World Minded: Hee Kyung Baek

A devotion to service has been a primary focus for me since I first set foot on the William & Mary campus. In my search for a specific opportunity, I was lucky enough to see a single flyer that stood out from the rest in the messiness of the boards in the Sadler Center. The post with ‘The Global Village’ in bold font somehow caught my attention. The next thing I knew I was writing on my strong intention to dwell in the small, isolated brick building on the outskirts of campus: Reves Hall.

With a deceptively uninteresting appearance, Reves Hall is actually a highly motivating, interactive, and educational community. The residents are strongly encouraged to explore and understand the values of different cultures and to learn the importance of developing a global perspective. As the Reves Hall Program Coordinator in the Fall of 2011, I had the honor of serving Reves Hall residents and helping them develop knowledge, awareness, and sensitivity to other cultures and languages by coordinating diverse activities.

From potluck dinner parties to a monthly, campus-wide, internationally themed lecture series, the Reves Hall Coffee Hour, Reves Hall hosts activities that are designed to raise global awareness. My job was to make sure that such an environment nurtured residents’ passions and interests, and maintained a spirit of unity among them.

Living in Reves Hall and serving its community wasn’t just about exposure to and learning from the student body with its great assortment of differing backgrounds. Nor was it merely about exchanging cultural ideas. Rather, it served as a guide that helped us learn from the similarities among us, including the shared responsibility for our global generation. It opened up the gate to a road of discovery, and acceptance, of being a so-called ‘active’ global citizen. In either a conscious or unconscious manner, 28 of us have strived to not only bring concepts and ideas from classrooms to the community, but also to adopt the favorable skills necessary to survive in our internationalized society. Each of us in Reves Hall has already begun serving this generation in our unique way of active learning.

My experience of living in the Global Village has truly made me appreciate every conversation, fresh perspective, and shared value of my fellow “global-mates.” I will cherish them in my heart always.

Hee Kyung Baek was born and raised in South Korea and came to the United States for education at age 15. She is currently a sophomore neuroscience major at William & Mary, and has been actively involved in civic and community engagements with a strong wish to spread her belief in the power of students to affect change through service. Hee served as the Program Coordinator of Reves Hall, the College’s international living-learning community, in Fall 2011.

About International W&M

The Reves Center for International Studies promotes, develops, and supports the global dimensions of learning, teaching, research, and community engagement at the College of William & Mary
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