Saturday, July 13, 2024

Student embraces campus diversity

When Anthony Bryan came to Plattsburgh State in fall 2011, he already had his mind set on where he wanted to go after graduation: medical school.
During his sophomore year, Bryan started interning at the Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, where he spent a majority of his time in the ER and the ICU.

Bryan interned at CVPH for two years, and while at home during winter and summer breaks, he interned at hospitals near his home in Brooklyn.

“What I like to make is a personal difference,” Bryan said. “When I see elderly in the hospital, I talk to them and try to make them feel more comfortable by getting them more blankets or pillows. I just try to make them feel happy in the environment they are in.”

Bryan said he always saw himself being in the medical field. After graduating in December, he plans to go back home and work for hospitals in his home city, as well as go to medical school next fall in New York.

“I miss my family,” Bryan said. “They have always been so supportive of me, so I want to help them out and stay close to home when I’m done here.”

Bryan came into PSUC focusing on his work early on in his freshman year. But as he started making friends, he was introduced into the clubs and organizations PSUC has.

The first club Bryan joined was the Japanese Club. He then found himself involved in the Korean Association and V-Nation, which is the Vietnamese Student Association club at PSUC. Bryan then joined Equipe Capoeira Brasileira, which teaches students the history of African/Brazilian martial arts. He is also a part of Club International, which creates opportunities for the international students to experience campus life.

“I come from a Trinidad background, so I know all about my culture,” Bryan said. “Being in these clubs lets me learn something different and something new.”

Apart from those clubs, Bryan was also in the Chinese Association and on the track team before time conflicts interfered.

“From joining these clubs, I have made friends from all over the world: Bangladesh, Korea, Norway, Vietnam,” Bryan said. “You’re learning all new different things, from languages to traditions.”

PSUC student Aamer Khan said he met Bryan in club activities around campus.

“These clubs let you meet different people from all over the world and lets you build international experience,” Khan said.

Khan said seeing Bryan be involved in all of these clubs is inspiring.

“It’s really hard to explain Anthony in a few words,” Khan said, “but he inspires me. He makes time for everything and never lets anyone feel left out.”

While Bryan is learning these cultures, he is also trying his hardest to get people involved.

“I love to help people,” Bryan said. “I’m pretty shy, so if I see someone standing in a corner looking uncomfortable, I want to bring them in and get them involved. I know how standing in a corner feels, so I don’t want them to feel like that.”

Bryan said joining different clubs is important because students can learn what’s respectful and disrespectful in different cultures. People can become a part of a diverse community and broaden their knowledge.

During his PSUC career, Bryan has become a leader and a part of Cardinal Crew for international orientation.

“I was a leader, but I stayed with the Cardinal Crew. I still get to meet the students but more on an individual base, and I like that,” Bryan said.
PSUC Student Engagement Coordinator Carolina De la Rosa said Bryan has been a part of the international student orientations for a year and a half.

De la Rosa, who works in the Global Education Office, said Bryan is the first friendly face international students and their families see when coming to orientation. Members of the team help students with the welcome packet and show them around the campus to the next activity.

“Anthony is always willing to help out any way he can,” De la Rosa said. “He helps organize and participates in the bonding events we set up, which is great because he is so easy to work with. He’s full of energy and is great at working with the students.”

Being a part of the international orientation and the Global Education Office has brought Night of Nations to Bryan’s attention.

De la Rosa said Night of Nations is an annual event put on by the students. The Global Education Office sponsors it, but the students do all the work. This show brings the cultural diversity on campus forward and lets the rest of the community join in as well.

“There are over 160 students performing this year, and we are expecting a full house on show night,” De la Rosa said. “It’s a cool opportunity for students to show the rest of the community their culture in their own way.”

Bryan has done Night of Nations every year and is performing in three dances in this years show.

“I am performing in Brazil, Vietnam and Korea,” Bryan said. “To me, dancing is proof that you don’t need to be from that country to participate in the show.”

Bryan said the show has 12 performances, and they all show what traveling to different parts of the world looks like. The students and community will get to see what happens in those countries.

Bryan said Night of Nations brings people together and lets them make friends, which is good for all students.

Last year’s Night of Nations was when Bryan and PSUC student Lina Nguyen began dating.

Nguyen said Bryan is a person who tries to make everyone feel comfortable and always has time to do everything he wants.

“He’s Superman,” Nguyen said. “I’m shocked on how he gets everything done as he participates in everything.”

With his interaction in many international clubs, Bryan has gotten the nickname “Mister International.”

Bryan said people were surprised when they would find out he was born and raised in America.

“Not everyone has to know who you are, just be happy that you know who you are by yourself,” Bryan said. “I am happy to know who I am as a person. I see myself as a superhero, good character or bad, I know I can change the world. That’s what I want. I want to change the world and help people.”

Email Samantha Stahl at

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