Resilience Profile: Darrant Nyanusi


Nicole Girgen

International Student Darrant Nyanusi shows resilience through being a leader on campus. Originally from Nairobi, Kenya Nyanusi is in his second year at Winona State majoring in mass communications.

Sydney Mohr, Features Editor

As the Resilience theme for Winona State University carries on throughout the rest of the school year, Darrant Nyanusi, a 23-year-old sophomore at Winona State, is a prime example of a resilient student.

Nyanusi is currently obtaining his second degree in mass communication after earning his first degree in public relations at The Cooperative University of Kenya in Karen Nairobi, Kenya.

Nyanusi enrolled in bridge classes at Winona State in 2017 as a bridge student in the English learning program, then graduated as an international student and was able to fully enroll at Winona State later that year. He currently has one year of classes left at Winona State.

“I want to be a politician. That is the end goal,” Nyanusi said. “For now, I would like to find a job as a journalist, a news anchor or a presenter. Something in communication where I can get there.”

Nyanusi had no issues making himself at home in Winona, despite it being so far away and different from his home town of Nairobi, Kenya. Born in Kisii with a twin brother and two other siblings, it was a major life decision to move to the U.S. and start a new life here.

When Nyanusi decided to settle in at Winona State, he participated in the International Dinners that are hosted each spring semester and was a part in Ebony Night- where he got to showcase some traditional dancing he learned at home in Kenya.

Nyanusi discussed his reasons for choosing to attend Winona State.

“I came here to get my second degree for mass communications. I like the U.S., there are great opportunities here, and I like that Winona is a very small town – I can focus on my studies and not get too distracted,” Nyanusi said.

Even though he had previous involvement on campus, that is not all Nyanusi is known for. Nyanusi is the president and founder of the East African Club, a club for students to bond and share their heritage. The club participates in Ebony Night and the International Dinner.

“I like being the president of the East African Club, but I would really enjoy becoming a part of Student Senate,” Nyanusi said. He decided to wait a semester to see how Senate works, then apply for Spring 2020.

Nyanusi has also been a face to the International Student Program and the English Language Program. He has spoken at several presentations for bridging classes and most recently sat in on a panel for a forum on how mental health effects most international students, and how he overcomes that.

One of the hardest things to adapt to with Minnesota, according to Nyanusi, was the winters.

“The first winter, it didn’t feel like something bad. But the second winter, that was the hardest. It’s a beautiful thing, winter is, but it definitely has its advantages and disadvantages,” Nyanusi said.

Despite the harsh winters, Nyanusi said he plans to stay here.

“I’m comfortable here. Moving to another state, I’m not ready for that since I am already used to this place,” Nyanusi said. “After school, I plan to do my internship, and maybe they will offer me a job. There would be no reason to go back home.”

Katie Subra, Director of the English Language Program nominated Nyanusi for this award because of his hard work and dedication to Winona State.

“I nominated him because he has demonstrated resilience since he arrived in Winona spring semester 2018,” Subra said. “Darrant was first a bridge student in English Language Programs while also taking credit classes starting in January 2018. He arrived here from Kenya without knowing anyone here, but quickly started meeting people and getting involved in campus events.”