EIS Newsletter 09.09.2014 .pdf
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Author: Nikki Robles
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A LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR
Making meaning: Family, work & community –
09.11 Asian Pacific Islander
Von der Ahe 190
12:15 – 1:15 PM
I have been immensely blessed with a loving and caring family,
a job that fulfills me each and every day, and a faith in
something bigger than me that allows me to share my talents
with the LMU community every day. I am grateful for all of
09.16 Third Tuesday
7:00 – 9:00 PM
09.24 The Studio
7:00 – 9:30 PM
09.24 Rosh Hashana Service &
5:30 – 7:30 PM
09.25 Rosh Hashana Morning
9:00 – 11:00 AM
09.25 Rosh Hashana @ Convo
Avi Interfaith Peace Garden
12:15 – 1:35 PM
In addition to my family at home, we are a family here in Ethnic
and Intercultural Services. We treat each other with respect and
dignity. We consider our students, faculty, and staff to be our
family away from home. Hopefully you, the student, faculty, and
staff feel a sense of warmth and hospitality when one of our team
members greets you at an event or when you step into our
Intercultural Suite in Malone 301.
I have found that in order for work to be fulfilling, you must
have a clearly defined Purpose in life. Ours at Ethnic and
Intercultural Services is to connect and build relationships. We
get to know what is important in the lives of our students, faculty
and staff through knowledgeable and committed staff members.
Our team has delivered on that purpose for Magis for several
decades. As a result, we have been able to provide a sense of
community for our LMU students.
When I think about community, I think about what it means to be
an invested community member. After all, our communities are
where our staff live, and work and where students love to visit.
My hope for each of you is that you have work that fulfills you, a
family that nurtures you, and a community that supports
you. You have given us all three, and for that we thank you!
-Dr. María Grandoné
Q&A WITH DR. NATHAN SESSOMS, DIRECTOR OF BLACK
Dr. Nathan J. Sessoms is our new Director of Black Student Services. Prior to
becoming involved in Student Affairs, Dr. Sessoms worked in banking, urban planning
and community development, and in the non-profit realm. Dr. Sessoms obtained his
B.B.A. degree in Marketing from Ohio University (Athens, Ohio), an M.A. in
Geography and Urban Planning from the University of Toledo (Toledo, Ohio), his
Ph.D. in Geography from University of Southern California.
Q: Where do you get your sense of style? How do you tie your bowtie?
A: Thank you! I think that style encompasses the way someone looks and carries
him/herself, but also the kind of person that they are. Although my Dad died just after I
completed Middle School, he had a tremendous influence on me. He always
underscored the importance of displaying a clean image (one’s outward presentation)
and great substance (the contents of one’s heart and mind). In striving to be a role
model for LMU students, I work to make sure that my image and substance are
congruent with those of a leader. That’s one of the ways that I try to honor my Father.
Tying a bow tie isn’t very difficult, but managing the knot can be challenging. I like
bowties because they’re different. In particular, they remind me of a time when African
American men took pride in the way they looked. We worked hard to make a good
impression on everyone with whom we came in contact. I like the style of dress of the
1940s and 50s. That was when my father was raised, and he handed that down to me.
Q: What do you do for fun?
A: I exercise regularly and enjoy reading, writing, cooking, and listening to music
(from new age jazz to classic Motown). I ‘m a major USC football fan and enjoy going
to the games. However, as I have gotten older, I really enjoy simple things in life, like
sunsets, spending time with good friends, and good conversation.
Q: What advice do you wish you had received when you were in college?
A: There are two things that I wish I had received. The first is that journey is just as
important as the destination, sometimes even more so. I was in such a hurry to get the
job done in undergrad and grad school that, when I look back, I know that there were
some significant relationships and moments that I didn’t grasp because I was in such a
hurry to achieve.
“The journey is just as important
as the destination, sometimes
even more so.”
Do you have ideas or
want to get involved in
Services? Come and
see Dr. Sessoms at the
EIS Office in
The second thing would be, there’s nothing wrong with being respectfully assertive. If you are respectfully assertive, you’re
asking the right questions and moving toward a goal intentionally. This can be a key point in achieving your goals. Nothing is
going to come to you, if you sit back and wait. You have to be a go-getter. People often confuse that with being aggressive.
You can be respectfully assertive and effectively convey the notion that you want to get you want to get the job done.
Q: Do you have ideas for potential programs for BSS? What vision do you have?
A: I really want to, first, listen and really understand how Black students feel about their LMU experience. I want to know
what they’ve enjoyed thus far, what challenges they’ve faced, and what ideas they have. To plan for them without their input or
without really understanding the Black student experience at LMU would be unfair. Instead, I think that planning with them to
incorporate programs that allow them to be engaged in the process of their own education and development is a better
alternative. Also, as a part of this process, maintaining the already strong connection between Black Student Services, the
African-American faculty, and the Black student organizations will be extremely critical.
Bridging Connections & Forming
Alliances in Japan with the Tomodachi
Inouye Scholars Program
This summer, 23 diverse LMU students had the
opportunity to travel to Japan for 10 days with the
Tomodachi Inouye Scholars Program. The Tomodachi
Inouye Scholars Program aims to connect American
students with Japanese students in order to learn about
each other’s culture and enhance Japanese-American
During their 10 day excursion, students developed
leadership and communication skills as they traveled
to cities such as Tokyo and Hiroshima. LMU
partnered with Sofia University, a Jesuit university
located in Tokyo and plans to host Japanese students in
On Saturday, August 23, Ethnic and
Intercultural Services hosted incoming
freshmen and their families during our annual
Intercultural Welcome Reception. Freshmen
had the opportunity to learn more about the
programs and services offered at EIS and were
able to interact with LMU faculty and staff
over appetizers. Guest speakers included Dr.
Maria Grandone, Director of EIS, and a vocal
performance by Dr. Diane White-Clayton.
Latino Heritage Month
Hispanic Heritage Month takes place from September 15 to October 15 and celebrates Hispanic and Latin
American culture and achievements in the United States. Hispanic Heritage Month dates back to 1968 and begins
on September 15, the independence day of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Come
join Ethnic & Intercultural Services and Chicano/Latino Student Services this month to celebrate Hispanic
Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, Los Angeles
September 13, 2014
Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival in Central Plaza,
Chinatown with live music, dancing and participating in the Moon
Festival ceremony. Top off the evening with moon watching and
moon cakes. For more information, click chinatownla.com.
Mexican Independence Day Celebration, Los Angeles
September 13 – September 14, 2014
Visit El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument located in
Olvera Street to commemorate Mexico’s Independence Day. There
will be live music, dancing and food along with art exhibits. For
more information, visit elpueblo.lacity.org.
L.A. Korean Festival, Los Angeles
September 18 – September 21, 2014
Enjoy international food and music in Seoul International Park
located in Koreatown. For more information, visit
Moompetam: Native American Festival, Long Beach
September 20 – September 21, 2014
Learn more about indigenous Californian maritime cultures
through storytelling, music, dance, crafts and more, all at the
Aquarium of the Pacific. For more information, visit
Thai Cultural Day, Hollywood
September 21, 2014
Celebrate Thai culture through music, dancing, crafts and more at
Barnsdall Park. For more information, visit
Abbot Kinney Festival, Venice
September 28, 2014
Food, entertainment, and more than 300 vendors at Abbot Kinney
Boulevard. For more information, visit abbotkinney.org.
Intercultural Facilitator Program
The Intercultural Facilitator Program aims to engage
students in dialogue centering on important issues
within the LMU community.
Intercultural Facilitators interact with students to discuss
topics such as stereotypes, inflammatory language and
behavior, and insensitive acts and work together toward
finding solutions to combat these issues on campus.
InterCultural Focus Writer Introduction
My name is Nikki Robles; I am a senior
accounting major at LMU and this is my
first year working with Ethnic & Intercultural
Services. It has been an honor to be selected
as the InterCultural writer and editor for EIS.
As an individual who is passionate about
education and who enjoys helping others,
I believe that this newsletter is an excellent way to raise awareness
about the services that EIS has to offer to the LMU community.
I encourage you to submit your stories and be featured in future
editions of InterCultural Focus.
SOCIAL JUSTICE SERIES
Justice Dialogues: Valuing the Human
Tuesday, October 14th
6:00 – 8:00 PM at The Hill
Submissions Due: Friday October 10th
Performances: Saturday, November 1st
2:30 PM at Murphy Hall
Tunnel of Oppression and Hope
Saturday, November 8th
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Sunday, November 9th
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
St. Robert’s Hall
If you are interested in learning more
about the IF Program, please email the
Intercultural Facilitators or call
If you would like to schedule a dialogue,
TUNNEL OF OPPRESSION AND HOPE
Tunnel of Oppression and Hope is an interactive event
aimed at informing participants about issues such as
power, oppression and privilege. An opportunity for
discussion is provided at the end of the exercise.
Interested in volunteering?
Fill out our volunteer form!
Ethnic & Intercultural Services
email@example.com (310) 338-5808
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