Campus Culture Transforms Perspectives

Campus culture transforms perspectives

Nick is a Missouri State junior from Kennett, Missouri. He comes from a close-knit family with ties to health care and educational communities. During high school, Nick played sports and was active in National Honor Society. He also began identifying with the LGBTQIA+ community.

During his first semester on campus, Nick grew to appreciate its welcoming vibe. He recalls his general education courses really set the tone for what he should expect during his time at Missouri State:

  • To begin with an open mind.
  • To be accepting of others.
  • To value and support equity and justice.
  • To search for and find opportunities to grow, connect and succeed.

Nick joined several student organizations, including a faith-based group for members of LGBTQ+ community. He applied for and became a member of the Student Diversity in Leadership Institute.

Nick is pursuing a degree in screenwriting. Discussions with his advisor piqued his interest in taking courses outside his major to broaden his knowledge base. It wasn’t until he attended MSU that Nick began interacting with people from different races. SOC 336 Race and Ethnicity sounded like a class that could inspire story lines beyond his background.

His professor not only brought in past and current topics relevant to the class, but also inspired students to share their views and experiences. It was difficult to hear stories from those who had experienced incivility. However, it was powerful to hear students share their experiences about growing up in a community that believed in and promoted racism. They didn’t fully comprehend the degree of its offensive nature until their classroom engagements and campus experiences increased their personal awareness. The students gained a new perspective. They have changed their actions and their words.

What started out as a class that would fuel his major became something much bigger; seeing transformation of thought and broadened perspective of his classmates. Now, Nick tries to be more purposeful in his conversations and is becoming more comfortable talking with students from other cultures. He appreciates that everyone has a backstory. It makes them much more interesting.

Big ideas

Big idea

Core values will be infused into general education courses.