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Northeast Missouri college embraces diversity as a state organization urges caution

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It's registration day for some Culver-Stockton College students.

At Shannon Hall is resident assistant Ammuniki Wood.

He knows a thing or two about going off to college in rural Missouri.

"It was a culture shock," Wood explained.

He was born and raised on the Island of Barbados.

He said it was a challenge to get acclimated to the weather, food and rural canton area.

"It was hard in certain parts being an international student but I got the hang out if by week three, four," Wood mentioned.

Now he's in his last year as he captains the men’s volleyball team and is involved in several campus organizations.

"The school creates a community that can help you with that," Wood pointed out.

"For me my soul purpose being here is for my students," Diversity Initiatives Director Ernst Evans mentioned.

He said most minority students get intimated.

"So going onto college, going to a predominately white institution is a culture shock," Evans explained.

There's now a class to help.

This semester he'll teach over a dozen minority students about a topic called M.A.L.E.S.S.

"Men Achieving Leadership and Excellence through scholarship and service," Ernst said.

The goal is to help minority students from other states or countries to cope and adjust to the area.

"As well as provide them with all the information they'll need to be successful men of color at this college here," Ernst explained.

Wood mentioned we can all teach each other about race in and outside the classroom.

"Part of diversity is embracing everything so as you embrace their culture, they're going to embrace yours," Wood said.

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