Our seventh pair of the Fall 2018 Semester includes Linda He ’21 and Ikenna Onyekwere ‘19, who is graduating this coming semester! This dynamic duo is currently facilitating an SES section. Here’s what they have to say about IDP:
Ikenna: When I transferred to Cornell I had no idea what IDP was. I was recommended to take this course by my advisor and I am glad I did. I had never spoken openly about race with people outside of the minority group before. Taking the course honestly made me feel more comfortable at Cornell since the environment and demographic was very new to me. I also left the course with some of the skills necessary to engage to dialogues about race or any other topic. Now here I am facilitating for the second time. This time around I am exploring the identity of Socioeconomic status with Linda and our participants.
Linda: IDP has taught me to see differences rather than ignoring them. It has given me the opportunity to speak honestly and confront conflicts productively in a way that I did not believe was possible beforehand. It is a process in which I am constantly learning something new. IDP is an experience that I will carry with me as a reminder not to shy away from conflict – instead, I will embrace conflict because it is the greatest opportunity for me to grow.
What is your favorite thing about your co-facilitator?
Ikenna: If I had to describe Linda in one phrase it would be “go-getter.” Though it was her first time facilitating she entered the classroom like a natural. This was not how I started out. She has been such a wonderful co-facilitator this semester. We even did some amazing icebreakers together and I believe our section has begun to think more deeply about the identity of Socioeconomic Status. Linda has also been a pillar of support not only to our participants but also to myself. I could not have had such a rewarding experience this semester without Linda.
Linda: Ikenna is very supportive and encouraging – he helped me gain confidence as a facilitator. As a first-time facilitator, I was a bit overwhelmed by the work and leading the class discussion. I felt like there was a lot for me to learn. Ikenna guided me through this learning process, for which I am grateful. I could always rely on him to help me out when I needed it, and he always encouraged and supported me as a facilitator. Even when I was not confident that I could lead something, Ikenna assured me that I could handle it and trusted me to do it. I am really glad I got to work with Ikenna who supported me in the first steps of my facilitating journey.