Student-run eSports program pays homage to Fort Wayne

These days, you don’t have to be on the field or the court to compete in sports.

There is an ever-growing community of competitive gamers in the online world of eSports, and two students are bridging the gap between the learning stages and the professional scene.

Isaac Wendel and Jaden Hullinger are the co-founders of the eSports program 260Widow Gaming. Best friends and roommates at Purdue University Fort Wayne, they are representing the city’s area code with the new organization that highlights both local and international talent.

The group is geared toward students in high school and college interested in the multimedia world. Interests include gaming, editing, marketing, design, and many more creative mediums that contribute to the popularity of eSports.

So far, 260Widow Gaming has about seven involved in Fort Wayne, and one that joined from Romania.

The eSports lab is in Walb Student Union, room 221. You can find 260Widow Gaming on YouTube and Twitter.

Starting with our neighbors, Baha’i community looks to build unity in Fort Wayne

An event this weekend is uniting the community with two steps: vision and action.

“Building Vibrant Communities” is all about the oneness of humanity. Together, those in attendance are discussing tangible ways to grow closer as a community.

Born and raised in Fort Wayne, Marisol Sharpe has watched the city grow and is stepping up as a leader to make sure growth continues. Thanks to an initiative organized by the Baha’i community Sharpe is part of, the Fort Wayne conference is one of many happening around the world. Saturday’s focus is on the vision, and Sunday the discussion is all about action.

And the event is far from a lecture. Discussion-based breakout sessions are designed to involve every voice in attendance. Adults, teens, and youth as young as five years old are all invited to join in.

Sharpe said everyone has a part to play in the betterment of the world, and everyone has the option to be a “protagonist” in the effort to make the world a better place.

You don’t have to wait for another conference to be part of the program. One way to practice “oneness of humanity”, Sharpe explained, is to get to know our neighbors. Forming relationships with the people that live around us fulfills the second part of the initiative– action.

“I don’t think we realize– the small acts of kindness, how far those things really go,” Sharpe said.

The two-day conference is Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Breakfast and lunch are provided. Learn more about the efforts of the Baha’i and register for the free event online.

Here’s why you might find a rubber duck around campus

If you find a miniature rubber duck perched somewhere around campus, you’re not hallucinating.

Thomas Carroll is a sophomore studying organizational leadership, and he’s practicing those skills now with a unique way to spread encouragement to his peers.

It all started at Chick-Fil-A, where Carroll works, when some new team members were hired: “mental health rubber ducks” for workers to have a reminder to keep smiling.

“Ducks- especially miniature rubber ducks- are something that everyone can really have a happy connection to.”

Thomas Carroll

Carroll was inspired and started the quirky Instagram account at beginning of the 2021 fall semester. The content consists of mini rubber ducks: red, blue, green, yellow, and the collection is growing.

Posts are close-up pictures with just a background glimpse of where they might be hiding. If you’re lucky, there’s a hint in the caption.

Carroll said he and his mini friends have been everywhere on campus. Keep your eyes peeled for a duck near any of the main buildings, including Kettler Hall, Engineering, Neff Hall, Walb Student Union (don’t forget to check the cafeteria) and many more places. Hideout spots aren’t limited to the indoors, either– some ducks have been found chillin’ out in the snow.

Carroll said his followers have been enjoying the random duck content on their feed, and the social media account has created memorable interactions between him and other students.

One response that impacted Carroll was from someone reaching out to thank him, saying they found a duck just when they needed a pick-me-up that day.

“If nothing else comes from this– that’s perfect,” Carroll said.

The latest edition to the quest: when you find a duck, there may be a compliment or note of encouragement attached.

When you find a duck, you get not one, but two instant new friends–the duck, and Carroll! Make sure to message the Instagram account and let him know you succeeded.

You can follow the adventures of the rubber ducks at the Instagram account @pfwduck.

Celebrating Diversity at Hobnobben Film Festival

By Brianna Datta

“Hobnobben is on its sixth annual festival which is absolutely amazing for Fort Wayne and the community. We continue to grow every single year. This year we received a record number of film submissions, so we love to see how this festival has evolved and changed from the beginning”, said Amanda Hille, co-chair of the Hobnobben film festival for the last three years.

Hille explained the significance of this event taking place in a town like Fort Wayne, extending the invitation for those unfamiliar with independent filmmaking to share their art and their perspective with the Northeast Indiana community.

“One thing we’re excited about with Hobnobben is that it is very much a Fort Wayne event. We accept films from high school all the way up to more professional type projects. We have several awards that emphasize the locality of Fort Wayne. So, this year we had a quarter of our films that were submitted that were tied to Indiana in some way, whether its being in Indiana or that they were Indiana-specific. So, we are excited to nurture and grow filmmaking in the Fort Wayne area because it is an important art form, where you can not only share your story but it’s a way to allow people from diverse groups and perspectives to showcase what they want to say in a succinct way. With this particular type of programming, we rely on the Fort Wayne community members to show up and participate in seeing films, we rely on community businesses and organizations to help sponsor Hobnobben, and this festival is really about bringing people together in an inclusive way to make sure that everyone is seen and heard and that we can really celebrate other perspectives which is so unique.”

Hille also highlighted the ways in which Hobnobben sets itself a part from other film festivals, describing how Hobnobben actively celebrates diversity beyond just the content of the film selections. Many of the films submissions selected were directed by women, and the Hobnobben festival itself was led by women. In addition to this, Hobnobben offers a special award, the Jen and Lynn award, to celebrate LGBTQIA representation in the films.

“For me, being a part of Hobnobben during my second year, one of my co-chairs said that there aren’t many festivals that are led by women it’s only, I believe, twenty-eight percent of festivals. So, for us to provide that understanding is so important. We have a new award called the Jen and Lynn award that is specifically to highlight and celebrate LGBTQAI films, and that’s one way to make sure that we are bringing representation to Fort Wayne. Forty percent of our films that were in this festival were directed by women-which is unheard of when you compare it to your mainstream Hollywood films.”

To stream the films from this event visit hobnobben.org

For more information on the Hobnobben film festival visit hobnobben.org

You Won’t See these in the Mainstream: Short Films from the Hobnobben Film Festival

By Brianna Datta

Fort Wayne’s annual Hobnobben film festival celebrated its sixth year at the Embassy theatre in Fort Wayne over the weekend. Members of the Fort Wayne community showed their support for independent filmmaking by attending the festival, enjoying the wide selection of submissions from filmmakers around the world, as well as panel discussions, live events, and more.

“I think what separates Hobnobben from other film festivals is that we really do strive for diversity and inclusivity in the stories that we highlight in our festival. So, we try to showcase films that you wouldn’t see on any mainstream media”, said Christi Hille, one of the co-chairs of the festival.

Christi Hille has been involved with Hobnobben since its first year. She started out bartending the first event, then volunteered with the hospitality and marketing teams, eventually working her way to become one of the three co-chairs of Hobnobben film festival. Hille highlighted the importance of supporting independent films and filmmakers in the Fort Wayne community.

“This year we had one hundred and five films were submitted to the festival, most of those were shorts in some way shape or form, and those are the types of films you can’t see streaming on Netflix or turning the channel, but there’s a lot that you can do in five minutes to tell a story and you wouldn’t know it unless you had access to a festival like this that happens to be in Fort Wayne, and it’s a really unique opportunity.”

When asked what her favorite film out of the festival line up was, she had trouble deciding, but did describe a few submissions that stood out to her, as well as the “love love” block, a block of time dedicated to romance films.

“It’s so difficult for me to choose a favorite film of the festival because we watch all of the film submissions and as a committee, we decide which ones make it into the festival after our program team watches all of them and rates them to begin with. So, I think of all of them as my true loves and I’m so passionate about each of them, but I do have a couple favorites. Six Angry Women is well-done. It’s a lovely documentary feature that investigates a crime that took place in New Zealand and that was unsolved for years, while also highlighting the rise of feminism in New Zealand and safety on campus issues. It’s a really well-done film. I also did enjoy the “love love” block. It has a bunch of little romantic vignettes and features that are cute and sweet. So, romance stories that again, you’re not really seeing on mainstream media, lots of queer representation in them, lots of different types of relationships that we can form, some meet cutes and all that kind of jazz too.”

 

You can stream the films from this event at hobnobben.org

For more information on Hobnobben film festival visit hobnobben.org.

Pointe Shoes

By Sydney Hamblin

When the dance teachers gave her permission to buy her very first pair of pointe shoes, Katie Graber, a 17-year-old dancer at TC Dance Academy for the Performing Arts, noticed there was something odd about the dance shoes when she wore them. They didn’t match her skin tone like they matched her classmates’ skin tone.

Black dancers, especially female, are still a rarity when it comes to ballet. Although there has been a recent increase in awareness for diversity within the dance community, black dancers remain barely represented in the field.

Graber said that she had only ever seen pink pointe shoes growing up at her dance studio in northeast Indiana because there weren’t many black dancers on the team.

Pointe shoes were invented in the 1820s to allow dancers to dance on the tips of their toes with a block at the base of the shoe. They extend the dancer’s lines and help create the illusion that they are floating on air.

Graber said that, for a long time, she thought that all dancers wore the same color of pointe shoes, regardless of what their skin color was. It wasn’t until she saw a picture of Misty Copeland, an African American professional ballerina, wearing pointe shoes that matched her skin tone on social media that she started asking questions.

After seeing Copeland’s shoes, Graber immediately started researching black pointe shoes to see if they existed.

“I was disappointed and honestly kind of frustrated when I found out that those shoes weren’t something I could order online or buy at the dance store in Fort Wayne,” Graber said. “The way these girls were getting their shoes that color was from pancaking, as we call it in the dance world.”

A New York Times article describes “pancaking” as using foundation or acrylic paint to change the color of a pair of pointe shoes so they match the dancer’s skin tone. Typically, professionals use this method more often than young competition dancers.

Although Graber is not a professional ballerina in the corps, she still participated in the pancaking method that has been used to change the color of pointe shoes for dancers of color.

“I felt left out. I wanted to have shoes that matched my skin just like all my friends did. So my mom and I looked up videos on how to do it on YouTube and we attempted it.”

For dancers like Graber, the Black Lives Matter movement that followed the death of George Floyd changed a lot of things for African Americans, including things within the dance community.

The Black Lives Matter movement caused major pointe shoemakers such as Bloch, Capezio, Repetto and Suffolk to release statements saying that they were going to start making pointe shoes in a variety of shades for dancers of color, according to Pointe magazine.

Bloch was the first major pointe shoemaker that announced this news to the public, saying that the new shades would be available last fall.

“We have been intently listening, reflecting on what we are doing and what we can do better and acknowledge we have not been moving fast enough,” the company said in a statement. “Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, product development was severely slowed down, however we are fully committed to following through with these plans and confirm we will be introducing darker shades into our pointe shoes.”

Donna Winters, owner of Standing Ovation Performance Apparel in Fort Wayne, says that her store sells these pointe shoes for people of color in a variety of brands. Her store also sells tights and undergarments in various skin tones, which are frequently purchased by her customers.

“We do sell pointe shoes for people of color, but we do not carry them in our store,” Winters said. “If anyone is looking to buy a pair, we can place a special order and have them shipped to the store as soon as possible.”

Mindful Attire: September is National Suicide Prevention Month

By Nicole Minarik

Jeremy Blackman’s shirt choice has the sole purpose of showing support and raising awareness during National Suicide Prevention Month.

Blackman, 46, is a Fort Wayne native and hair stylist at 6002 The Salon at Professional Village. He makes connections and talks with over 100 people each month. On Sunday afternoon, he made a new connection and shared the story behind his shirt.

Blackman’s shirt is grey with an outline of the state of Indiana in a green, white and blue combination. The imagery and coloring inside the outline are what could be described as galaxy with the purple, green and splashes of white. Also inside the state outline is a large semicolon with the words Hoosier Buddy Project.

“The representation of the semi colon is why I wear it. It means something in my group of family and friends,” Blackman said.

According to the Project Semicolon website, the symbolic meaning of the semicolon is to show support for those that suffer from mental health issues, have attempted suicide, or have lost a loved one to suicide. Survivors have embraced the symbol as a reminder that their story is not over but a pause before continuing with their story.

Blackman explained that this is just one of several shirts he wears to show support to those who have lost loved ones to suicide or attempted suicide. It is a purposeful thought because September is National Suicide Prevention month.

“Many of our family members have been affected by it,” Blackman said.

Blackman and his wife attended the 2019 Breastfest at the Fortlandia Brewing Company in Fort Wayne. The event is held to raise awareness and funds to help fight breast cancer. His wife, Emily, is a breast cancer survivor.

“My wife and I go every year to the event to try new beers and donate to a good cause,” Blackman said.

That year the Hoosier Buddy Project group also participated in Breastfest. The Hoosier Buddy Project is an Indiana-based suicide prevention program. According to the organization’s Facebook page, they are a group of Indiana brewers that come together to make beers, form support groups, talk about suicide, and help fund existing non-profit groups.

Blackman’s wife is the one who purchased the shirt at the fundraising event. She wanted to add to his collection of meaningful shirts that raise awareness.

IN.gov says Indiana’s suicide rate has been higher than the national suicide rate since 2000. In addition, around 1,000 Hoosiers are lost to suicide every year and have been since 2016.

For more information on the Hoosier Buddy Project, go to their Facebook page: Hoosier Buddy.

For more information or resources on Project Semicolon, go to: www.projectsemicolon.com.

 

Lutheran Foundation looks at Mental Health

Marcia Haaff considers herself the ultimate optimist.

Her job as CEO for The Lutheran Foundation is probably a perfect match.

“I always see the good in everything,” said Haaff, who on Oct. 2 celebrated her 25th anniversary as the foundation’s top executive – the first and only person to hold that job.

Mental health often draws more attention during the holidays when some people are lonely, grieving loved ones who have died or trying to cope with other issues – including this year’s global coronavirus pandemic.

But Haaff has not wavered in her intent to effect change.

The Lutheran Foundation she leads is a nonprofit that serves northeast Indiana with a faith-based goal to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. The foundation gives about 60% of its funds to Lutheran congregations, schools and ministries and about 40% to the local community.

Haaff is credited with being instrumental in the foundation’s investing of more than $179 million in the Fort Wayne area since 1996.

The CEO uses the virtual world 2020 has forced upon us as a safe place for her staff to express individual feelings and discuss how to support one another. Haaff uses staff meetings to assess mental wellness, asking staff members how they are. Staff can respond with a thumbs-up if they are OK, a thumb sideways if they are not too great and a thumbs-down if they are not OK.

“Without mental health, you cannot have spiritual and physical health,” Haaff said.

Cheryl Taylor, the former president and CEO of the Foellinger Foundation, said she and Haaff have been walking in parallel steps for 25 years.

“One of the wonderful opportunities Marcia has is being the first and only CEO of the Lutheran Foundation,” Taylor said. “Anytime a person has an opportunity to take on a position that no one has ever had before, that presents both a challenge and a chance.”

Taylor said the challenge is how to lead in a way that sets a standard. The chance is to “strike out boldly” and do something good in the community.

“One of Marcia’s greatest gifts is that she appreciates that balance and she took that chance,” Taylor said.

Mayor Tom Henry also commented on Haaff’s influence.

“I appreciate and value the important role that Marcia has in our community and the positive difference she is helping lead,” he said in a statement. “Her leadership and tenacity, particularly in the areas of mental health and proactive substance abuse treatments and care, have been instrumental in helping individuals and families in need.”

“The Lutheran Foundation is a tremendous asset and under Marcia’s direction is a vital part of Fort Wayne being a caring and giving city that cares about one another,” he added.

Haaff said she loves being the face of the foundation, which has 13 staff members, but she also takes pride in being a connector.

She has spent a large portion of her time with the foundation building relationships within the Fort Wayne community, including with teachers and police officers.

“Marcia is very cognizant of (the value of) that connection,” Taylor said.

Other local leaders agree. Haaff was named Community Partner of the Year in 2019. The award is given by the Allen County Department of Health.

Haaff marvels that despite 1 in 5 people dealing with mental illness, there is still a stigma, including in faith organizations.

Often a congregation will rally to cook casseroles when someone is physically injured, but there is not as much understanding with mental issues, an invisible illness, she said.

Haaff and her team conducted a survey in 2019 and learned that people didn’t know where to go or how to access resources when faced with mental illness. The Lutheran Foundation launched LookUpIndiana.org, which was funded by a grant from the Division of Mental Health and Addiction. The website provides information about mental/behavioral health and wellness.

The first “Look Up Faith Conference on Mental Health” was in 2019 with the goal of raising awareness in a safe environment. About 700 people attended, and a conference is in the works for 2022 with the hope to further education within congregations on mental illness.

The needs of 92 congregations, 19 schools and various ministries are always among the foundation’s top priorities for 2021.

“Our work,” she said, “will continue on.”

As featured in the Journal Gazette Dec. 29, 2020.

Hispanos Unidos offers fun and inclusive atmosphere

By: Lydia Braswell

Bella Haraguchi’s dance skills are paying off.

The president of Hispanos Unidos taught a Latinx hip-hop dance class on Nov. 21 that represented the culture of the Purdue Fort Wayne club well.

“Dancing is what brings families together,” says the PFW sophomore, explaining that Hispanos Unidos is an inclusive campus club open to all PFW students– not limited to students of Hispanic heritage.

The environment of the fitness studio transpired that sentiment during the dance. Some who attended had a background in dance, and others– like me– had very little prior experience. All six of the dancers continually encouraged each other to keep going and focus on having fun.

Daddy Yankee’s song “Que Tire Pa Lante” played repeatedly from a loudspeaker as we practiced the routine for a total of two hours– including several much-needed breaks for water and fruit snacks. We had an ever-changing audience as students continually peeked their heads in to see what we were up to, and some even stayed to learn a section of the dance.

Libni Sedano attended the hip-hop class and loves to dance in her spare time. Rather than dancing professionally, Sedano learned from her family, as she says dancing is a key tradition for Hispanic families.

The PFW sophomore is majoring in finance and Spanish, and has been part of Hispanos Unidos for two semesters. She said she joined because she likes to be part of people sharing her cultural background.

Haraguchi says that, at parties, dancing isn’t really about getting a work out. The purpose is to feel connected with friends and family, especially in Hispanic culture – whether it’s dancing with a partner, a friend, or a group.

“You eat and then burn [the calories] right off!” Sedano says. “If you get hungry again, there’s more food!”

The Latinx teacher has a diverse background in dance. Starting for fun in elementary school, she began learning elite dance in a studio in middle school and continued through high school. She has competed in a variety of competitions, including ballet, jazz, contemporary, lyrical and hip-hop.

The 20-year-old has stopped dancing professionally but still does hip-hop dances, and her skills were evident as she taught the Latinx class with ease.

“I still love dancing a lot,” says Haraguchi. She also had a chance to teach in September– another Latinx hip-hop combo that was a fundraiser for Hispanos Unidos. The club president and chemistry major stepped up as a leader after the scheduled teacher of the class never showed up.

Teaching hip-hop is not the first time Haraguchi showed her leadership skills. When the soon-to-be-freshman was touring PFW in 2018, she found out that Hispanos Unidos would no longer be a club unless someone volunteered to be president and get students involved.

Haraguchi took on the role and has since been a leader for her club and for her campus.

Haraguchi volunteered to teach on Nov. 21, planning the event herself following the success of the last class. She hopes that those who attended learned more about dancing.

“Dancing doesn’t require much experience or technique,” says Haraguchi. “It’s about feeling the music and having fun with others.”

After fine-tuning our dance moves, we recorded the routine and it is posted on the Instagram page for Hispanos Unidos. None of us were required to be featured in the video, but after a little extra self-esteem boost for the more shy dancers in our group, all six who learned the routine agreed to be recorded. Once again, an encouraging atmosphere was fostered with the help of the Hispanos Unidos club members, and the attitude was contagious.

 

Carolina Baltazar has personally experienced the inclusive nature of the club.

Baltazar attended a private school for most of her education. Born in America and growing up in a family with Mexican heritage, Baltazar’s family speaks Spanish at home. She thought that going to a public school in third and fourth grade would allow her to feel more included after being in a private school with very little diversity, but even though she found a group of people to hang out with, she still did not feel fully accepted.

Baltazar says she thought people at the private school viewed her as a Hispanic girl who didn’t have high standards and acted “ghetto” with no manners. Her friends at the public school would tell her that she acted “white” and Baltazar could not find the balance between the two labels.

The PFW freshman says she was so excited to join Hispanos Unidos and finally be with a group that does not care about labels. “I’m with my people,” says Baltazar.

Baltazar hopes to be part of the club’s advertising committee to spread the word and form a stronger PFW community.

Haraguchi says future classes may be possible after the night’s turnout, with a grand total of 11 who signed the safety waiver and attendance forms. The free class was open to all PFW students and staff.

The Latinx hip-hop dance class was taught in the Hilliard Gates Fitness Studio, located inside the Hilliard Gates Sports Center, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 21 as posted on the Instagram pagefor Hispanos Unidos.

Anyone who wants to learn more about Hispanic culture and be involved in a group dedicated to inclusivity is welcome to join Hispanos Unidos.

Different nations of different stories

By: Tze Wan Goh

Purdue University Fort Wayne welcomes international students every semester, and while some students might be coping well with the new environment, others face challenges at some point during their stay in the United States.

The university is a diverse campus consisting of about 300 international students representing 51 countries from all around the world. As of the fall semester, around 80 to 85 international students were enrolled at PFW.

Among the many challenges and changes that international students have to go through, culture, daily habits, language and religion are some of the main struggles that they have to deal with during their stay in the United States.

Janice Kumala, the only international student from Indonesia, said that she faced homesickness and challenges due to the difference in weather when she first arrived in Fort Wayne.

Kumala, who is majoring in business marketing, came to the U.S. for better education in 2016 and has also experienced a difference in culture compared to her country. ““In the U.S., people are so much friendlier to strangers or to others in general, Kumala said. “It would be weird to say hi, back in Indonesia, but here it would be weird if you don’t say those things.”

Min Namgung, an international student from South Korea who is currently pursuing her master’s in computer science, also talked about some differences in culture. In her country, she said that people who are in the same major will sometimes have gatherings to get to know more about each other or build connections after classes.

“However, here, America, people do not care about each other even though they are in the same major, and do not have any gathering as a group,” Namgung said.

Namgung talked about some culture shocks that she experienced here in the U.S. Coming from a more conserved culture, she said she was surprised when one of her classmates talked about sex as a presentation topic whom later “gave a box of condoms to all classmates including lecturer.”

Not just culture, but daily routine is also somewhat different in the United States compared to what international students have in their countries. Namgung said that people back in her country recycles and separates their trash. She was shocked when she realized that recycling is not widely practiced in the United States.

“I did not know how to throw away my leftover food, and my friends just told me to throw away in the normal trash can,” she said.

Yi Mei Lam, an international exchange student from Switzerland who came to PFW during the fall semester, said that one of her main struggles was not being able go to places independently due to the low accessibility to public transportations.

“While the international office offered shopping trips, I missed having the independence to go wherever I wanted to whenever without relying on others,” Lam said.

Lam also struggled with the heavy workload that the university requires at first and had to get used to the consistency of assignments and tests.

Students also struggle with language when they first arrive in the United States. Namgung explained that even though she has her qualifications in English, it is different and more challenging in real life to take in the language.

Namgung talked about her experience with stereotyping that came from some of the international students while she was in the United States. “I would say it was from their ignorance of my culture, but they asked me if I did any plastic surgery ever or have eaten a dog. And they said they heard all Koreans did that,” Namgung said.

Kumala talked about the different religions in her country and Muslim is the most popular among other seven religions.“Although I’m not a Muslim, it is still different for me to not see a lot of Muslims,” Kumala said. She also said that she experienced culture shock from how early most restaurants or businesses close here and earlier during the weekends.

Both Kumala and Lam said that friends helped a lot in coping with the new environment, while Namgung said that she coped by copying others’ lifestyle and attitude.

Maureen Linvill, assistant director of the international student services, gave some tips and advice on how to cope with new environments. She said that students should get involved more on campus even though academics is the focus. Getting involved in student organizations or getting a job on campus helps with homesickness, Linvill said.

The office of international education provides different events throughout the semester, open to all local and international students and faculty to experience different festivals and cultures in the United States together. They also offer workshops and panels to help international students adapt to the new environment and educate local students about international cultures, religion, etc.

One of these events is “a day in their shoes,” held on Nov. 20, where everyone gets the chance to experience challenges that international students go through to study in the United States. Through the simulation, students who participated faced challenges like having their visa rejected, being rejected to entry at the border or problems with bank statements.

During the panel discussion, students and faculty gave advice to international students or those who plan to study abroad to be prepared in advance with all the paperwork, answers to give during a visa interview, the weather, etc. International students are advised to be flexible and open to new and different things.

Linvill advises students to not “stay in country bubbles,” which are groups of students who do not often get involved in meeting people from other cultures or local students. She also advises students to not hesitate to ask for help when needed.

“I feel like some students make assumptions and then find themselves into problems, maybe they didn’t take 12 credit hours or things that they have to do to maintain their status,” said Linvill.

“If in doubt come see me,” she said.