Chin May Teoh

Chin May Teoh
Meet Chin May Teoh

Teoh brings well-being and cultural awareness to campus

May 15, 2020 | by Aaliyah Wells-Samci

Hailing from Penang, Malaysia, Chin May Teoh is a people person.

May Teoh with friends by the Archie the mammoth statue at UNL

As she began her college experience at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Teoh realized it would be an important turning point for her. Yet despite being thousands of miles away from her family and hometown, she didn’t feel lost in Nebraska.

“I love the people here,” said Teoh. “They are friendly and warm. I love talking to them and exchanging cultural stories with them.”

From the moment she arrived and was greeted at the Lincoln Airport by the International Welcome Team, Teoh felt at home in Nebraska. As the school year began, she was also grateful for the multitude of resources available to students. In fact, one of the most important resources she took advantage of during her first semester was meeting with University Career Services. Initially unsure if her major was the right one for her, meeting with a career advisor helped Teoh realize that she wanted to become a Registered Dietitian to help others be their best selves.

The best thing about being a Husker is meeting people from around the world.

Chin May Teoh

As a nutrition and dietetics major, Teoh decided to join Big Red Resilience and Well-Being (BRRWB) and help promote the nine dimensions of well-being: physical, cultural, spiritual, social, financial, environmental, career, intellectual and emotional. Working with the BRRWB and her fellow Well-being Coaches, Teoh organized various events for students across campus to benefit from.

May participating in the ‘R U OK?’ event from Big Red Resilience

One of her favorite memories from her time at the university was Recess Day. An annual event hosted by BRRWB, Recess Day provides recreational activities to help students relieve stress and recharge their mind and body. During the last Recess Teoh participated in, members of BRRWB gave out giftbags for students and organized activities such as canvas painting, making essential oil essence doughs, and different cultural games.

Teoh and her partner were put in charge of the cultural activities. They decided to incorporate different jump rope techniques from around the world, aiming to include at least one method from each continent. Some included Chinese Jumping Rope from Asia, Stockings from Africa and Double Dutch from Europe.

“On one hand, we were able to incorporate different cultural elements, helping students to dig deeper into different cultures,” Teoh said. “On the other hand, I love to spread happiness and when I saw others having fun during Recess, I felt satisfied too.”

While at UNL, Teoh was also a member of the College of Education and Human Sciences’ Student International Advisory Committee (CEHS SIAC). Along with 14 other CEHS students from across Nebraska, U.S. and the world, Teoh helped form the brand new committee to serve as the student liaisons and outreach specialists to increase the awareness of multicultural engagement in the college. Teoh’s favorite part was working in a small, close knit team where all voices could be heard.

CEHS Student International Advisory Committee

“Working with the team was really fun as this is a new committee and we went through a lot of discussions to come up with our vision and mission,” she said.

Teoh helped set up several events for the group, including a Global Hot Drinks event that was part of the university’s International Education Week celebrations in November 2019. The event included a variety of drinks from different countries, including jasmine tea from Japan, coffee from Ethiopia, and Dutch hot chocolate.

In her role for CEHS SIAC, Teoh also had the chance to promote cultural diversity to the UNL community. Drawing from her personal experience, Teoh offered suggestions to her college peers on ways to reach out to international students. The SIAC also helped promote various on-campus events with multicultural ties including study abroad.

Teoh’s advice for other international students looking to come to Nebraska is to look for resources that are available and always ask for help.

“I would strongly encourage international students to come to UNL as this is a welcoming environment to a diversity of people all around the world,” she said. “UNL provides a variety of resources, and I love being a Husker.”

After graduation, Teoh will start her dietetic internship program at South Dakota State University in the fall of 2020. As she advances in her career goals of becoming a dietician, Teoh plans to continue bringing well-being and cultural awareness wherever she goes, just like the legacy she leaves in Nebraska.

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