I am a second generation Vandal.
I am promoting diversity.
I am forever a Vandal fan.
I am Kwapi Vengesayi and this is my University.
Even though I'm from Zimbabwe, I have been raised a Vandal, wearing silver and gold long before I could even locate Idaho on a map. My uncle graduated from Idaho 30 years ago from the same architecture program I was enrolled in as an undergraduate. In fact, we actually shared some of the same professors.
The Vandal family is not just a saying, but a true feeling on campus. The support and encouragement that I have been given to create the Shades of Black Show - a live performance promoting diversity and examining the black culture - now in its 8 year of production, is something I would never have been able to achieve at another University. I have also been able to combine my love for Vandal Athletics and video production and create highlights from the Vandal’s best moments. I am able to showcase the Vandal football team throughout the year; attending games, filming and editing the footage, and adding music to produce high energy video clips.
One of the great things about the University of Idaho is the level of involvement and caring that professors dedicate to their students. Rula Awwad-Rafferty, professor of Landscape Architecture, was very influential in my development here at Idaho, both in the classroom and in her support of me as I developed Shades of Black. Without the encouragement and direction from Bruce Pitman, Dean of Students, I would not still be here at the University of Idaho. He has helped me realize the benefit of becoming involved in University programs and really pushed me to branch out from my comfort level and be more than just a student, to become an active, involved student leader. Shades of Black would not have come to production that first year without his guidance and confidence in my ideas and vision.
Because of donors like you, I have found my niche and passion for helping others and promoting diversity and acceptance here at the University of Idaho.