Multicultural Affairs

OMA in the News

07 Steppin' OutGetting a Jump Start on College

New Willamette University students are introduced to the campus and each other during the annual Opening Days orientation program. But for some students, that's not enough. They want to make new friends in a smaller environment, get to know Willamette in a more intimate way, learn more about the community where they will live for the next four years.Read More...


Artise BurtonIt's your life. Lead it.

Artise Burton, a 2004 sociology graduate from Tacoma, Wash., knows what a difference Willamette can make. When he arrived on campus, he dreamed of shaking things up as CEO of a Fortune 500 company. But his goals changed when he began volunteering at a local elementary school down the street.Read More...


Amber SimontonJourney to Herself

Amber Simonton carefully splits the narrow green chili down the center. She gently scrapes out the seeds and dices the chili into fine pieces. The chili's juice makes her eyes water and her hands tingle. She's making homemade salsa, something she's never done before.Read More...


Anna KwanStudent to Attend National Leadership Institute

Anna Kwan '07 was born and raised in Salem, but her family is Chinese, so she grew up learning Chinese culture and speaking Cantonese and English. Yet when she studied in Beijing this past academic year, she was surprised at people's reaction to her.Read More...


Noonie SawirScholarship Winner Aspires to Help Her People

When Nurnigar "Noonie" Sawir '09 thinks about her future, she returns to her roots. Sawir grew up in Idaho, but her family comes from Urumqi, China. While most Americans have never heard of her people, there are about 8 to 10 million Uighur in the world.Read More...


Malia DongWillamette Student Earns Doctoral Fellowship for Plant Research

How can crops survive and still be productive in countries with harsh, warm climates? Or if global warming does occur, what will happen to plants struggling to grow in hotter temperatures? These are the questions Malia Dong '06 has been asking during her time studying biology at Willamette.Read More...


Sienna HoutteSienna Houtte: A Roaming Spirit

Sienna Houtte '06 has a roaming spirit, one that took her to many foreign lands during her childhood and continues to guide her as an adult. She has lived on a boat in the Bahamas, studied at a university in Japan, and now, through a national grant from the Fulbright Program for U.S. Students, she will teach English to children in Taiwan.Read More...


Jade SnowJade Snow: Dancing with Spirit

When Jade Snow '08 began dancing hula at age five, it was all fun and games. She never dreamed it would bring her a second family, an understanding of Hawaiian history and a sense of spiritual fulfillment.Read More...


Kelsey SomaKelsey Soma: Be accomplished.

"If you come to Willamette, you don't just go to your classes and go back to your residence hall," says Kelsey Soma '05, a senior psychology major from Honolulu, Hawaii. "There are so many things you're going to want to dive into. The opportunities are endless."Read More...


Cali KingSled Dog Girl

A cacophony of 100 barking sled dogs is the first thing you hear when you approach Cali King's '07 Alaskan home. The spacious cabin, hand built by her Iditarod champion dad, Jeff King, is nestled in the woods a mile off the highway, a stone's throw from Denali National Park.Read More...


Loaka PurdyGilman Scholar Gains International Perspective

What do young people in foreign countries like Switzerland think about Americans? How do they feel about our culture, our politics and our foreign policy? These are some of the questions that Lopaka Purdy '05, winner of a 2003 Gilman Scholarship, wants to answer in a documentary film he's planning to make during his year-long study at the L' University de Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland. Purdy, a junior from Hawaii majoring in French at Willamette University, says he chose Switzerland because he hopes one day to work in the Olympic movement.Read More...


Lena HoffmanJenelle Woodlief Two Willamette Students Win Prestigious Udall Scholarships

Helena (Lena) Hoffman from Anchorage, AK, and Jenelle Woodlief from Coos Bay, OR, have been named recipients of the Morris K. Udall Scholarship, which honors Congressman Udall's legacy of public service. The Willamette University students are two of only 80 undergraduates nationwide to receive these scholarships awarded to outstanding students who have demonstrated the potential to influence issues relating to the environment or to Native American or Native Alaskans who study health care or tribal public policy. The Udall Scholarship provides cash awards of up to $5,000 per student.Read More...


Lynn MiyahiraOkinawan Dream: Willamette student's ethnic heritage becomes her passion

Most of us remember something our parents made us do that we hated. Maybe it was piano lessons, religion classes, or etiquette training. For Lynn Miyahira, fourth generation Hawaiian and daughter of a long line of proud Okinawans, it was Okinawan dance lessons. That once dreaded cultural obligation has become a passion that's shaping her future.Read More...


Nacho Cordova"Nacho" Cordova

Finding balance and harmony in his daily life. Scholar, visionary, advocate, father and soon to be ordained into a lay Buddhist order: Rhetoric Professor Nathaniel "Nacho" Cordova wears all of these hats and more. Meditation beads dangle around his wrist, and hanging down upon his chest is a necklace etched with the Chinese symbol for "harmony."Read More...