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Students Taylor English, Traci Milliner and Britni Walters ask questions at the Alumni Association table

Photographer: Olivia Wallace

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Students file into the Baker University Center Ballroom to participate in the Multicultural Student Expo and Involvement Fair

Photographer: Olivia Wallace

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Kihresha Redmond and Rochelle Lewis of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority perform during the Greek stroll competition. The Zetas won first place in the competition.

Photographer: Olivia Wallace

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First Multicultural Student Expo a hit


Fun, talent, information and laughs were just a few of the things shared during the first Ohio University Multicultural Student Expo on Thursday, Aug. 28.

The event, which was hosted by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, attracted more than 700 multicultural students, faculty and staff to the Baker University Center Ballroom.

The theme of the evening was "Nyansapo," or the "wisdom knot" in the Twi language, which is commonly spoken by a section of people in the West African country of Ghana.

Winsome Chunnu-Brayda said in the spirit of "Nyansapo" it is hoped that the wisdom that the students gained at the Expo will guide them through their academic journey at Ohio University.

"This event was a wonderful opportunity to reach out to current and potential Patton College students," said Kelly Davidson, an academic counselor in the Patton College of Education. "We were able to plant a seed with the undecided students. I think overall the event was a huge success. Now we just need to build on this year's momentum and take it to a higher level next year."

One student said that she and one of the student organizations that she's involved with took advantage of the event's numerous information tables.

"I liked the fact that my organization, Athens Black Contemporary Dancers, gained about 20 new members tonight," said sophomore Raven Reid. "I even joined two new organizations myself."

Throughout the evening, attendees enjoyed music, food, prizes and a black Greek fraternity and sorority stroll competition. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority won the first-prize trophy for its performance during the contest. Student organization Anointed Praise opened the entertainment portion of the evening with a spirited rendition of the popular Negro spiritual "Ride on King Jesus."

The Athens Wal-Mart hosted a table at the event that included information about jobs and internships that are available to the students. The store also gave away four gift cards worth a total of $300 to four first-year students via a raffle.

"I really enjoyed this event," said sophomore Jeffrey Billingslea, who led the Anointed Praise performance. "This year's event was much bigger and better than what was done last year. It gave the new students a glimpse into how busy and involved the multicultural students are on this campus."

Chunnu-Brayda, associate director of multicultural programs and a member of the Diversity and Inclusion sponsored committee that organized the event, said the evening went really well.

"The large turnout of students was encouraging and I have to give credit to Dr. [Shari] Clarke, the vice provost for diversity and inclusion, for her vision for this event and arranging for Wal-Mart to serve as a corporate sponsor," Chunnu-Brayda said. "We're excited because this is the first year we had the Greek stroll competition and other performances and we see that those things kept the students here throughout the evening."