Winter 2019 Menlo Advantage Magazine Now Online

Menlo Advantage Magazine Winter 2019

Menlo College is a small campus with a large personality. One reason for its outsized presence is its diversity. Walk across the quad and you will hear a student from Poland discussing recent events with someone from France; in a political science workshop, the conversation ranges from differences of ethnic background to attitudes of class; and in business seminars, faculty members describe their experiences in various fields around the globe. Students at Menlo encounter new people and new perspectives in the classroom, on the playing fields, and in the residence halls.

In this issue of Advantage Magazine we celebrate all the voices of Menlo College. For example, our provost Grande Lum brings his experience as a mediator to Menlo. He describes the inside story of defusing inflammatory situations by helping clashing groups find a common ground. Professors Jodie Austin and Melissa Poulsen bring to this issue a moving portrait of the voices lost at Manzanar, one of the internment camps for Japanese Americans during World War II— and how those voices are being regained. Professor Lowell Pratt tells in moving detail of the ways that texts from around the world have influenced students in his Global Literature class.

Students at Menlo are encouraged to find their voices and to listen to those they haven’t heard before. Our Menlo club presidents describe their events, places where students can explore their identities and just have fun. In our feature on international students, we listen to all the fascinating perspectives they bring to Menlo.

Diversity is rightly upheld as a path toward social justice. But diversity also “improves the way people think,” according to researchers Sheen S. Levine and David Stark in a December 9, 2015 New York Times article. After conducting a rigorous study (of different groups pricing simulated stocks), the authors conclude that the improved scores of the mixed groups rose not from anyone’s special skills, but from the fact that diversity itself “prompts better, critical thinking. It contributes to error detection. It keeps us from drifting toward miscalculation.” The authors state their conclusion in their title: “Diversity Makes You Brighter.”

In this issue you will see why Menlo has a bright presence. Go Oaks–all our wonderful Oaks!

Pamela Gullard, Editor