Although there is an emerging body of literature on ethnic groups and natural resource use in America, there is not much research regarding specific ethnic groups and their interactions with the American wilderness. This thesis explores the relationship between the American social constructions of wilderness and a specific refugee population in America—the Hmong people. Interviews were conducted with participants in the Twin Cities of Minnesota with conversations focusing on identity and wilderness interactions. These interviews revealed that the Hmong, a Southeast Asian people with a deeply rooted connection to nature interact with the wilderness in ways that differ from the American norm. Yet, through segmented assimilation, younger generations of Hmong have also acculturated to the American perception of wilderness as a place of self-discovery.
This thesis compared the nature of friendship among American and Japanese college students of both sexes. The process of making and keeping friends, the characteristics of friendship, and the potential causes of the break-up of friendship were explored with a 75-item, paper-and-pencil questionnaire. The respondents were fellow college students at Waseda University in Tokyo while I was studying there during 2012-13, numbering 32 Japanese (18 women and 14 men) and 32 Americans (17 women and 15 men). The research questions were: (1) Within a given culture, either American or Japanese, are there differences between men and women in their friendship dynamics? (2) Are there any cultural contrasts in the nature of friendship between Americans and Japanese? and (3) If there are indeed some differences of either variety, what is the nature of the disparities? In total, 14 statistically significant results were discovered: six divergences between the two sexes (three each for the two groups, Americans and Japanese) and eight cultural contrasts. Attentiveness, placidity, and attractiveness were at issue between the American men and women, while togetherness, serious conversation, and the scope of social connections were dividing factors for the Japanese. The cultural contrasts consisted of the ways of finding a friend, the qualities sought for in friends, and the experience of friendship dissolution.
Pete Earley is an award-winning journalist and nationally known advocate for mental health reform. He is best known as the author of "CRAZY: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness," which was one of two finalists for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize. His book tells two stories. The first is his struggle to get his son help after he develops a severe mental illness. The second story is based on nine months that Earley spent inside the Miami Dade County jail where he followed persons with mental disorders through the criminal justice system and out into the streets to see what happened to them. His book has won awards from the American Psychiatric Association, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Mental Health America. This event was sponsored by the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), AspenPointe, the CC disability services office, Boettcher Health Center, the CC psychology department, GROW, SPILL, Disabilities Awareness Group (DAwG), and the Cultural Attractions Fund. This lecture was presented at Colorado College, Packard Hall, March 28, 2012.