By Narjes Al-Bakshy and Meghan Feir
Growing up on the island of Taiwan in the South Pacific, Chu Yi had encountered homesickness and cultural shock firsthand upon arriving at MSUM four years ago. This is one reason Yi, along with his fellow presenter, Katrina Brekke, is interested in adding diversity to MSUM through researching and developing a diversity program. This program, developed by Yi, a business administration and marketing major, and Brekke, a graduate student in the counseling and student affairs program, will be interdisciplinary and will include academic and non-academic fields.
Attendees to the presentation may be surprised by some of the findings. Yi said the audience “will be shocked to realize that statements of diversity and inclusion can be found within most job descriptions, but students don’t have any proof to show they value diversity.
“Through the diversity learning program, students can be exposed to academic disciplines of diversity as well as field experience, which increases their cultural competence that’s becoming more important in a diverse society and job market,” Yi said,
Brekke said this diversity program aims to bring people together through awareness and tolerance. She believes it is needed, specifically in the Fargo-Moorhead area and the Midwest in general, where many natives do not encounter much diversity in their small towns.
Yi and Brekke plan on stressing the importance of diversity and hope their presentation will spur audience members to learn more about what their program is meant to accomplish. Yi said they would like to use the academic conference “to reach out to students and faculty and ask for their input.”