PRISM: What event or events have shaped you to be who you are today?
Sirju-Johnson: I think there are a wide variety of events that have helped shape me to be who I am today. Coming from immigrant parents is big, just having a different or probably more global perspective on things is substantial. Also, my educational experience has helped in shaping me. My experiences in coming to college and just looking at the world from different lenses and being an adult altered the way I perceived them. This led me on my track professionally and shaped my interests, especially with who I wanted to help and what I wanted to do. I would say that working with historically underrepresented students or students from immigrant backgrounds and offering them assistance through the college experience was life changing.
PRISM: Why did you choose Binghamton University?
Sirju-Johnson: That’s easy! I chose Binghamton because I had a great interest in political science and sociology. I was drawn to Binghamton and the reputation the University holds among all state universities.
PRISM: What are your goals as a [staff] member at Binghamton?
Sirju-Johnson: Currently I wear two hats as associate chief diversity officer and director of the Multicultural Resource Center. I hope to help make the campus a more culturally diverse place with an inclusive environment. Having an inclusive environment is extremely important to me. It is important that every person feel valued, feel that this is their community, feel like this is their home. I hope they value their experiences, interactions and growth in this space. Whether it be student, faculty member or staff. I want it to feel like a great place, to learn, to grow, to do research.
PRISM: Any advice for students?
Sirju-Johnson: I encourage current students be as innovative as possible, think differently as it relates to strategies to reach their end goals. Also build relationships that they may not understand the immediate need of but will as time passes. And to place more of an emphasis on building relationships in youth. These relationships carry us and can carry us throughout life and even for impacting our lives.
“Communities of Binghamton University” is a column created to give voice to branches of the campus that may have previously gone unheard or underrepresented. It is a space that illuminates the stories of our current leaders and those who intend to be our future leaders. If you know anyone who should be featured in subsequent installments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.