities. My friends at davies + dixon are helping me coordinate. Please email Kelsey at firstname.lastname@example.org if you think my message would be a good fit for your school, event or conference.