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April 21, 2006

profile story

Uzair Nazim Mukadam came to America three years ago to attempt for a completely different lifestyle than his parents brought him up in. He knew there would be no servants or maids here. He wanted to become an independent man where people didn't do every thing for him.

That's why Uzair sits in the University of Minnesota-Duluth coffee shop sipping a latte today. After fifteen years of schooling in Pakistan, he decided to take the long journey to Minnesota to enroll in the school of business at UMD. From meeting Uzair, you would never know that he grew up traveling from country to country with people who would do anything for him at the drop of a hat.

Uzair spent most of his childhood sailing around the world in a ship he describes as a big city. The Mukadam family base is located in Karachi, Pakistan; however, since Uzair's father was a Captain on a Merchant ship he frequently brought the family along on shipping adventures.

His father's merchant ship, the size of eight football fields, typically contained 35-40 crew members, a chief cook, maids and servants.

"The ships I traveled on were much better then five-star hotels," said Uzair.

The men in the Mukadam family have been the Captain of the Merchant
Army for the past three generations; however, Uzair wanted to find himself and
follow his own dreams.

Uzair could have easily taken his father’s money to pay for his education in the United States. Instead, he decided that the best idea would to pay for it himself through private loans.

On campus, you can usually find Uzair working in one of the computer labs throughout the week.

“It’s an easy and chill job. I like it because I don’t get stressed at all,? said Uzair.

On the weekends, Uzair does everything a normal college kid would do except for drinking.

“I love to play cricket. When I was young, I wanted to become a professional in Pakistan,? said Uzair. “I also really like to cook, play music, and design clothes.?

He will be graduating this spring with a B.A. in business. Uzair loves going to school in America, but he’s very excited to finally graduate.

Uzair hopes his parents will attend the graduation if they can get a visa to come to the United States. It has been a year and a half since he has seen his family.

After graduation, Uzair plan on moving to Minneapolis to set up his own company.

“I would like to retire by age 29. I want a lot of time to spend with my wife and kids,? said Uzair. “I definitely plan on traveling much more in my lifetime.?


April 7, 2006

meeting story (final draft)

Last night at the Desegregation/Integration Advisory Council (DIAC) meeting, a heated discussion occurred involving the new position of the Adelante Cultural Center.
Katy Livaddaros, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Madison, was hired to fill the position as part of the developing plan to diversify the Duluth Public Schools. After leaving the meeting early last night due to prior engagements, the controversy broke out.
The DIAC council members began to argue that they were unhappy with the hiring of Livaddaros because she is not a person of color. The Duluth Public School District created this position with the intention of receiving a wide diversity of applicants. The members were upset that they didn't do a thorough job of hiring a person of color for the position. In the past, the district has had a poor record of hiring people of color.
"The DIAC council has worked long and hard to insure that the District hires people of color for programs that are funded with DIAC dollars. Unfortunately it doesn't always happen and they are disappointed," said Secretary Diana Stratioti of the Desegregation/Integration program.
Rob McLachlin, Human Resources Director, was the one receiving all the blame at the meeting by the council members. McLachlin came back at the council members and said that there were 21 candidates and the hiring process had a good amount of diversity.
The argument with ended with the consensus that there was nothing they could do to change the situation.