Some students’ journey to Mount Mercy University was a matter of moving across town. Some international students travelled thousands of miles to get here. Devin Fujioka, senior applied philosophy major with a minor in psychology, made a nearly 4,000-mile trip to get here; but he is not an international student.
Fujioka was born and raised on the island of Waimea, Hawaii, where he lived until he was 17 years old. His college career began in California, first at American River College and then at Yuba College. Fujioka completed his associate of arts in social sciences while he played baseball for the California colleges. Once his time was up there, Fujioka said he felt like he wanted to continue to play baseball. That is when Mount Mercy came into the picture.
“Initially I didn’t even want to come out to Iowa, to be honest,” Fujioka said. “I was a little bit skeptical. Out of a desire to continue playing baseball I came, and I’ve actually found Mount Mercy was one of the better choices I’ve ever made in my life.”
He has spent the past two years here as a pitcher on the baseball team. Fujioka said he would ultimately like to use his psychology background—and his possible future graduate degree in sports psychology—to become a baseball coach. He got a glimpse of coaching last summer when he helped coach teens from Bettendorf in Mount Mercy’s Fall League.
Fujioka attributed his change in how he builds relationships with people to his experience at Mount Mercy. He described himself as being reserved in the past, but now is able to better appreciate the connections he has made with others over the years.
“I think being here I have really gotten to understand that even if you’re never going to see (someone) again, there’s still good things about everybody and good things you can give to them and good things that they can give to you. I think just appreciating people on a deeper, more personal level is one of the biggest things Mount Mercy has given me.”
This Student Profile has been modified for the web and was originally written by T.J. Kremer III, Editor-in-Chief, and published in the Mount Mercy Times during the 2013-14 academic year.