Ashley Chong | Student Stories

Ashley Wei Chong
Meet Ashley Wei Chong

Picture Perfect: Chong finds her passion at Nebraska

May 16, 2022 | By Mia Azizah

For Ashley Chong, a journalism major with a minor in film studies, there is nothing quite like a Nebraska football game.

In fact, it was the thrill of the game, the school spirit and the red sea of Huskers cheering for their team that affirmed her aspiration to be a photojournalist.

"I aspire to be a photojournalist to continue documenting events that may not seem important now, but [will be] historical in the future," Chong said.

Over the past year, the Kuala Lumpur native has worked as a photographer for the student newspaper The Daily Nebraskan – an opportunity she says opened the door to photojournalism for her. She's grateful for her editors that encouraged her to take on new assignments to experiment with different photography styles and document different aspects of student life at Nebraska – including the football games.

"My proudest accomplishment is seeing my photos published on The Daily Nebraskan's website," Chong said. "My first football game that I attended was when I was assigned to take photos for the Nebraska v. Buffalo game (in fall 2021). I recently photographed the Spring Game and it's a bittersweet moment for me because it'll be the last football game I attend before I graduate."

In addition to The Daily Nebraskan, Chong has also grown her skills as a videographer for Jacht Ad Agency, the student-run advertising agency in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. She's grateful for all the advice and mentorship she's received from advisors and faculty at the college who have helped her improve her interpersonal and technical skills, including Alan Eno, associate professor of practice in broadcasting, and Shoun Hill, assistant professor of practice in journalism.

"The best thing about being a Husker is the opportunities I get on campus," Chong said.

My favorite part of Nebraska is how friendly and conversational everyone is. Sometimes, strangers would greet me when I'm walking on the streets, and it's those small interactions with people that make my day better.

Ashley Wei Chong

Chong also worked with the International Welcome Team, where she found her community of students from various countries and who are passionate about global-experiential learning.

"I'm thankful for the opportunity to work with New Student Enrollment and International Student and Scholar Office as a Welcome Team member and an event coordinator this past year," she said. "I'm proud to be part of a community that works to provide a safe and inclusive space for international students."

As she graduates this May, Chong is most looking forward to visiting her family in Malaysia and seeing them for the first time in three years, and working in the photojournalism field covering breaking news and events. Still, she's grateful for everything she's learned as a Husker and for the community that welcomed her in Nebraska, from support in her professional endeavors to the smiles from strangers on the street.

"International students should come to UNL because they will get to meet students from many different cultures and there is a good support system for international students here, built with the help from international students and faculty," Chong added.

No matter where she goes, Chong knows she'll always have another home in Nebraska.

"Graduating from Nebraska means that I'm proud to call Nebraska my second home. It's the place that helped me shape who I am today as a person," Chong said.

Meet more international Huskers