When Bean first came to Springfield, she didn’t feel right at home.
“When I first got here, I was 16-plus hours away from home, so I was like ‘Should I even be here?,’” she said.
However, she quickly made her statement at Missouri State.
“Meeting the people in the multicultural office and getting connected to other students who have similar identities to me made me realize that this is the place I need to be,” Bean said.
“These students wanted to get to know me and wanted to spread knowledge about their experiences and identities, and I want to help them do that. So, it made me feel like I was supposed to be here when I didn’t necessarily feel like I did.”
Bean found a family among the members of her cohort. A cohort is a group of students that enters the Graduate College and the student affairs in higher education program the same year.
“I really love my cohort. We take every class together, and we all have assistantships or full-time positions at the university,” Bean said. “I love the discussions in class where we learn about each other and our experiences and how to translate that into the work that we do for students.”
Bean is an assistant hall director for Freudenberger House (Freddy).
“I work in Freddy, and Freddy is a hoot, right?,” she said. “But, I have a really great RA staff. There are 18 of them, and they are all very different people. It is fun to see how they are doing and ask them about how the last week has gone.
“We do this thing called kudos where people just write recognition of each other and that is probably one of my favorite things.”
Finding a passion
Through these different communities, Bean discovered a passion that was igniting inside of her.
“I identify as queer, Asian-American woman. And, when I first got here I was like ‘Oh, there is no queer people of color group,’ and I had one of those in my undergrad,” she said.
“I wondered if there were any students that were interested in starting that and thankfully there was a group of students who wanted to start it.
“So I did a practicum with multicultural programs. I met up with those students and helped them get involved with OSE, and get registered as an official student organization. I helped them start planning meetings and recruiting members and getting their name out there. That was a really great experience getting to know them and helping them plan for the future.”
Bean also helped start Asian Heritage Month events on campus.
Her passion for diversity and inclusion will transcend into her future.
Creating a future
Bean’s job after graduation is as a hall director at Virginia Commonwealth University.
“What I am doing now perfectly translates into what I am going to be doing in the next few years,” she said. “I also would really like to work in multicultural affairs, so something like our multicultural programs office. We’re putting on programs and offering services for students from underrepresented identities and educating the entire campus about different cultures.”
The family and passion Bean discovered through Missouri State has prepared her for her future.
“I think it has prepared me to serve students that come from all bases of knowledge and all different identities,” Bean said. “I have had students come up to me and tell me that I am the first Asian person they have ever met. There are also students who say that this place isn’t diverse enough for them. Being able to balance being of service to both types of people is something I learned while at Missouri State.”