Diversity diffuses every corner on campus

Combo cultures enrich the students’ life

Cheuk Yiu (Noel) Lee, Editor

It is not unusual to hear some students speaking in various languages other than English on campus. Vincennes University is home to students from diverse backgrounds and age groups. The Trailblazer interviewed three students with unique perspectives. 


Fifty-five- year old David Johnson, nursing major, Montgomery, Indiana, was excited about going back to school. Although this is his senior year being at Vincennes University, he was absolutely excited about the following semesters as he got along well with classmates, even though he is older than most. Having four children, he has plenty of experience in communicating with teenagers, which is why he did not worry about interacting with the youth.


Johnson graduated from college in 1982 and returned back to school three years ago. He would like to become a better nurse by earning one more associate’s degree. He described that nursing has been a time consuming major that has taken a lot of his personal time away from participating in extracurricular activities, such as music band. However, he would rather sacrifice his personal time learning  the nursing skills he is responsible to know and should pay attention to.


“To become a nurse, the responsibility you have is controlling  people’s lives. If you did some calculations wrong, you can kill somebody, so it is a very serious job, nursing is not a joke, you are controlling people’s lives,”he said.


After that, he continued by sharing the differences between nowadays and the past regarding the methods of learning. He said with a smile that he needed to learn how to use the graphing calculator which was not allowed to be used in Algebra class back in previous years.


As an experienced student, Johnson said that he could manage the classes, he also reminded peers that learning is  all about respect.


“Study require you to put yourself in someone’s shoes,” he explained, “We are all human, we all do the same thing- making a living, paying bills, and enjoying life. [We] might disagree on certain things, maybe what we eat or how we eat,  and that’s fine, but it does not make sense to make bad for anybody.” 

He agreed that college has been changing into a diverse place. He suggested that if everyone understand one another and show empathy, respect and peace could be gained in school.  

Even though most of the practical nursing skills he has accumulated at work, Johnson finally wished that he could become a good nurse as possible as he could and share his life experiences with more people and a lot more younger people after finishing the nursing degree.


Malteo Canello, freshmen, Interior Design, a pole vaulter on the  track and field team, is an international student from Italy. He was pleased that he could study in the United States and be in a diverse school. Within several school weeks, he has seen a lot of differences from his hometown, though he likes the environment here very much.


“I [like] the relationship [here between] somebody you don’t know and [one individual], people here are more friendly, they will greet you and say ‘how are you’ when  walking on campus or in the city […] I like this, it was a different culture,” he said.


Canello explained that it is rare to greet strangers in Italy. He was not used to the warm greeting in the U.S. at first and did not know how to respond, but as soon as he started immersing himself into the culture, he could now greet others back confidently.


Canello even shared more on perspectives of food culture, systems of education and sport, street cleanliness and security. During the interview, he humbly stated that he was not good at English and he tried very hard to explain and used a translator to express his thoughts. 


When he mentioned about school challenges, he said he had taken a lot of time on studying due to the language barrier, as well as the pole vault training, the workload was demanding. However, he was thankful that he met considerate instructors who had translated notes in Italian for him.


He likes the campus since, “everything works here, whatever you need, you could always ask and you could work it out [as] they care, they care a lot.” 


  Regarding his hope toward the following days studying at VU, he would love to continue meeting new friends and build  friendships that would be long lasting and who could keep in contact even when he would transfer. Canello had met many new friends who were from all around the world: Ethiopia, Germany, Kenya, South Africa, Serbia and each at school.


Meanwhile, he also said that he enjoyed the school that contains different cultures . “I just like people from different countries, and being accepted. [I am] super fascinated about the community and the campus! I don’t have [any more] expectations [on this mixture],” he said.


Lastly, he plans to graduate with Interior Design degree in the U.S. and become a designer to build houses and estates which he used to work for in Italy; and he hopes he could get great improvement from pole vault in the US as well, which provides him plenty resources and developing space.


Also planning to earn a college degree, freshmen, Victoria Rose Turner, Graphic Design major, Wanamaker, Indiana, would like to get into Ball State University or Purdue University to continue her education after finishing the associate’s degree at VU. Her main goal is to become a car wrap designer. 


Being a college newbie, Turner has clearly realized the importance of school. She treasures the chance of going to college as she understands that college is not everyone’s opportunity.  She then determined that learning to be dependent was a first step to gain in college. Turner used to consistently get along with parents and siblings; however, while she first move to Vincennes, she faced a challenge that she knew nobody around. She was“ trying to make friends with [her] own,” until school starts. But getting homesick- missing parents and siblings are still a concern for her. 


Nonetheless, Turner optimistically pointed out that every matter was just temporary, once things were more familiar, it would not be a big challenge. Similarly, Turner used the same approch to adjust her way of learning in college.


“Once you get into things, it can be just a click, like you got homework, you have to do it, so you gonna do it; you have classes, then you gonna get up, gonna get up,” she stated.


“I have not skipped the classes , that’s a win!” She said with a smile.  


Finally, Turner prefered college than highschool because there is less restriction in college and she could see more different kinds of people who are from all parts of the world. 


“I like this kind of diverse place because I get to learn about other cultures, […] With more international students coming to college, [I] can learn where they came from, what they go through, what classes they have to take,” she said.