Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Experiencing Psychology Outside PLU

On September 26th, I got the opportunity to present my psychology research poster with my research group at the Race and Pedagogy National Conference held at University of Puget Sound. This conference was held from September 25th-27th, and famous speakers such as Angela Davis (civil rights activist), Winona LaDuke (indigenous and environmental rights activist),  Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. (director of W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research), and Dr. Eduardo  Bonilla-Silva (sociologist) were there at the conference as keynote speakers. It was a great opportunity for both my research partner and I since we had been working on our study since last April, and had turned in our research proposal last May hoping to present our poster. We studied the effects of family closeness and responsibility and how it effected different aspects of immigrant children's lives: with academics, depressions, and adjusting to American culture.

Many people stopped by our poster and listened to us explain our study, the results, and its possible implications or effects this could have on education. We also answered questions that educators, program directors, and students had about our study. We even got to interact with a few PLU professors as well! Overall, I enjoyed the experience a lot. I am really looking forward to more opportunities where I'd get to do more poster presentations!

Monday, September 22, 2014

PLU Outdoor Recreation: Experiencing Nature in the Pacific Northwest

Summer has treated the Pacific North West extremely well this year and seems to still be clinging on before slipping into fall. The first few weeks of school have been absolutely gorgeous giving us plenty of opportunities to get outdoors. That is why I jumped at the chance to sign up for some of this year's Outdoor Recreation trips. 
Photo: Madeleine Brekke
Outdoor recreation strives to serve students and the rest of the PLU community through providing weekend trips, educational opportunities, integrated course curriculum and on-campus programming. Trips are available to ALL students, staff and faculty and are designed to incorporate low-budget needs. Trips are guided by trained student volunteers and you can see them around campus after a great trip! Trips may include biking, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, snowshoeing, camping, fishing, river floating, bonfires and backpacking!
Unfortunately the kayaking trip to the Puget Sound was full, but I was able to sign up for a hiking trip to one of the alpine lakes in the area with one of my roommates. It was a really beautiful day and felt so good to get off campus and into nature. The landscape in Washington reminds me a lot of the landscape at home in Norway. It looked and felt as if we were teleported back to Norway at times on the trail.

The hike was around about 7 miles round trip, 3,5 being straight up the side of the mountain, to a beautiful, clear lake. Were we had OR food and soaked up some rays. It was a nice break from homework (which happened later that night) and was a great way to end the weekend! I am looking forward to many more trips with OR before I graduate. It is a great way to see the PNW and get outside! I highly encourage all international students to participate as it creates great opportunities to meet domestic students an bond with new friends!
Mason Lake
The water was so clear!

"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience." 
- Eleanor Roosevelt
PLU student, Rose, pondering by the lake.
To find more info about Outdoor Recreation and the trip schedule check out their website here:

Check out their Facebook page here:

The hiking group! Photo: Rose
I want to specifically thank my OR guides Reza and Francis for being awesome and keeping us all safe!

Monday, September 15, 2014

PLU Foreign Kids Exploring America!

Dear friends,

It's been a while since I wrote you a letter. How have you been?Any amazing stories you'd like to share?

Early in June this summer, I flew to Namibia, Africa with a film-making group from PLU. One of the things that I miss the most was jogging on random afternoons outside of the hotel in which we stayed. The best part of my run was seeing the purple-ish sky as the sun was setting. It reminded me of the dream I haven't lost -- to see as much of this world as I could before I die.

On a hiking trip we went on in Daan Viljoen Nature Reserve, we found a tiny tree on the ground.
So there I was, planting my dream like gardeners popping seeds into the soil. Knowing that I'd only go further on my journey to see more of this world once I started, I realized how lucky I was.

After returning to the U.S., I became busy with making a trailer, preparing to get a driver's license, and the list goes on. Then, it was the New Student Orientation for Fall 2014 - the most exciting time of the semester for everyone at PLU.

Photo Credit: John Froschauer
International Student Services office has been adjusting to some new changes this year, while we said our goodbyes to Akane Yamaguchi, we welcomed Hai Doan, the new assistant director of social media, to our team. As usual, the orientation was still full of excitement.

Photo Credit: Hai Doan

The only thing different, and better, is that our new student body is a lot more diverse from the semesters before. We were excited to see faces from Saudi Arabia, Israel, France, Germany, China, Malaysia, China, etc.
Photo Credit: Hai Doan

Venturing to downtown Tacoma in the midday sun with the new international crowd easily became an odd scene in the eyes of strangers. "A bunch of foreign kids were looking for hello, cupcake," said a woman randomly passing by. She looked confused... I must add.
*One of the activities we do with new students. Each group is given a map of downtown Tacoma. The winning team must find all the locations marked in the map and take group pictures in front of each location.
Here you have it. The story has not ended yet. I am sure that this fun group will have more stories to share as the semester goes on. If I know of any, I will tell you more.

Let's have a wonderful school year!

Love always,

Shunying Wang