Stories of Personal Empowerment

Stories of Personal Empowerment

Stories of Personal Empowerment

Voices of the Garden State
Life Histories That Shaped New Jersey
Directed by Seran Schug, Ph.D.

Who Am I?: An Ethnography of Black Students in a Predominantly White Institution
An Ethnographic Project by Joel Howell

'ÄúI lack a sense of belonging, especially when I am the only one of my kind that I can relate to in the majority of my courses.'Äù These are troubling words coming from the mouth of a young African American student that attends a PWI (also known as a Predominantly White Institution). The reason that I chose to look further into this growing group of individuals is because this topic hits home for me. Being a Biological Sciences major at Rowan University, it is very rare for me to see another black individual in any of my classes, let alone a black male. The student body of Rowan University consists of only...

Rock 'n' Roll

On the afternoon of Thanksgiving, I made the twenty minute drive to the home of my grandparents. Although the drive is short, the location of my grandparent'Äôs home feels as though it is worlds away from the congested town I now live in. As I got closer and closer to their residence, the sight of strip malls and housing developments were replaced by visions of corn fields and open land. As I pulled into their driveway, I immediately noticed the American flag that hung from the porch swaying gently from the brisk, fall wind. Despite it being autumn, not a single leaf appeared on their lawn. The lawn was cut so precisely that it appeared as if each blade of grass was equal in length. Unlike the serenity of the landscape surrounding me, my mind was rapidly assessing the upcoming interview I was to conduct.

A Functioning Workaholic
An Ethnographic Project by Michael Lamberti

My father, Joe Lamberti, was the first born son in America, and grew up with three siblings and two parents who were all born and raised in Italy. I know it sounds boring to interview your own father; seems like the easy way to complete an assignment, right? Well my father and I have never really spoke in depth about his childhood and how he became one of the hardest workers I know. I never inquired a lot about his past mostly because his mother, my Nonna, died when I was ten, and his father, my Nonno, was too elderly and did not speak English well enough to have these conversations. Most people would claim their father is a hard worker'Äîit even stirs up come confrontation among men of all ages who love to be competitive representatives of their fathers. I'Äôm not saying he'Äôs the hardest worker I know or...

Exceeding the Expected
An Ethnographic Project by Michael Lamberti

I started by asking my best friend, whom I know just about everything there is to know about by now, one simple question: 'ÄúWhat was it like growing up in the environment you did, and what did you do to cope, and ultimately become the great goal driven person you are today.'Äù See, I already knew Will Rogers; the fire-fighting musician who defines family not necessarily by blood. Will and I met freshman year of high school, and we both came from different worlds, but had more in common than we thought. We instantly clicked, though, that much is for sure. I can truly say there is a deep bond in our friendship that only gets stronger with time. I think I enjoyed how open he was about his experiences, and how open he was about his...

Perilous Waters: Stories from a Vietnamese Refugee
By Han Ly

'ÄúI rubbed as much grease and dirt on me as I could to make myself ugly and undesirable, I could see the pirates'Äô faces,'Äù Thanh Nguyen told me as she used her hand to rub the top of her head. 'ÄúIt was pitched black and we were at sea, I could only see their faces from the flashing light on their boat. The captain was confused as to why they were able to track us but he realized the motor light was still on so he turned it off and we went a different way.'Äù Not once but twice, the pirates came. She thought that she had escaped the pirates but as morning came, they emerged once again, this time bearing AK-47s and talking loudly in a foreign language she did not understand. 'ÄúThey chased us again, this time we could not use the night to hide us. But, thank god there was a bigger ...