Staff Profile: Arda Athman, Dean's Office
When did you start working at VCU?
I started working at VCU in March 2021 as an administrative and communications assistant for the Department of Sociology, and in May 2022, I moved to the communications team in the dean’s office where I serve as the social media and events specialist for the College.
What brought you to VCU?
I am a VCUarts alum and stayed in Richmond after graduation. I was looking to hone my skills on socials and felt mission-aligned with the Department of Sociology. In May 2022, I moved over to the dean’s office to work and learn from fellow communicators. VCU is a special space to me, where I feel like I can be creative and learn from faculty and staff who support me at work but also support my passions like community organizing and my art practice.
Can you describe what you do in your role at VCU? What does your day-to-day look like?
In my current role, I manage all of CHS’s social media accounts–follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook @VCUCHS. I develop our social media content and calendar, create assets, and am planning a creative and technical workshop series for social media managers in the College. In addition to my social media work I am an events planner and consultant. I help book space, catering, A/V, webinars and other event needs for the dean’s office as well as our many departments and units. If you need help planning or marketing an event, please reach out to me via our event planning form. I have really enjoyed working across the College in this role and meeting the wonderful people that make up CHS.
"VCU is a special space to me, where I feel like I can be creative and learn from faculty and staff who support me at work but also support my passions like community organizing and my art practice."
Tell us about the things you are most passionate about.
I am deeply engaged with racial and social justice movements. I organized with our local bail fund to get folks out of seven facilities around central Virginia and limit the disparate harms that the criminal justice system enacts against Black, Brown and Indigenous communities. Movement work helped ground me in Richmond and made this place home to me. I am an artist and incredibly passionate about zines and bookmaking. I am really looking forward to the comeback of the Richmond Zine Fest this year. On a more frivolous note, I love period dramas. “Jane Eyre” (2011) and “A Room with a View” (1985) are two of my favorites.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
In 2021, I was awarded the Clarice Durham Social Media Fellowship from Project NIA, an organization working to end the incarceration of children and young adults by promoting restorative and transformative justice practices. I got to work with activists and scholars I really admired and deepened my commitment to social justice. I will hold the experiences I had at the organization for a long time.
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people.
I have played six instruments over the course of my life: violin, trombone, bass guitar, keyboard, percussion and tuba. I was sousaphone co-captain in my high school marching band. I love music and currently play bass for a band in Richmond.