Campus activities: Asian-American Pacific Islander Organization; Student Government Association; Equity and Diversity Committee
Career goal: Earn master’s degree, then work in business
You are on the executive board of the Asian-American Pacific Islander Organization. What kind of things does this group do?
I am three-fourths Chinese and one-fourth Vietnamese. My parents came to America from Vietnam during the Vietnam War, but I grew up in Branson and had a typical American childhood. However, when I came to the University I realized how important it is to be aware of my cultural background. I wanted to get involved in the organization, which was once fairly small. But in the past year or two it has grown immensely. We got our name out there and did a ton of activities around campus. We do volunteer work in the community and have social events, like movie nights.
How does the group celebrate Missouri State’s Asian-American Pacific Islander Heritage Month held each spring?
We have done free language lessons, and did an event called “Play an Asian Game Night.” Our members brought traditional children’s games from their cultures to the Plaster Student Union. We sat in the food area and invited everyone who walked by to play. We taught them the rules and gave out prizes and candy. They all had a lot of fun and so did we.
Why are you glad there are diverse student groups on campus?
College life, like the real world, needs to be diverse because there are many cultures and many different lifestyles out there. I think people need to be aware of that there are people out there with different viewpoints and you should respect that.
Do you think Missouri State is a good value?
It’s definitely a value! I’ve compared the school’s tuition with other schools and we have a really low tuition — but we have great teachers and great classes. You get your money’s worth. I am a recipient of the Multicultural Leadership Scholarship, and it was easy to apply for aid and it is easy to renew my scholarship.
What are your plans after graduation?
I am thinking of doing the accelerated master’s in business administration degree. I can get through my master’s program about a year faster than a regular master’s program. It’s great that Missouri State offers that because you can take care of your senior year and your first year of your master’s at the same time!
What advice would you give to new students?
Get involved! Through organizations you meet the people who will help shape your life, and you learn so much about yourself.