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Future Graduate Hopes to Establish Peace and Empower Change

Regina Shumway sitting down outside wearing graduation cap and gown. She is smiling at the camera.
Photo by Mark Gatus, university assistant photographer

Regina Shumway is a graduating senior from Laie, Hawaii. When initially deciding where to attend college, BYU–Hawaii was an easy choice since Shumway didn't want to leave home. She enjoyed the familiarity of life here and loved the spirit and culture found in this community. Although she planned to transfer eventually, she ended up staying due to the closeness she felt to others while attending classes. "Some people see the campus size as a weakness, but I love it. Professors here know my name; they know how to help me and have time to get to know me. Also, getting to know my classmates and having time to participate in class has been an important part of my journey here at BYU–Hawaii."

Shumway now looks forward to graduating with a bachelor's degree in political science, a major that incidentally fell into her lap after taking a handful of intro courses and falling in love, particularly with just one. "What stood out to me was an international relations class; the content really interested and empowered me. It taught me how to think about things in a more academic sense and navigate what is happening globally through an analytical lens." Since then, she's felt supported by professors who pushed her through the program and provided additional opportunities to put classroom principles to practice in the real world.

Regina Shumway standing outside. She is wearing a graduation cap and gown.
Photo by Mark Gatus, university assistant photographer

As a sophomore, Shumway was invited to attend the United Nations Peace Summit for Emerging Leaders in Bangkok, Thailand. Even though she felt underprepared for such an event, she was exposed to world issues that she recalls maturing her perspective on the world and people. "Leaving that conference, I knew that whatever I ended up doing in a career or throughout my life, I needed to give back because I've been so blessed. With all these blessings, why shouldn't I help others who aren't as privileged accomplish greatness?" Shumway currently works as a research assistant for the Religious Freedom and Human Dignity initiative. Creating your workload may sound fun, but in reality, this position challenged Shumway academically and pushed her to new limits. But this was the first job position she took based on genuine interest. For her, it was purposeful and turned out to be "incredibly rewarding." She hopes to continue practicing principles that will empower others and establish peace internationally.

As her parting words of wisdom, Shumway jokingly cautions students to "never take a class before 9:00 am." Then in all seriousness, she advises them to take advantage of the resources at hand. "The professors here have the means to help you better than they would at any other university." Additionally, she urges them to connect, "there's always a benefit to getting a different perspective on whatever subject you're taking or topic you're discussing." Ultimately, she shares how important it is to know the purpose behind what you're doing by stating, "when you know the why behind your actions, that sense of purpose acts as a much better motivation for learning than a grade ever could."