I wholeheartedly agree with the article, “How Diversity Makes Us Smarter,” by Katherine Phillips. Not only does she tackle the benefits of diversity from a business perspective, but she challenges the notion from a social aspect. Growing up in Northern Virginia, which surrounds the DC metropolitan area, I have been blessed with the opportunity to experience many different cultures, races, foods, sports, and entertainment to just name a few. Additionally, my educational training was above average even though I went to a public school. The diversity among the students, staff, and teachers contributed to the success of the educational level offered and also challenged me to think outside of the box as cliche as it sounds. Growing up with diversity has definitely contributed to my success as a first generation college student.
Phillips’ statement, “The fact is that if you want to build teams or organizations capable of innovating, you need diversity. Diversity enhances creativity. It encourages the search for novel information and perspectives, leading to better decision making and problem solving,” stands out greatly for me. As an environmental engineer, we collaborate among scientists and engineers across many disciplines, including biology, chemistry, physics, food science, human nutrition food and exercise, computer programming, and statistics to name a few. I had the opportunity to collaborate with food scientists halfway across the world in Portugal last year. That opportunity gave me the ability to look at my research with a whole different perspective, and resulted in a well written journal paper. All in all, never underestimate the power of diversity in all aspects of making this world a better place.