Tadao (Tad) Kumasaka (he/him)
Class Year: 2021
Hometown: Flagstaff, Arizona
Major: Undeclared; leaning toward rhetoric and media studies
Extracurriculars: Ultimate Frisbee, College Outdoors
Overseas study: Dominican Republic (spring 2020)
What three words would you use to describe L&C?
Conscious, interdisciplinary, active
What’s your favorite class? How has it expanded your knowledge?
My favorite class has been The Social Life of Money and Exchange, an anthropology class taught by Kim Cameron-Dominguez. It changed how I perceive myself in my society and economic system. It was a very raw look at the issues raised from the type of capitalist system that is at the core of the United States, while also maintaining sight of how deeply implicated I am within the system. The knowledge that I took away from that class was very impactful and I think about it almost every day.
“My favorite spot on campus are the steps outside of JR Howard, right at the center of the academic side of campus. Nothing makes me as happy as basking in the sun and socializing.”
Who is your mentor on campus? Why do you consider this person your mentor?
Joel Martinez was my ethics professor and is someone who is very concerned with pedagogy. It is because of this that I still go to talk to him and ask him for advice even though I haven’t had a class with him in a while and I am not even a philosophy major. He is very proactive about participating in lots of projects around campus that pertain to ethics. His proactivity and caring are in large part why I consider him my mentor.
What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?
I wanted to come to Lewis and Clark because of the culture. The architecture of the campus combined with the style and poise of the student body really drew me in. I also wanted to go to a school where I could study a very diverse set of subjects, and Lewis and Clark fit the bill.
If you have studied or will study overseas while at Lewis & Clark, how did you choose your program? What did your overseas study add to your L&C experience so far?
I plan on going to the Dominican Republic. I’ve just recently turned the application in and am very excited at the prospect of going somewhere to work on my Spanish and experience non-U.S. culture. I have traveled abroad some before and know that it is impossible to predict what I will get out of the trip. Regardless, diving into a foreign country to challenge myself and explore the nature and culture of the Dominican Republic is a very exciting prospect.
Describe your involvement with College Outdoors. How does your College Outdoors experience complement your academic experience?
I am an assistant leader for College Outdoors, and I also drove the climbing shuttle once a week last semester. College Outdoors has been a great counterpoint to my academic experience at Lewis and Clark for a couple of reasons. It has not only been a phenomenal way to get off campus, but it has been an avenue for discovering the natural splendor of Oregon to an extent that I definitely would not have been able to do without it. Even more important in my mind have been the leadership skills that I have developed and the connections with people that I have gained. It is an unusual dynamic to help lead a trip. You have to be on top of logistics while also fostering the dynamics between leaders and participants. When I feel like a am striking that balance well is when I feel the most fulfilled.
What’s your favorite spot on campus?
My favorite spot on campus is the steps outside of JR Howard, right at the center of the academic side of campus. They are not stairs, but large shelves where you can sit and mill. They are made of huge dark rocks that absorb, then radiate, warmth when the sun is out. It is on these types of sunny days I can sit and see all of my friends as they go in and out of classes. Nothing makes me as happy as basking in the sun and socializing.