Spring 2023 graduate Jane Elliston obtained her Master of Public Affairs from the Harry S Truman School of Government and Public Affairs.
When recalling her high school experience, she remembered feeling alone and isolated. After a campus tour at Mizzou, Elliston found hope when the tour guide pointed toward the Multicultural Center. Elliston decided that she would make the center her home once she started her college journey.
According to Elliston, the Multicultural Center is a hidden gem because many people are unaware of the number of student organizations and resources that are available.
Read on for a Q&A with Elliston about her experience at the Multicultural Center.
How has the Division of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity supported you in your time at Mizzou, and why is the Multicultural Center an important resource?
The mere existence of the Multicultural Center at Mizzou has been really impactful for me. I think back on my last four years at Mizzou, and I know that my time here was deeply engrained and would not have been the same without the Division of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (IDE). I started my freshman year with no one on campus that I recognized. But, on my first day of classes, I walked into the Multicultural Center and started up a conversation with the loudest person in the room. I quickly got involved in the Asian American Association (AAA) my freshman year and stayed involved through my undergraduate degree. Once I decided to “retire” from AAA and was looking for a job, the Multicultural Center picked me up and gave me the support I needed. As I completed my final year at Mizzou, I found a new community in the Multicultural Center (MCC) and made many fun memories. I have nothing but gratitude for the Division of IDE who funds these student organizations and centers and provided me with these resources on our campus.
What advice might you have for someone who wants to come to, use the services at, or work for the center, but is unsure how to get started?
The easiest way to get involved with the center or to get to know the center would be to talk to the people who work there. Just walk in and ask any questions you have to the people working at the front desk. They are here to help you, answer those questions, and be the first step in you feeling acclimated to the center.
What impact do you hope to have had on the center?
I hope that my time spent both working for the center and being someone who hangs out in the center has resulted in making the center a more welcoming and inclusive space. I am thankful for the space the center gave me on-campus, and I hope it will continue to be the safe space it was for me.
The Multicultural Center builds community, fosters a sense of belonging, and provides educational programs and resources for all students.
Feel free to email the firstname.lastname@example.org or call 573-882-7152 for questions.