Roots: Discovering Identity, Leading to Purpose

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With representation from four of the world’s seven continents (4 out of 6 if you’re one of those geographers), this year’s NDUB Summer Academy focused on identity and purpose. After hours of academic and enrichment coursework, scholars were exposed to experiences and activities that focused on self-discovery and unity. With activities stemming from mitochondrial sequencing allowing students to isolate DNA (saliva) samples to trace their ancestry to allowing students to share unspoken stories about identity & difference via the UBND version of “Show Some Skin” to utilizing Djembe drums to capture personal vibrations, UB scholars were engulfed in traveling abroad…locally. While students initially griped about the idea of “learning about others,” this year’s academy sparked an interest in quite a few students. “After the DNA experiment, a lot of the students asked if they could have a little time to research their results. I thought they would simply take the results and stop. It was nice to see that the activity initiated further inquiry about themselves and their families,” said Irena Oh, Academic & Residential Advisor. Denny Guo, UB Scholar echoes Oh’s sentiments. “I really enjoyed International Night. Being Asian, I was happy to see everyone asking questions and learning about my culture. I really liked how we had to eat with chopsticks to receive our passport stamps. I taught everyone in my group and that made me a feel a certain way. It was good.” To conclude this year’s academy, scholars highlighted the relationship between education, identity, and purpose. “We have students with unique experiences and identities. We need to show them how to embrace those differences. Literally, they are the world.” 

Special thanks to: 

ACE - Brian Collier & Patrick Kirkland

Card Services - Denise Moulds 

DNA Center

Snite Museum

St. Joseph High School

ND South Dining Hall

ND Office of Housing

ND Admissions

ND Compton Ice Arena

Summer Advisors – Irena Oh, Louis Jensen, Jayda Watkins, Sara Ghyselinck, Derrick Martin

Summer Instructors – Dr. Julia Douthwaite, Mr. Bruce Urban, Mr. Casey Geer, Mrs. Darcia King-O'Blenis, Gregory Harris, Matthew McQueen, Daniel Smith 

InterAction- Centering Stories, Driving Change

One Love Community Circle

OIT - Michael Wozniak 

The staff of Debartolo Hall

ND Department of Music (Ricci Band Rehearsal Hall) – Justin McManus

ND RecSports

ND Writing Program - Matt Capdevielle

Jordan Hall of Science- DNA Center – Dr. Amy Stark

Classrooms - Linda Martellaro

ND Health Services

Ariana Peña