Jonathan Marquis

Jonathan Marquis
Information Sciences and Technology – Design and Development Option (College of Information Sciences and Technology)

What is the most impactful activity or experience that you have engaged with at Penn State? How has it impacted you personally? How has this activity/experience helped you grow? 

The greatest, most influential experience that I have had the opportunity to engage with would be visiting the PRCC (Paul Robeson Cultural Center) and MRC (Multicultural Resource Center). As a student of color majoring in Technology, I am a minority on a multitude of accounts. On top of all of that, I have always been a huge introvert. I always keep to myself, speak infrequently, and let my thoughts guide my direction. When I came to Penn State, however, I began to see that these were more hurtful than helpful regarding my trajectory and the realities of embodying an over-achieving student. One day I decided to take a chance and walk into the PRCC/MRC, and I walked out as a different person. When walking into these spaces, I felt embraced by a familiar hug that was reassuring to the idea that I was in the right place. I felt welcomed and instantaneously felt relieved. I felt at home. This has impacted me in a multitude of ways. It showed me the importance of inclusivity and diversity. Showing people that you care for them by providing resources and support specific to them goes a long way. This experience impacted me by showing me the power of connecting, networking, and letting go of habits or traditions in order to seek growth, regardless of how comfortable you are with them, which is a life lesson. I no longer felt small in a big school. Having safe spaces where you can interact with people that may or may not look like you, and engage in conversation and activity, makes you feel big at a smaller school, and therefore I am beyond grateful, ecstatic, and appreciative of such places on campus for the substantial amounts of resources that are on Penn State’s campuses.   

How do you support diversity, equity and/or inclusion at Penn State or/and within your local community?  

Personally, I support all these things everyday both within and outside of Penn State’s community, as they all align with my personal principles and beliefs. I support the idea that diversification is one of the only things that contributes to growth on all accounts, including but not limiting personal and societal growth. Diversification and inclusion of diverse ideas, people, and things are a driving factor everywhere. I believe in humanity and have grown to realize that no one is perfect, and our imperfections make us who we are. Bullying, judging, or harassing something because you are not familiar with it is a trait that helps no one and I, therefore, refrain from indulging in such behaviors. Instead, I try to understand and embrace new things everyday, regardless of its origins, differences, or dimensions. I also try my best to hold people to the same standard. I always encourage those around me to try new things, meet new people, and capture open-mindedness. I discourage ignorance when and wherever I can. Most students, including myself, are not used to such diversity as most communities that we come from are homogenous. However, this is not something that we should cling onto.