When I asked Akira Nishii, an LSA and Engineering junior, how it felt to be named a student of the year, he chuckled. He took some time to compile his thoughts before sharing that it felt good to be recognized for his efforts, but that he would not be where he is today if it was not for other people in his life — the professors and students who helped get him this far.
Nishii wants to build bridges between people and opportunities. Connecting people, both to resources and each other, is his passion.
For much of its history, physics has been dominated by white men. Most well-known constants and equations are named after them, and when someone says “physicist,” what usually comes to mind is a white man. The stereotype is deeply rooted in the homogenous history of academia, but as our country and institutions become more diverse, shouldn’t the world of physics follow?
I didn’t want to waste my last column on writing something sappy. With so many important issues in the world, I find it slightly irresponsible to solely muse on the self or to simply get deep. My goal for this column has been to provide my opinion on pertinent topics in a compelling, informed way. I want my voice to ring clear, loud and effective.
On March 24, University of Michigan students marched for their lives. In January 2017 and 2018, thousands of college students marched for the protection of their rights and diversity. Now, imagine if those 4 million citizens gathered throughout the country in protest had been gunned down.
Imagine this. It’s lunchtime. You’ve just had a busy morning of class and now have an hour before your next lecture. Since you’re feeling hungry, you decide to walk to the Michigan Union to grab a bite to eat. Stomach grumbling, you head downstairs to the basement, which has a variety of fast-food options. You’re in the mood for chicken, which is perfect because there’s a Wendy’s right past the bottom of the stairs. You walk up to the register and place your order: a spicy chicken sandwich ($4.69), medium-sized fries ($1.99) and a small soft drink ($1.69).
April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month. I assume this is new information for most individuals reading this column. In fact, I only became aware of this information because, a little over a month ago, I was diagnosed with Stage I testicular cancer. Now, not that there’s ever a “good” type of cancer, but as far as these situations go, this was pretty positive news. It meant the cancer had not spread and I would be able to have surgery the next day to completely remove the tumor. The surgery was successful and, according to the doctors, my brief fight with cancer was likely over.
Over the summer, I interned at a health care lobby in Washington, D.C. Or at least, that’s what I tell people. In reality, I worked for the government affairs office of my dad’s company. My mom always says that the door of opportunity is open, I just have to walk through it. This was how I continually justified taking this internship at his office – pretending like walking through this particular door is so difficult.