Week 1: Introduction and Reflections on the VT Principles of Community

Hello, my name is Abram Diaz-Strandberg. I am a second year PhD student in the Mechanical Engineering department. I am originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico and completed my Bachelor’s degree at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. My research interests are related to acoustics and acoustic materials. I play the conga drums and the trombone. Being a musician and having an interest in engineering was what originally sparked my interest in acoustics.

I think that the VT Principles of Community are important fundamentals that set a foundation for the environment that the university aims to foster. Creating a campus, both physical and virtual, on which students feel respected and safe is an essential role of a university. I also feel that including the statement, “a legacy that reflected bias and exclusion” is important because in order to truly promote an environment of equality and inclusion, we must acknowledge the parts of our past that did not foster those same values. Through exploration and reflection on the past we can better understand the factors that contributed to those biased and exclusive views and their lasting effects.

The principle that I connected with the most is the following, “We affirm the value of human diversity because it enriches our lives and the University. We acknowledge and respect our differences while affirming our common humanity.” I firmly believe that exposing ourselves to diverse perspectives is extremely important, especially in a world that is becoming increasingly globalized and also struggling to manage the challenges of globalization. Every university should consider it a fundamental mission to instill the value of all forms of diversity in its students.

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1 Response to Week 1: Introduction and Reflections on the VT Principles of Community

  1. njones51 says:

    Hi Abram!

    First off, I really enjoyed your introduction. A musician inspired to study acoustics! Very cool! I also am a graduate student in ME (1st year) and am searching for research possibilities… My love of music may also draw me to acoustics! Not sure yet!

    I appreciated reading your comments on the principles of community. Specifically, your comment reflecting on the universities acknowledgement of past exclusion. I definitely agree that it’s worthwhile to reflect on how the past can shape the future. It’s an exercise that is critical to societal progress. And lastly, I couldn’t agree more with you regarding affirmation our common humanity while respecting our differences on campus. In a world that’s more connected than ever before it is critical that we as the VT community, and rest of the world, maintain open communication and respect for each others differences. It is, in my view, the only way to bring down the walls that separate us both figuratively and literally.

    Looking forward to reading more of your blog!

    Nathan

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