Meet Our Scholars: Jenny Han Simon

[Speaker: Jenny Han Simon] My mother is from Shanghai, China, and my dad is white, and so I think that's been a really big part of my identity growing up, kind of, trying to, like, navigate between these two cultures. The first day of class, I met one of my favorite professors, Professor Walter Hakala. Through talking to him, I realized that there are people who want their students to do really well. There are people, there are teachers who care about their students and he said, "I see potential in you. "I think you're talented." I actually started to realize that I like to learn languages and that I was really fascinated by the linguistic side of Chinese. And so, for me, at that point in my freshman year, Chinese wasn't just this obligation I had anymore. It was something that I actually was very interested in. And so, I worked with Professor Hakala to, kind of, decide my research schools, decide my future goals, think about how I could use my UB experience and the curriculum to achieve those goals later in life. I'm graduating this semester and I've applied for a Fulbright English teaching assistantship in Mongolia. So, that's my first step in becoming a teacher, but also learning more about China. Sometimes I think people have to bring that greatness out of you. And then, once you realize that you have that seed of greatness then you can really start to do things with it.