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Monai Chanon

Monai, smiling with head resting in his right hand, along a railing at the Lan Su Chinese Gardens...

I know it can be extraordinarily intimidating, but there is such a wide range of resources, from tutors to counselors, that are helpful and available.

Class Year

BA ’22

Hometown

Bangkok, Thailand and Santa Clarita, California

Major

Environmental Studies

Extracurriculars

Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement (IME), Great Expectations Mentor Program, Asian Student Union leader, Asian Student Union ASLC representative, Dance Y

Overseas study

New York (2021)

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Challenging, rewarding, relationships

What was your favorite class? How did it expand your knowledge?

Susan Cohen’s Exploration and Discovery course, called Cosmopolitanism, was very impactful in cultivating new knowledge and perspectives for me. In this course, I was given the chance to explore my personal intellectual interests through a combination of content, class discussions, and a term research paper. Additionally, I took this course in conjunction with Intro to Sociology and it really challenged my thinking. I think this is the beauty of a liberal arts education. It’s really great to be able to explore multiple disciplines and see how courses push and pull on each other.

Who is your mentor on campus? Why do you consider this person your mentor?

My mentor on campus is Pedro Ramos—an extraordinary graduate assistant for Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement. He has inspired me to challenge myself, challenge Lewis & Clark, and make our campus a better place. More importantly, he constantly gives me support, which makes it easier for me to love myself and love others.

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

Initially, I wanted to attend Lewis & Clark because of the environmental studies program. My research on the program, in conjunction with my desire for small class sizes, led to my application to the school. My supportive friends and professors have done a great job at keeping me here.

How do you describe the liberal arts?

I would describe the liberal arts as interdisciplinary. The curriculum helps students cultivate diverse knowledge and a spectrum of intellectual lenses while developing strengths in students’ focal discipline. Also, bangs. Everyone has bangs.

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 to study in the New York off-campus program during fall of 2021. Lewis & Clark offers a range of Overseas and Off-Campus Programs and deciding on one is quite difficult. I decided on the New York program by exploring the web page, speaking to students who went on the program, and speaking with the program leader.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Please don’t be afraid to utilize the resources on campus! I know it can be extraordinarily intimidating, but there is such a wide range of resources, from tutors to counselors, that are helpful and available. Even something as simple as utilizing the PioExpress (campus bus) to take a mental health recovery day downtown is helpful.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

My favorite spot on campus is the reflecting pool. When the sun is out, the scene is near perfect. Everyone is out on the grass getting their dose of vitamin D, Mount Hood sits in the background, and you’re surrounded with green trees and blue sky.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Portland?

I think it’s really great that we have access to such a wide spectrum of big city events (i.e. large-scale protests, NBA games, amazing art exhibits). It’s a plus that there’s really good coffee here to get me through all those events.

Where do you find community on campus?

I was fortunate enough to be part of a program called Great Expectations—facilitated by IME for first-year first-generation students and/or students of color. The program is truly a network of amazing, supportive, and insightful individuals who work tirelessly to make Lewis & Clark a better place for the following generations of students.

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