The Power of Diversity

A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community, or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.

The doorbell rang incessantly. The rest of the NASA Sharpies (as we like to call ourselves) and I in the room looked at each other in confusion - the door was already wide open. Glancing over, we saw Kennedy walk in with a curious look on his face. "Why does it make that sound when I press that?" he asked us. We all responded by letting out a heartfelt chuckle. I explained to him that pressing that little button is usually used to signal to the residents living inside that there is a visitor waiting to be greeted. "Ah, that's tight!" he replied while smiling. He had never seen such a device in his hometown of Tafuna, American Samoa. Although it may have seemed to be just a trivial difference in the two cultures, it was one of many moments at NASA SHARP that allowed me to experience firsthand the richness of diversity.

Twenty of us flew into LAX, everyone from a different part of the United States or one of its outlying territories. The first night, we played a game where each of us was asked questions ranging from favorite sports teams to professional goals. I participated intently in the game, asking as many questions as I could to learn more about everyone. It became quite clear that although there were...

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