For some of us, civic engagement means participating in the democracy by exercising our right to vote. But others might take the charge to be an active member of a community a bit farther. That’s certainly the case for Nou Chang, the 2010 Day commencement student speaker.
In her four years at Augsburg, Chang has participated in the TRiO program and was involved in Scholastic Connections. She’s done research as a McNair Scholar and through the URGO summer program. She’s been a member of the Augsburg Asian Student Association and Link. She also studied abroad, spending a semester in South Korea and teaching English in Thailand with Prof. Kathy Swanson.
For the last two years, Chang was involved in the Phillips Scholar program where she created the “C Project – Cultivating a Caring Community” and provided activities and programming for homeless Hmong refugee children in partnership with Southeast Asian Community Council.
Chang, a biology and English major with a minor in writing, learned about Augsburg through the Upward Bound program in her high school. She has enjoyed the small campus community and the fact that professors and staff take opportunities to get to know students personally. “I feel very alive on campus. There’s always someone you know, someone you pass by who says hello and stops to talk to you.”
In her speech at the May commencement ceremony, Chang will talk about how civic engagement, “…how it’s integrated into our everyday lives and how we live that through our education at Augsburg.”
Chang says that for her, civic engagement means being an active student but also getting involved outside of Augsburg—locally and globally. “It means going out into the community and taking the opportunity to have dialogue with people and to build relationships.”
In her time at Augsburg, Nou Chang has definitely learned a lot about civic engagement. And her commitment is likely to continue after she leaves Augsburg. She is waiting to hear about a Fulbright Scholarship and hopes to teach English in Thailand for a year before applying to medical school.
Wherever she goes, you can bet she’ll be right in the center of the action. Congratulations Nou, and good luck!