Lisa Matsui is a member of the Student Advisory Board in the School of Communication at Chapman University. Have a question, concern, or idea about the School of Communication? Let her know! 

As a first-year Communication Studies major and Japanese minor, as well as a soon-to-be Public Relations minor, I’d love to give you information regarding how it is I came to pursue my academic interests.

Much to my mother’s consternation, as soon as I could formulate words, I had no trouble as a child introducing myself to complete strangers and disregarded every warning “not to talk to strangers.” Though I no longer release my name, age and address to everyone in my presence, I continue to enjoy engaging with people in my community. With my passion for observing patterns in human interaction, Communication Studies seemed to be the perfect choice as a major, and I could not be happier with my current field of study.

As a bilingual, I have also been curious about the way different backgrounds and ethnicities affect certain principles. I began my childhood in Massachusetts as one of two Asians in my grade and later moved to Hawai’i, where the environment flourishes with as much racial diversity as it does sunshine. From living amongst children who cringed at the thought of eating raw sushi to seeing my friends light up at the sight of ​musubis, I experienced firsthand the various contexts in which people perceive Japanese ethnicity. I have also witnessed how nuances within English and Japanese have accumulated in my life to create a unique attitude; the evolving use of the English language challenges me to pursue an open mind, as the honorific style of Japanese reminds me to do so while respecting tradition. 

Life at Chapman University has been nothing short of incredible in that I have experienced a loving sense of acceptance and community. Within my time here at this institution, I have been involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Pua’ikeana (Hawai’i) Club, KSA Dance Off, and the Student Advisory Board for the School of Communication. The beautiful thing about these opportunities, though, is that they were each made possible through connections that linked together seamlessly. It is both fascinating and humbling to see just how much can be achieved in the presence of supportive faculty and peers!

In my Communication Studies endeavors thus far, I have been increasingly intrigued by the fact that regardless of ethnicity or race, everyone across the globe has at least some shared understanding when it comes to the use of particular communicative patterns to convey certain emotions. By further investigating the international overlaps in communication, I hope to serve as a “bridge” and close cultural gaps between countries.

Specifically, I am interested in integrating Japanese culture into my studies through my bilingual upbringing. Growing up, I often took on the role of an interpreter for my parents, whether it be with verbal translations or email drafts. To further improve my Japanese fluency, I have recently declared my Japanese minor, and though I am not yet sure how my multicultural traits and interests will tie into my future career, I hope to implement my Japanese American findings into Chapman’s campus. To accomplish this integration, I plan to merge my Communication Studies and Japanese credits to pursue the brand new major, Global Communication. With this novel opportunity, I aspire to delve into methods in which I can convey information internationally with utmost efficiency. The idea of utilizing my passions to create a global impact thrills me like nothing else, and I am eager to see where my Chapman career leads!