Kari Nyland, Class of 2001

To Whom It May Concern:

I earned my M.A. in Human Relations through The University of Oklahoma in Yokosuka, Japan in 2001. Three months prior to the completion of my degree my first child was born. At the time of my child’s birth I was excited about being a new parent. I researched and responded to my thesis questions while pushing my child in his stroller back and forth in our tiny Japanese apartment. One of the topics I wrote about was the controversy surrounding vaccines and autism. Little did I know, 26 months later our child would be diagnosed with autism. Ever since our child’s diagnosis I have used my degree in human relations to advocate, advocate, advocate. One of the most helpful skills I learned through the Human Relations program is how to be a happy advocate. Through the degree program I learned how to value the perspective someone else holds while standing firm in my own beliefs. This has been incredibly helpful as I continue to believe in the possibilities for our child even when others see only road blocks. As I continue on this journey of autism I am forever grateful to have been able to learn how to be an effective advocate through OU’s Human Relations Department. Thank you!

Kari Nyland

Yokosuka graduate 2001