Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Multicultural and You

In the bestselling self-help book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, the author speaks of how showing a genuine interest and respect for others is among the ways of making friends, influencing people, and effectively becoming more successful in life. Carnegie profiles captains of industry and successful individuals to illustrate the potential a personal life orientation toward taking a genuine interest in others and respecting what is important to them has. “If you want others to like you, if you want to develop real friendships, if you want to help others at the same time as you help yourself, keep this principle in mind…Become genuinely interested in other people.” Carnegie illustrates this point by showing that a salesmen only made a sale when he took a genuine interest in finding out what was important to his customer, the salesmen gained more than just a sale he confessed “he opened my eyes to things I had never even dreamed of. He changed my whole mental attitude.”

    November is Diversity Awareness Month at Hofstra; diversity refers to the unique combination of identities that make up who we are in relation to others. It relates to the culture to which a person belongs; culture is a “set of values, beliefs, expectations, worldviews, symbols, and appropriate behaviors of a group that provide its members with norms, plans, and rules for social living.” Learning about a person’s culture means you are learning about something that is important to who they are. It should be clear that people regard their values, beliefs, and worldview as important. Diversity Awareness Month provides various opportunities for Hofstra students to take a genuine interest in the diverse experience of others. Throughout the month, keep a lookout for events and programs that will illuminate the diversity of racial, ethnic, sexual, gender, religious, and other identities that are important to you and important to those around you.

At Hofstra, if your academic major is physics, you may think that knowing and mastering physics will mean success for you. I’m writing to tell you that while that is very important, it is only half the picture. Whatever your academic major: math, businesses, journalism, etc., do not forget that we live in a world inhabited by people, not subjects. Each person you meet could be in some way responsible for whether or not you are successful in your career, and they will have a unique set of identities that make them who they are. Many of the blog posts you’ll read by our very own Career Center will talk about this nebulous concept of “networking”, which is espoused as one of the most important ways of securing a career. Networking is often boiled down to “who you know, not what you know” being the most important factor in a career search. However, merely knowing another individual will not make them want to give you a job or even like you. Showing a genuine interest and respect for what they view as important, their cultural identity, and viewing it as equally important to your own is the key to making a lasting impression and possibly an enduring connection.

Here at the Multicultural and International Student Office as a part of Diversity Awareness Month we will be celebrating International Education Week.   The week will begin with the Multicultural Mixer in which multiple organizations and our office are collaborating to celebrate our campus' diversity.  The event will take place on Monday, November 11, from 6pm to 9pm.  On Tuesday, November 12 2013 the Next Stop: Africa.  An event in which will educate students about the continent that is Africa and the different countries.  Wednesday, November 13 our Diversity Awareness Month Reception int eh Plaza Rooms, from 11:15 to 12:30pm with keynote speaker Lisa Young, a Hofstra alum.  Our trip to Havana Central on Thursday, November 14th and closing with H*INT (Hofstra International) Cultural Festival on Friday in the Main Dining Room on Friday November 15th.  Make sure you check out all of our events during International Education Week!  If you're interested in our events for Diversity Awareness month, CLICK HERE and check out all of our wonderful events!

Guest Blogger: 
Jason Schaefer Graduate Student Assistant for LGBTQ Programs at MISPO
Mental Health Counseling Graduate Student


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