The reason I have chosen to focus on communication is a product of what I have learned and experienced while completing my undergraduate studies at Appalachian State University and going on to get my Masters at California State University Chico. My reasons for pursuing an undergraduate degree were very simple, it was expected because my brother was pursuing a degree and that was also what my parents wanted for me.
Spring semester 2007, I studied abroad in Sweden. For six months I traveled not only in Sweden, but throughout seven different European countries with vast numbers of different cultures within each. I wanted to have an authentic experience. So, when I was in a poor country I would make sure to live on one dollar for the entire day for fun, and treat myself to less costly endeavors.
I am fascinated by how people interact across cultures, such as the appropriateness of talking to strangers on a train or helping a woman carry her bags. During my travels I realized that math and physics, where I began my undergraduate studies, was not my passion. I enjoy interacting, experiencing, and shaping the world around me by learning about people. I returned to Boone, NC and immediately changed my major to Communication Studies and became involved with the Appalachian State Forensic Union.
Fundamentally, what motivates me to continue to progress and work in this field is Aristotle’s Café, a philosophical discussion group first sponsored on App State campus through the Forensics Union, meant to bring philosophy back to the people. I am head facilitator and a trainer for these discussion groups where students and community members come to discuss any and every question possible. I excitedly anticipate Tuesday each week. In November 2011 a paper I wrote that studied the positive outcomes of these discussions within a University setting was accepted with honors to the Experiential Learning division at the National Communication Association yearly convention. Applying the communication theories and skills that I have learned in the classroom to Aristotle’s Café has helped me understand that it is very possible for my learning and skills to impact the world for the better.
For these reasons and many more, I am at your service and will continue to educate myself and others in anyway that I can so that I can work and live my life passionately, with fulfillment, and purpose.