Moving from one place or culture to another can be a difficult transition: we are away from the family and friends who have always known us, everyday tasks can become our biggest challenges and it can be hard to find anything that feels comfortable or familiar. In this process, though, growth and vibrant life can also be found: we love and are loved by new friends, we are shaped by other perspectives and we understand there are depths to ourselves we could not otherwise have known.
Here, Dr. Shannon M. Yates. Ed.D, who has made her home in Southeast Missouri from Raleigh, North Carolina, shares about her native culture, her new culture and what she’s learned in the transition. Here’s to letting life be a process and all the things we learn along the way.
Dr. Shannon M. Yates, Ed.D
Hometowns: Born in Pinehurst, North Carolina, grew up in Biscoe, North Carolina, and spent the majority of her life in Raleigh, North Carolina
Moved to Cape Girardeau in 2018 to continue her career in athletics administration as an Associate Athletic Director for Internal Affairs/Senior Women’s Administrator (SWA) at Southeast Missouri State University
What is something that surprised you about the new culture you are a part of?
Growing up in the South, hospitality and friendliness are associated with our culture. It is wonderful to see how welcoming and wonderful those who live in the Midwest region really are. Also, barbecue on toasted bread?? This was a surprise! In the South, we eat vinegar-based sauce barbecue on buns with slaw.
What is something you miss or are proud of about your native culture?
I certainly miss my friends and family. I also miss the closeness to both the beach and mountains that N.C. offers.
What is a challenge of moving to a new culture? What is a joy of moving to a new culture?
The challenge and the joy are actually the same. This includes meeting new friends and learning how to navigate a new city. I am blessed with wonderful colleagues in the SEMO Athletics Department who have been great at introducing me to Cape traditions, restaurants and local events. Cape Girardeau is an amazing community and very similar to cities in N.C.
How do you incorporate elements of your native culture into your new culture?
I bring my N.C. accent everywhere I travel. People are always guessing what state I am from.