I grew up in Brazil, and during my junior year in high school my family moved to the U.S. so my father could pursue his doctoral degree in Nebraska. Brazil to Nebraska…junior in high school…mid 80’s…let that sink in for a second. Navigating cultural and language barriers provided life lessons and experiences that proved invaluable: every day I encounter a set of norms, traditions, customs, or expectations that prompt me to ask Why is that? How will this affect me? What is my role in the greater scheme of things?
Western’s tag line, Active Minds Changing Lives, captures much of this tension between inquiry and action. Whenever speaking with our students, I get a genuine sense of purpose and intentionality in everything that they do, from the topics of their research, to the organizations that they support. Essentially, Western challenges and encourages its students in ways that promote individual explorations while strengthening the broader community. With a long tradition of helping shape future leaders and innovators, Western is committed to its mission of extending quality educational experiences for students from diverse backgrounds and identities. I consider it a true privilege to work at such an amazing place.