Meet the Officers: Cyrus Shen, Documentation Team 2017-2018

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Introducing Cyrus Shen, our other Historian for this year.

Cyrus is a 2nd year, Electrical Engineering major from Warren. Our youngest member on cabinet, Cyrus brings much representation for underclassmen. Also one who likes to take a step back and appreciate what he has, Cyrus is very proud of getting into college (you still have a long way to go young blood!). He enjoys playing tennis in his free time,  as he likes to hit around at the tennis courts at UCSD. His favorite animals are penguins, especially the Emperor Penguin (those things are huge!). He doesn’t really have a specific favorite food, but likes pretty much anywhere that has good food (there’s this great place in SD called Convoy, Cyrus).

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Cyrus has been in TC since he was a kid, making it very easy for him to transition to Tzu Ching at UCSD. Coupled with warm atmosphere and people he met through UCSD Tzu Ching, it helped get him close to everyone very quickly. Like his Co-Historian, Mark, Cyrus had also joined us during Winter 2017, showing his rapid progression in the club.  His favorite event would have to be Vendor Fair. Not only was this his first event, but he also had a very fun time making the food and selling it with everyone (yes! making food with friends is very fun!).

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Cyrus will be our other Historian this year, and will collaborate with Mark in making sure the best pictures are taken of all our members at each event. He will share the workload with Mark, as they both upload our event photos into albums and tag attendees. Like many in UCSD TC, Cyrus became an officer because he wanted to be more involved in TC. It seems like it’s working, seeing that he is one of our favorite kouhai and is on pace to lead the next generation of UCSD Tzu Ching (looking forward to when you become hokage of TC!). His hope for this year is simply to be a good historian and take good pictures, so fear not when you have your photo taken by him.


Meet the Officers: Mark Liu, Documentation Team 2017-2018


Introducing Mark Liu, one of our Historians for this year.

Mark is a 3rd year, Mathematics-Computer Science major from Marshall. A relatively recently joined member, Mark was also recruited from KOTX by Kathy (I’m starting to see the trend here now). In his free time, he likes to watch dramas and play games. Recently, he has also developed a liking to exercising, as he now works out with the TC fam on our workout day(s) throughout the week and was also a participant with us in the Triton 5K. Mark’s favorite animal is the giraffe. Nothing fascinates him more than those long necks, those long legs, and those big, brown splotches (I mean just look at it!). Mark is most proud of his accomplishment that is overcoming student debt, and he hopes that this trend will continue (the struggle is real). As such, though his favorite food is ramen, he likes to eat at McDonald’s to save money (Great! I like McDonald’s too! Let’s go together!).


When Mark first joined TC, his first impression was that everyone was very nice and friendly. He stayed because he instantly felt attached to all the TC friends he made. He became situated within the club at an accelerated pace and this is extremely evident in the fact that he is our newest member on our board (having only joined since February!) and has already attended a TCCA leadership conference this past summer. In addition, Mark has had significant involvement with Tzu Chi outside of UCSD as well, having taken part in an internship at the San Dimas Headquarters this summer, and has made many friends there as well (keep up the good work Mark!). His favorite aspect of TC is how everyone is very genuine, making it easy for him to quickly come out of his shell. His favorite event would have to be Happy Campus simply because the students are always energetic, making him feel enthused to interact with them.


Mark is one of our historians this year and he will be working with Cyrus to take pictures at our memorable events, or he will appoint someone to take pictures at the event should he not be there. He will also be uploading the photos of each event into an album on Facebook and will tag all participants. If you see him taking your picture at an event, be sure to put on a big smile! Mark decided to become an officer because he wanted to go the extra mile and do more than just volunteer. Through his role as historian, he hopes to learn how to become a better photographer.

Success is achieved by seizing the moment and accepting its challenges.”

Meet the Officers: Jessica Yeung, Marketing & Public Relations Team 2017-2018


Introducing Jessica Yeung, our Marketing and Public Relations Deputy for this year.

Jessica is a 5th year, Cognitive Science Major from Muir. Jessica entered UCSD in 2015 as a transfer from community college, a feat she is very proud of. She was initially disappointed that she wasn’t able to enter UCSD as a freshman, but now that she successfully transferred, it means that her effort has been acknowledged (which feels great!). Jessica loves to constantly learn new things, in the form a multitude of languages, playing guitar, and baking/cooking (great to have a person with such a versatile skill set on board!). In her free time, she likes to watch anime, especially Doraemon, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Shangri-La. And in addition, nothing soothes her more than simple sleeping (Great choice! I love sleep too!). Oooh we have another dog-lover here! Jessica is especially fond of small fluffs and large warmers, such as Yorkshire Terriers, the Pomeranian, and the German Shepherd. As for food, Jessica likes to eat Asian cuisine, especially the OG restaurants she grew up with, like Sam Woo, Phuong Trang, and temple food. However, she dislikes salad dressings, hot sauces, and complicated sauces with meals (nothing like keeping it clean!).


When I first encountered Tzu Ching, I was an aspiring UCSD transfer student. My community college did not have any apparent clubs on campus that I could relate to back when I was a freshmen, but I did have a few connections with some Tzu Chi members from the San Diego Service Center from Chinese school who have recommended me to visit UCSD Tzu Ching’s Fall GBM to see if I wanted to join them. So with that recommendation, I went to the GBM one night and met the most humble and warmest college students at the time. I appreciated the Tzu Chings mindfulness of their participants and effort while explaining their chapter’s efforts to support the Tzu Chi mission. During that night, I was drawn in by the welcoming atmosphere and the interesting events that happened on my days off from school. From then on, I have participated in the fun events I could attend to and now a proud Tzu Ching UCSD Transfer. I’ve stayed with TC this long because I enjoyed meeting the members, attending meaningful events, and I want to give share and give back to this lovely organization.

Some of my favorite aspects of TC is their embracing culture and call-to-action attitude for those in need. Since I did not particularly grow up with a lot, I have had times where I felt like I desperately needed to look for friendship and finding it hard to ask for help (not as much now, I think). By encountering TC, I felt that I have loosen up and a developed a new need to help those in need, those who may have felt what I felt before. And TC gave me what I needed, an outlet of opportunities to do just that, which I am grateful for.

Service event wise, my favorite event would be Everybody Reads because I can meet students who are experiencing things I may have encountered before at their age, and be there for them to tutor on school subjects they need help with or hear them out on. I was fortunate to get help later in my school career, so I wanted to share that fortune with others. To be honest, I can’t say that I’m the best mentor there, but I am working on it so that my students/little friends can smile with confidence. As for social events, I think Social Day and dinners are hard to beat, because I can bond with people who are working on the same mission while having lots of fun.

My position is Co Marketing and PR Officer and my job is to raise Tzu Ching awareness through social media and maintain communication with the chapter’s members with Marketing Officer Alan Chen and Public Relations Officer Kevin Lee. I decided to become an officer to help promote TC and be more involved with the organization who has given me more warmth I ever expected for for my undergrad career. In my defense, this might have been one of my best decisions. My ongoing goal is to properly represent the organization’s efforts and family-like community with thoughtful content in social media posts. By the end of my term, I hope to have conveyed to our future new members that our organization is a happy safe space and that I do care about them despite my normally solemn demeanor.

“Be willing to do, Be happy to bear.”

This is one of my favorite Jing Si Aphorism, because it reminds me to have a proactive mindset towards the responsibilities I chose to do. Which has allowed me to meet amazing people, discover passions, acquire new skills, and do more things I love to now do. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Right?

Meet the Officers: Kevin Lee, Marketing & Public Relations Team 2017-2018


Introducing Kevin Lee, our Public Relations Director for this year.

Kevin is a 3rd year, Mathematics-Economics major from Sixth College. He recently got his first job as a barista at Starbucks, joining fellow cabinet members Sandra and Jessica there. Say hi to him there if you see him! If you like board games, you well get along super well with Kevin. He absolutely loves to play board games, and you can be sure to expect him to bring 5-6 board games to socials in order to share his joy with fellow TC members and friends. He doesn’t have a particularly favorite food, but nothing satiates him more than good apple pie. His favorite animal is monkeys. We don’t really have those here in San Diego, but you can certainly see them at the famous San Diego Zoo!


Like Kathy and Roger, Kevin has been involved with Tzu Chi for quite a while, having joined Tzu Shao when he was in 8th grade. He really enjoyed his time there as it allowed him to make a lot of friends. He especially likes Tzu Chi for the ability to serve others, as he has stuck around Tzu Chi this whole time for the feeling of doing something meaningful and helpful for the community.

Kevin is the Public Relations Director, and will be in charge of managing social media and getting feedback forms for our events. All the events on Facebook will be setup by him, and he will usually be the one inviting everyone to the events. Make sure to contact him on Facebook if you’d like to be added to our invite list! Kevin became an officer in order to make a bigger impact on the TC community. He hopes to push TC to new limits and better tailor it to our members.

“Taking a step back to accommodate others refines our character and nurtures spiritual growth.”

Meet the Officers: Alan Chen, Marketing & Public Relations Team 2017-2018


Introducing Alan Chen, our Social Media Marketing Director for this year.

Alan is a 4th year, Computer Science major from Sixth College. A partial outdoorsman, Alan likes to go on hikes and camping trips, and will usually lead the TC fam on hikes throughout San Diego, with Three Sister’s being the most recent. He also likes to workout and play/watch many sports, such as football, basketball, and badminton. When relaxing, he likes to watch anime. A bit of a deviation from the majority of the cabinet, Alan is a reptile person, and he especially likes crocodilians and snakes. His favorite foods are pretty much any seafood, from sushi to crab to steamed fish. Having grown up in San Diego, his seafood craving is almost always satiated with all the tasty seafood restaurants around here. Alan is most proud of getting into UCSD computer science program after coming in undeclared. With the uncertainty of being able to get into an impacted major, he was very anxious at the time and was quite unsure about attending UCSD. However, he ultimately chose to take the risk and was able to get in after much perseverance, and he is very glad he made that decision in the end. Amazing how different things can turn out from small changes…


At the beginning of my third year, after solidifying my direction in career/education the previous two years, I started looking to spread my wings a bit and join some clubs to to meet new people. UCSD Tzu Ching happened to be one of them, as I was re-introduced to Tzu Chi by alumni Eric Horng, who I had the pleasure of interning with over the summer. At first, I just wanted to test it out and see how much I liked it and wanted to commit to it, compared to how I felt about the other clubs I was looking into. Starting from the first GBM that fall, I instantly felt welcomed, as everyone was very warm and friendly to me. I quickly felt comfortable being around everyone in the organization and thought it was a group I could trust and bond with. I really like the professionalism everyone holds themselves to when the time comes for it. It instills a strong sense of discipline, but without being too intimidating since I know everyone on a personal level from our casual hangouts. My favorite event Convalescent Home because I like being around all the seniors that we see so much and being able to sing and laugh with them. I also quite enjoy seeing everyone display their hidden talents here that we don’t necessarily get to see a lot. Convalescent Home was also one of my first events and probably the one after which I started committing myself to the club, so it feels very special to me.


I am the Social Media Marketing Director for this year and I will be managing UCSD TC’s media platforms, from Facebook to Instagram to our blog on WordPress. You can usually expect me to upload our Weekly Wisdoms onto our Instagram (tc.tritons), featuring a Jing Si aphorism picked out by our fellow TC members along with their reflections regarding it. I will also be uploading onto our WordPress blog our monthly newsletters and other updates regarding our club, such as the officer intros you are currently reading. I wanted to become an officer to, first off, get closer to the club, as I had just recently joined in Fall 2016. I also wanted to help increase our membership by improving our public image to people who might be unfamiliar with what exactly our club is about, which is why my role in the club is very fitting.

“When you perform a task, do it wholeheartedly. When you refuse a task, leave it without regret.”

For quite a while (and even now somewhat), I have had a habit of saying yes to every request or favor given to me. During a lot of these situations, they’d eventually lead to me overloading myself and I would find myself not fully devoted to carrying out the task. Not only would I find myself having a bad time, but I would also end up not completing the task as well I would have liked. Thus, I now try not to be so quick to accepting new tasks or obligations unless I really want to and I know that I can give it my all into completing them. I have also developed a good sense for when to decline requests and am more self-aware of the amount of obligations I can juggle.

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Meet the Officers: Jonathan Tran, Event Coordinators Team 2017-2018


Introducing Jonathan Tran, our General Event Coordinator for this year.

Jonathan is a 4th year, Literature/Writing Major from ERC. As is a common interest among many UCSD TC members, Jonathan is an avid K-pop fan, enjoying watching K-dramas as well as doing some K-pop dancing himself (he’s in KOTX!). He also enjoys watching anime and spending time with friends and family, as he can frequently be found hanging with TC fam outside of the club activities. In Jonathan, we have an amateur musician as well, often playing the piano in his free time and learning soundtracks of games and anime. You can be sure to see him play a 1-2 pieces at our Convalescent Home events, so come on out! Jonathan takes it upon himself to exercise as well, often organizing workouts with the TC fam on our designated workout days (Training Tuesdays, Workout Wednesdays, etc). His desire to be healthy is not just limited to exercise though; he often makes sure to follow it up by eating healthy food too, especially those with protein. He seems to prefer chocolate over lemon though. Jonathan’s favorite animal would also have to be dogs, though he doesn’t get to interact with them enough. But that’s okay! With all the fellow dog-lovers in TC, one doesn’t have to wait long to be in the presence of dogs. Jonathan is most proud of being able to get into college, which is often overlooked and taken for granted in this day and age.


My first impression of TC happened when I went up to the flyering table at Library Walk. I thought the members were very warm and welcoming, more so than how it usually feels when I’m invited to join a club. This caring feeling felt even stronger when I attended my first event. Afterward, a group of officers and regular members walked with me all the way to my next destination near Revelle, even though they needed to go to the Village/ERC in the opposite direction! After attending a few more events, I could not help but feel at home in this close-knit group. My favorite aspects are the club values, the kinds of events we volunteer for, and the friendly, loving atmosphere! Nowadays, I can’t choose a favorite among the three usual volunteering events — I enjoy each of them a lot!


I’m the 2017-2018 General Event Coordinator. I will help plan and prepare for events such as Social Day, West Region TC Graduation, and more regular, smaller-scale socials for club bonding time. I decided to become an officer because I wanted to take my contribution to my favorite club a step higher. This year, UCSD Tzu Ching will host Social Day, an annual event where the Tzu Ching chapters from other SoCal colleges gather together on one campus. I hope to help organize a fun, successful Social Day that will have made our school worth visiting. In general, I hope to do a good job as the first General Event Coordinator!

“Continue even when it is hard to go on, release even when it is hard to let go, endure even when it is hard to bear; this is how we build our character.”

Meet the Officers: Elaine Cheng, Event Coordinators Team 2017-2018

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Introducing Elaine Cheng, our Service Coordinator for this year!

Elaine is a 4th year, Public Health major and Education and Psychology double minor from Sixth college. Elaine is a music enthusiast through and through. She spends much of her free time listening to music and finding new music, listening to a wide variety of music from many cultures, from American and Korean pop/R&B to Taiwanese pop to Disney. She loves to carpool karaoke. So if you ever have her in your car, be sure to plug in that aux! She is also a huge Disney/Pixar fan. Her childhood dream has been to work for Disney and she hopes one day she can do just that by perhaps working as a Disney cast member in their retail stores. Above all, Elaine enjoys all the good food of any cuisine; however, Korean Soondubu (tofu soup) is her ultimate comfort food. In Elaine, we have another dog lover, and for her, the fluffier the better! She especially loves Chow-chows, Samoyeds, and Pomeranians, which all hold a special place in her heart.

Elaine has gone through much growth and development within the last three years of college as she was recovering from an ankle injury. This took a lot of time, patience, mental/emotional pressures, and self-discovery/self-growth to overcome, but they ultimately made her the strong person she is today (keep fighting Elaine!).

My incredible journey as a Tzu Ching began during Winter quarter of my 2nd year at UCSD when Kathy Lam, our lovely president, brought me to UCSD Tzu Ching’s first Winter GBM. Kathy and I had been suitemates during our first year and were also both in a K-pop dance group. I remember asking her about getting involved with Tzu Chi because at the time, I had just recovered from an ankle injury that left me disabled for the whole year. So I was anxious to meet new people and explore all the opportunities UCSD had to offer.

When I went to the first Winter GBM with Kathy, the officers and many members immediately greeted me with warm smiles and hugs (which I did not expect at all!). What drew me in the most was Tzu Chi’s missions and goals. Previous organizations I had come across recruited members with a free t-shirt and then made them pay a membership fee or wanted their members volunteer in order to accumulate points for their resume…all aspects that did not align with my interests. Thus, after learning about Tzu Chi, I was hooked.

I love the variety of events and opportunities to work with many different types of people. I love that we gain wisdom, life experiences, and leadership in addition to serving the community. I love the strong network of SG/SB, fellow Tzu Ching, and volunteers across the nation and the world! I love the amazing home-cooked vegetarian food we often get to eat. Most of all, I love that we volunteer with compassion, gratitude, respect, and love.

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My favorite event is Everybody Reads. This event naturally speaks to me as I have always had a passion for working with children. Since one of my possible future career paths is to be a teacher, this event helps me gain teaching experience while making a difference in the students’ lives. Best of all, I have learned to use skillful means, the method of teaching according to occasion and capabilities. In other words, volunteering for Everybody Reads has taught me useful ways to approach different students at different grade levels. I can also apply this skill when I am meeting new people or recruiting new members. Now as the service coordinator for UCSD Tzu Ching, I can incorporate more of my experiences and ideas to create curriculum and activities for the students and volunteers!


My position on the 2017-18 officer cabinet is service coordinator. Just as it sounds, I work behind-the-scenes to coordinate all the core service events for our chapter. These events include Everybody Reads, Convalescent Home, Happy Campus, and Medical Outreach. For each of these, I ensure that gratitude, respect, and love are included in the activities we do. For instance, for Convalescent Home, I must ensure we have musical performances and interactives activities for our volunteers to share with the seniors that we visit, so we can bring positive life experiences to the event. Apart from our core events, I can also coordinate other volunteering opportunities such as orange picking or gardening at Roger’s Community Garden at UCSD. More importantly, I arrange transportation for our volunteers to attend these events and make the magic happen!

I decided to become an officer because after one year of volunteering and attending officer meetings as a member and intern, I felt I could take on more responsibility for my organization. I wanted to contribute more ideas and put them into action.

My goals this year are to recruit and retain more members for our chapter so we can continue the great legacy of Tzu Chi  at UCSD for years to come! I aim to incorporate ideas and skills I learned from the TCCA summer leadership camp to improve our chapter. I want to experiment with more fun activities and ideas to make our core events more engaging. At a personal level, I aim to step out of my comfort zone and create more connections with people before my college career comes to an end.

“It is more of a blessing to serve others than to be served.”