Janica Kaneshiro

Home is where you fit in

Janica Kaneshiro has spent her whole life looking for a place to call home.

The daughter of a former military man and a kindergarten teacher, junior Janica Kaneshiro spent most of her childhood and early adulthood moving, travelling, and exploring—never settling in one place for very long.

“I chose IU because even though it’s huge, it has a small community of journalists,” said Janica, a journalism and fine arts major. “I liked that it gave me the chance to get to do a lot of things within this tight-knit community.”

On any given day, you can find her painting or molding a masterpiece in the art studio, managing social media and digital content for the campus newspaper, and eating dinner with her sorority sisters.

I have all of these different moving parts of myself. I can be all of them at IU. I get to have all of these different lives in this one place.

Staying strong in the face of adversity

Janica yearned to study abroad through programs offered by The Media School. But the financial burden it posed loomed over her head.

Determined to overcome this obstacle, Janica actively pursued all of the scholarship opportunities available at IU for study abroad programs. The money she received as a result of her efforts propelled her dreams and her travels forward.

Janica, her hands folded in front of her, smiles at a colleague.
Janica Kaneshiro
A bearded man sits at a computer.

Finding her place while on the move

Fast forward a couple of years. Janica has now studied in Japan and London, jumpstarting her journalism career and expanding her perspective and understanding of a variety of cultures.

“There’s something wonderful about going to places where you don’t understand the customs and you’re a little bit awkward and you have to try to fit in with people,” Janica said. “You get out of your own bubble.”

“I really thrive off that experience and I think that there is a lot to learn about how other cultures have found different ways to function.”

Charting a path through organizational cultures

As the digital director of the Indiana Daily Student, Janica served as the point person for NYT Now, a news app from the New York Times that aggregates the top stories of the day.

Janica found herself bouncing back and forth between the very different cultures of the university and the national newspaper every day. After collecting headlines and stories about the university from IDS staff, she had to translate them into New York Times style and fit them into the app.

Her experience taught her that you don’t have to travel abroad to immerse yourself in another culture. She had to learn how the organizational customs differed and how to best communicate with both groups to maintain healthy working relationships.

Printed newspapers on a conveyer belt
A newspaper story marked up with comments such as "great teamwork!"
Janica smiles in front of a newspaper printing press.

There’s no place like Indiana, her Indiana

Despite the competitive nature of the journalism field, Janica said that the Media School and the IU community in general are overwhelmingly welcoming and supportive.

“It’s a very uplifting community in a lot of ways,” Janica said.

Through her involvement on campus, in study abroad programs, and within her sorority, Janica has created a family of scholars, leaders, and friends for herself.

“At the end of my freshman year, I remember telling my parents that I was trying to figure out how to say “home,” like this is home but IU’s home, too.”

“I realized IU is my new home.”

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