Tritons Making an Impact: Diversity & Inclusion
Throughout 2022, the University of Guam is celebrating its Platinum Jubilee and 70 years of "Transforming Lives, Advancing Communities.” The month of April focuses on the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Through their unique perspectives and experiences, the following UOG students and faculty offer insight into the importance of building an inclusive campus community.
Degree Program: Bachelor of Business Administration
Expected graduation: 2024
“In high school, I was the only student from the CNMI, and there were times when I felt left out. Simple things — like when my classmates invited me to eat with them — made me feel very welcomed and a part of the community. As the UOG Residence Halls Governing Council President, I helped organize the first-ever Micronesian Culture and Traditions Day at UOG. It was a great opportunity to work alongside my fellow Tritons to further promote and celebrate diversity at the University. But again, I want to remind people not to forget the little things, like greeting a classmate. Those actions can go a long way in making others feel welcome.”
Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Biology – Bio-Medical
Expected graduation: 2025
“I believe I was fortunate enough to grow up in an environment where diversity was constantly around me. Whether it was food, religion, or practices, I grew accustomed to the differences present in each person’s culture. It felt so normalized that I found myself proud of my own culture within the process. With my upbringing, I became accustomed to meeting people with different backgrounds — this resulted in me becoming more accepting and open-minded to views that differ from mine.”
Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering
Expected graduation: 2023
“A few years ago, one of my teachers noticed that my grade was dropping [...] my mood changed, and I would not show up to class. After class one day, he pulled me aside and asked what was wrong — I said 'nothing.' However, he knew I wasn't doing well and advised me to seek help. This action from my teacher helped me regain my confidence. I believe my teacher's way of checking in and following up made me feel a sense of belonging, which is what I strive to follow if I feel or see something out of the norm amongst my peers.”
Profession: Associate Professor of Education
"In education, it is so important that we recognize our differences. One of the biggest things we can take is an asset-based approach to education. We need to celebrate our differences and the bi-lingual or multi-lingual skills that our learners bring to the classroom."
Profession: Professor of Sociology
“One of the greatest gifts that education can provide us is the opportunity to meet and learn from each other. The Bali Field School, established more than two decades ago, provides UOG students with invaluable opportunities to grow, to learn, to transform one’s inner life, and empower one to transform one’s community. Students forge life-long friendships with each other and with many of the people they encounter during our travel. Cultural immersion allows our students to look deeply within and recognize what are our own greatest strengths in Guam and within our cultural traditions and way of life as Micronesian island peoples. They are empowered to work with others to strive to continue to build communities upon the most foundational qualities: unity, trustworthiness, mutual support, collaboration, fellow feeling, selflessness, commitment to truth, a sense of responsibility, a thirst to learn, and the love of an all-embracing heart.”