Shayna Doi ‘09
By Fulton Bryant-Anderson
Former Rieke Scholar Shayna Doi 09’uses critical reflection, perspective taking, community and care everyday. Diversity Center values underscore her life, relationships, and work.
“I don’t know who I would be if I didn’t have that opportunity.”
Shayna joined the Diversity Center via Hawai’i Club after a luau during her first-year at PLU.
The 4th generation Japanese-American credits the Diversity Center with nurturing her identity. Conversations with former Diversity Center director Angie Hambrick and the annual Students of Color Retreat cultivated this.
“I was so blown away. I didn’t know that I needed a space to vocalize. I was so focused on assimilating to the culture that was at PLU. I’m fine, I fit in fine. I don’t have issues with me being a certain color or whatever. When I went to the Students of Color Retreat, it totally shifted the way I thought.”
Becoming a Rieke Scholar in her second year, Shayna advocated for student diversity, social justice, and sustainability. To do so, she remembered two distinct events: Immigration Simulation and baking bread in South Hall.
Immigration Simulation transformed the Chris Knutzen Hall into different stations depicting the U.S. citizenship process.
“We learned all about what it’s like to become a citizen of this country, and why certain people might have an easier time doing that. You would walk through each station as if you were going through the immigrant creation process. And I honestly was like, if only 10 people come to this, that’s fine, because then 10 people have learned about this process, that’s the whole point.”
Later on, Lutes united in South Hall to bake bread for local food banks. Shayna reminisced about the drop-in flow of the event.
“We took over a bunch of people’s ovens in South Hall, and we set up in the lounge. We made like 200 loaves of bread. All day, we were baking bread, breaking bread. And we were going to donate all this bread to a food bank or shelter. I remember South Hall smelling like bread which was awesome.”
Shayna’s experiences at the Diversity Center and as a Rieke Scholar prepared her for the future. Now, as the Marketing and Communications Manager at Hawai’i Energy, Shayna determines how to share information about renewable energy with lower-income communities.
“Our program is uniquely positioned to address those inequities. I always think about my days in the dCenter. When we worked on projects like that [Immigration Simulation] because certain things require nuance. When you’re approaching different communities with asks, it goes back to remembering who they are as people.”
Shayna continues the 20-year legacy of the Diversity Center. To her, the legacy means “PLU was or is at the forefront of diversity and inclusive education. I’m very fortunate that I had a place, a school that cared about that.”
Shayna encourages current and future Lutes to “Soak up the time you have there, in and out of the dCenter.”
Shayna graduated from PLU in 2009 with a degree in communications. The Rieke Scholar participated in Residence Hall Council, Pinnacle Society and the Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society. She enjoys spending time with her family, hiking and volunteering for Aloha United Way. Shayna continues to work with the Diversity Center by visiting study away classes in Hawai’i and most recently, guest speaking at the 2020 Students of Color Retreat.