K'Asia Parks '21 Headshot

Undergraduate Program

K'Asia Parks '21

Communications, Diversity Studies, Journalism, & English

Finding Commonalities within Differences

K’Asia Parks ’21 wants to use her education and her future profession to find a way to connect and build strong relationships with others. With an interest in radio and experiencing new things, Parks is honing her ability to connect with others even when she can’t meet them in person.

MMU: Why did you decide to come to Mount Mercy? How did Mount Mercy’s values or mission line up with your own?

KP: I visited the Mount Mercy campus during my junior and senior years of high school and decided that it was for me. I was looking for school that provided adequate financial support in the form of a scholarship and one that I also felt could support me personally. However, the deciding factoring was family. In addition to the school being a good fit, I wanted to pursue my education while remaining close to my mom, siblings, and grandparents back home in Chicago. Mount Mercy offered me an opportunity to receive an education, independent of financial status. I am forever grateful for receiving a scholarship to obtain my degree because puts me on the path for a successful future.

As a Christian, two aspects of Mount Mercy’s mission stand out to me. They are “Serving the Common Good” and “Promoting Purposeful Living.” “Serving the Common Good” is important in order to be inclusive and open to every member of the campus, as well as making sure to unite, connect, and educate everyone regardless of differences. I wanted to not only become more knowledgeable in my own culture, but also to meet, experience, and learn what other cultures could teach me. “Promoting Purposeful Living” is aligned with my own values and mission the most. As the oldest of four siblings, my greatest intent and endeavor is to inspire my siblings to chase their dreams and to be their example of how they are fully capable of achieving anything they choose. I want them all to be proud, especially mother and grandparents.

Mount Mercy offered me an opportunity to receive an education, independent of financial status. I am forever grateful for receiving a scholarship to obtain my degree because puts me on the path for a successful future.

K'Asia Parks '21
Communication, Diversity Studies, Journalism, & English

MMU: What field are you going into? Why are you drawn to that field?

KP: I want to go into the media field. When I was younger, I grew up listening to radio personalities like Steve Harvey and Rickey Smiley during early morning drives to school and loved the idea of speaking to so many people at once. Learning about different opinions and asserting my own was intriguing. I was drawn immediately with the idea of speaking and reaching out to others, whether about daily current topics or controversial issues.

I simply enjoy the art of communication itself. I love the idea of building a platform and reaching those who may feel as if they are alone in the world and could find a connection to me as I speak on the radio. To be a positive, motivating, and inspirational figure to a larger audience has always been a dream of mine. Once I have established my presence, I would love to move onto news and other television broadcasts.

"I love the idea of building a platform and reaching those who may feel as if they are alone in the world and could find a connection to me as I speak on the radio."

MMU: What interested you about the diversity studies minor? How do you think you’ll use it in your career field?

KP: Associate Professor of English Eden Wales-Freedman informed me that our school was now offering diversity studies as a new minor. We covered similar topics that correlated with diversity in some of her literature courses I was enrolled in. I enjoyed not only the class, but also our discussions. I was already interested in learning more about diversity and wanted to broaden my views of diversity on a societal level. I immediately added it to my list of minors.

I am always intrigued by differences big or small. Diversity includes so much, but I see it being useful in my career because my fields are extremely diverse, beginning with co-workers and those who I will interact with daily. Having a clear understanding of different societal trends, perceptions, and background of myself and others is important. It starts with me as an individual recognizing my own biases personal and professionally; it is critical to my overall success.

MMU: Is there a particular lesson or piece of information you’ve received in your classes so far that really struck you? What are some of the topics you cover in these classes?

KP: Beyond a single lesson in class, my collective experience of engaging in classes has taught me how to listen without bias and converse about conflicts. I have discovered how difficult it is to discuss challenging topics in large groups. Although it is uncomfortable, I have grown to enjoy and value other people’s opinion. Regardless if we disagree, we respect each other’s differences and still engage in conversation without arguing with one another. I enjoy literature too, so courses that involve analyzing an author’s work truly brings ideas full circle, as it highlights other things that we do not always consider.

Beyond a single lesson in class, my collective experience of engaging in classes has taught me how to listen without bias and converse about conflicts.

K'Asia Parks '21
Communication, Diversity Studies, Journalism, & English

MMU: How do you view education? Do you think it’s a valuable experience? Why or why or not?

KP: I view education as the key to success. Without knowledge, I believe people are doomed to fail in life. Those who seek to achieve a better understanding of this world will always be a step ahead of those who do not. I think obtaining an education is an invaluable experience because you gain an opportunity to receive something that you never seen or heard before and those experiences last a lifetime.

"I view education as the key to success. Without knowledge, I believe people are doomed to fail in life."

MMU: What do you hope to do after graduation? What’s one company or organization you would want to work for?

KP: After I graduate, I want to begin building my portfolio. I would like to work for a radio station. Specifically, I have been looking into 102.9 FM. I would love to work for them as they have previously visited our school. Progressing throughout my career, I hope to ultimately land a job at larger network programs such as ABC or FOX.

MMU: What is one piece of advice you would give to future students?

KP: There will be moments when you will be your own worst critic. When this occurs, never make the mistake of doubting yourself. In those moments, I advise you to trust first in God and second in yourself. Always remember every minute you are on this earth and campus, that what you are doing will pay off in the long run. God would never bring you this far on your journey to leave you. Continue to have faith in Him as well as yourself and you will always be successful.

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