Nicole Eitzen
MCC Photo/Tina Schrag

Nicole Eitzen, MCC Central States Summer Service Worker worked at Bethel College and Kaufman Museum in North Newton, Kan. 

MCC Central States Summer Service Worker Nicole Eitzen worked at Bethel College and Kaufman Museum, both in North Newton, Kan. for ten weeks this summer. Eitzen researched, interviewed and compiled information to create recommendations for Bethel College’s administration, staff and students to help make Bethel a more welcoming place for racial minorities. Some of her recommendations include: making space for students of color where their culture can shine and finding similarities for multi-racial interaction while staying mindful of the structural diversity on campus. As a recent Bethel graduate, a student of color with both German-American and Mexican heritage Eitzen was particularly well positioned to do this research. She says, “I hope that people look into the recommendations and that the ideas are taken seriously.”

Her work at Kaufman Museum focused on doing research for an upcoming exhibit about items donated to the Et Cetera Shop in Newton, Kan. that are racially insensitive or racist. Eitzen identified people in the community whose heritage connected them to the objects. The people she interviewed reflected on several objects and how the objects made them feel. The hope is to spark thoughts and conversations via the objects. Eitzen said, “It is best to be mindful of what you collect and display. Sometimes objects should be thrown away, not donated and re-circulated through the Et Cetera Shop.”

Nicole has lived in the United States for four years while attending Bethel College. She shared, “I look white and sometimes I would try to subdue my Hispanic self. But over time I’ve learned to claim both of my cultural heritages, and now I’m trying to use it to help educate others.”