What is your position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?
I am the Office Associate at the Department of Plant Pathology. I work in the Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic and provide support to the extension team in the department. My job allows me to connect with other grad students and share my creative ideas. The diagnostician at the clinic and other professors at the department also helped educate me about plant health and plant disease, something that I have very little knowledge about. I started to have a small plant collection in my office now and I am very proud of it.
What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?
I completed my bachelor’s degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I majored in Hospitality, Restaurant & Tourism Management and minored in Business, Leadership and Communication. The university had a significant impact on my academic and personal development as a student. As an international student, I love that the university has so many programs and activities to help foreign students adapt and develop their skills to a new environment. After graduating, I made my decision to stay and work for the university since it always feels like home to be here.
What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?
Working in an educational setting gives me the opportunity to interact with faculty, staff and students and share many interesting and innovative ideas. I graduated from UNL so working here gave me the motivation to continue my education as well. I am currently enrolling in the MBA program at UNL and get a lot of support from my colleagues.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
During the pandemic, the University Dining Servies opened a mask design contest so everyone could design a logo for the University Dining to use and print on the mask for employees who work in all the Dining Centers at UNL. I joined and drew the logo on my computer and won the mask designing contest. After that, everyone was wearing my mask at the Dining Hall. Every time my colleague or a student tells me I made their day by always being positive and helpful, I feel a great sense of accomplishment and fulfillment in the workplace.
What is something that most people don't know about you?
I love food and I can eat anything as long as it’s not too spicy! I love cooking and making international food and sharing it with others. I have become a huge fan of manga and anime. In Vietnam, I have a big collection of over 1000 manga books and I am still figuring out how to ship them all to the U.S.
What is your life like outside of work?
In my free time I usually like to read books or manga. When I read them, I feel relaxed and feel like I have discovered a new world. Reading books and manga helps me improve my knowledge and expand my creativity. I also love swimming and running on the weekend. I have a very good gym near my house.