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

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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…

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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.

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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

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.”

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Meet the Officers: Sandra Lin, Executive Team 2017-2018

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Introducing Sandra Lin, our Secretary for this year.

Sandra is a 4th year, Biochemistry and Cell Biology major from Revelle. She, too, likes the feeling of being able to make other people happy, as she is very proud of allow fellow Tzu Shao members enjoy their 3 day, 2 night leadership conference (awesome job Sandra!). Sandra is a true adventure-seeker, enjoying a wide variety of group activities whether it’s going on a hike or some retail therapy in the mall. Like Kathy, she also likes to watch k-dramas and anime. In fact, her favorite animal is Studio Ghibli’s forest spirit, Totoro! But since Totoro does not exist in our world (one can only believe), her favorite real animal would have to be the adorable and playful red panda. Sandra’s favorite foods would have to be Taiwanese food and Japanese food, and she especially likes sushi (I recommend Sushi Yaro!). In addition, Sandra loves to give hugs, representing our emphasis of love in TC very well. She likes the color white as well, admiring the fact that you can dye it all sorts of colors but you can’t make white from any other color.

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My first impression of Tzu Ching was that everyone was kind, accepting, and loving. The next thing I knew, they became my home away from home. My favorite aspect of Tzu Ching is being able to see the seeds of service that we plant grow into little saplings. It shows in my favorite service event, the Medical Outreach, where we were able to help one person at a time, making contact and seeing how we make an impact in their lives.

I am the 2017-2018 secretary. I jot down the meeting minutes and service hours into our “big book of service”. I wanted to become an officer to help make other volunteers’ experiences at Tzu Ching as enjoyable as mine was when I first joined. My goal this year as an officer is to strengthen our family bonds.

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 “Getting angry is actually to punish yourself with other people’s mistakes.”

This is my favorite Jing Si Aphorism because it helps me to calm myself when I get angry and be more understanding of the other person.

Meet the Officers: Roger Chou, Executive Team 2017-2018

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Introducing Roger Chou, our Vice President for this year.

Roger is a 3rd year, Environmental Engineering major from ERC. Recently, he served as the Curriculum Deputy at TCCA and Curriculum Team Lead at the National Tzu Shao Leadership Retreat. He absolutely enjoyed the fruits of his labor through the rewarding feeling of being able to affect the attendees in a positive way. In his free time, Roger is very active, frequently going to working out and playing badminton and basketball. To unwind, he likes to read as well. He is also very fond of dogs, as is popular among many UCSD TC members. Roger fairly enjoys Chinese food, and for him, nothing beats good old home-cooked food.

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Roger first joined Tzu Chi when he was in 8th grade for a recycling event at the San Dimas Tzu Chi headquarters. He proceeded to join Tzu Shao and has continuously dedicated himself to volunteering with the organization since. He appreciates TC for the open-mindedness and respect everyone displays. He is very glad to have made so many good friends through his endeavors in TC and stays for the thrill of doing something meaningful and helpful for the community. As a result, his favorite event is Convalescent Home for the fact that he able to see all the seniors smile and interact with TC members.

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As the Vice President, Roger’s role is to assist our President Kathy with anything that needs to be done and fill in for her when she is unavailable. As an avid participant in community service, Roger wanted to be an officer in order to inspire other people to serve and help the community. He hopes to attract more people to our organization in order to keep the fire, that is the bonds and foundation established in TC, burning for years to come.

“By improving our character, we help ourselves. By inspiring others, we help others.”

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In order to inspire others, we must refine our character first. It is more convincing when we check ourselves if we have set up a good character first. We have a tremendous amount of potential and capabilities. If we use our potential wisely, we are not only able to improve our character, but also influence others as well.

Meet the Officers: Kathy Lam, Executive Team 2017-2018

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Introducing Kathy Lam, our President for this school year.

Kathy is a 4th year, Speculative Design major from Sixth College. As such, she has allowed her talents in the arts and crafts to shine through via her career as well. In fact, she just recently dedicated a huge amount of time and effort into completing all the graphics for the First Friday event of this year. Be sure to check them out (they’re posted all around campus)! Aside from her career passions, Kathy enjoys watching various K-dramas and anime in her free time. She also plays Maplestory with her friends every once in a while. She will usually spend a good amount of time watching dog and cat videos on Facebook; you can be sure to find them all over her newsfeed! But wait! Kathy isn’t always at home on the computer. She quite enjoys working out and going on hikes with the TC fam too. Just recently, she completed the Triton 5K and Three Sister Falls hike, the toughest hike in San Diego! She takes pride in the rewarding feeling of pushing through and completing physical activities. As for food, Kathy likes a wide variety of Italian, Japanese, and Korean cuisines. In San Diego,  she absolutely LOVES Friend’s House as well as RakiRaki (especially their vegetarian ramen). As is TC tradition, she will also always be down for boba runs! Let’s hear about what she has to say about Tzu Chi(ng)!

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My first impression of Tzu Ching was a fun group of people who provided a heartwarming environment that surrounded me in unconditional love and kindness. Each member was amazing in their own way and became role-models to me. Basically older siblings I could rely on and learn from, a family that invited me with open arms. I stay involved with Tzu Ching because I want to give back to this organization and community that has helped cultivate the person I am today. It’s fun being able to incorporate my hobbies and skills acquired from work, such as photography, graphic design, and marketing, and apply it to our TC Activities.

Some of my favorite aspects about Tzu Ching are how we come together to give back to our community, improve ourselves along the way, and get to create lasting friendships as well. We’re all just ordinary people who do ordinary things, but together, we can accomplish something extraordinary.

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I don’t have a favorite event, but I have grown to adore Convalescent Home over the years. It’s a treat to see other people’s hard work and talent bring happiness and joy to these elderly, whether that’s dance, singing, playing a musical instrument, or even acting really well. But, it’s not really about a person’s talent but the unconditional love you receive from the elderly just for your presence of being there. Overall, it’s a safe space to act as silly and vulnerable as you allow yourself to be. Convalescent Home was always awkward for me in the beginning, but as I had to take some responsibility with helping to run it, I’ve come to appreciate the event much more.

My hope by the end of this is that when I graduate and leave UC San Diego, my family will still be able to thrive without me.

I am UCSD Tzu Ching’s President for the 17-18 school year. My duties are to make sure everything in the organization is running smoothly (both internally and externally) with the help of my cabinet and members. This includes leading meetings, making sure deadlines are met, delegating tasks, getting feedback, etc. In the case my officers are overwhelmed or have questions, I am there to support them with advice or help them out with what the need to complete. Overall, my role is to keep my family happy.

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I decided to continue being an officer because Tzu Chi(ng) is an organization that is really close to my heart and I really want to help however I can to sustain the environment I was welcomed with. As cheesy as it is, I honestly wouldn’t be the person today if it weren’t for this organization. It has allowed me to grow by providing me a platform to serve others or practice my skills without the fear of failure. Also, let’s be honest, not everyone wants to help plan and coordinate all the events behind the scenes, but someone has to do it and I’m willing to be that person that does it if it means giving others opportunities to experience a bit of what I was able to experience.

I hope to establish a stronger foundation for our organization by the end of the year. This means making internal operations run more efficiently, establishing a strong bond between members/officers, implementing systems to continue my efforts on “TC Awareness” or visibility overall of Tzu Ching as an student organization on campus, and inspiring others to join and stay with our family. In addition to those things, my check-off list for the year would have to be: one sign language video, another TC-related video, and a couple of “workshops” both practical (basics of photography) and informational (more Tzu Chi history, teachings, etc.)

“Never lose courage, never lose faith, nothing in this world is impossible when you are determined.”

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My “favorite” Jing Si Aphorism is always changing because the circumstances of my life at the time are also always changing. My first year as an officer, I picked something to focus on being mindful, patient, and just less temperamental overall. 2nd year, I focused on the idea of self-care and loving myself. This year, I am constantly wavering between determined and motivated to being overwhelmed with self-doubt. It’s my final year at UCSD and it’s pretty scary knowing knowing I have roughly 9 months left until I graduate. It’s also scary being President and leading others when you’re not so sure if you’re doing things right either. Hence, to have the courage to face my fears and not let it stop me. To have faith in not only myself, but those around me to support me. I think if I can remind myself to remember this, things won’t be as daunting as I imagine them to be and it’ll all work out.

Monthly Newsletter – May 2017

Dear Tzu Chings,

We hope that you’ve had a successful spring quarter so far, and many thanks to those who came to our previous events. If you couldn’t attend any events last month, don’t worry because we have more events planned for this month:

Happy Campus

5/12, 5/19 (Fri) @ Croutons at the Student Service Center for rides, 12:30 PM

Every Friday, Tzu Chings mentor students from first to fifth grade at Herbert Ibarra Elementary School. Our goal is to teach them the meaning of love, respect, and gratitude and integrate it into their lifestyle no matter what their family background is.

Buddha Bath at San Diego

5/21 (Sun) @ 9:30 AM

Join Tzu Chi’s celebration of the Buddha’s Birthday and Tzu Chi’s birthday. This will be held at Tzu Chi’s San Diego Headquarters.

Convalescent Home

5/27 (Sat) @ Peterson Loop for rides, 9 AM

Every month, Tzu Chings pay a visit to the Convalescent Home to brighten the day of the elderly by performing musical and dance numbers, playing interactive games (such as charades), and chatting with them.

Graduation at San Dimas

5/20 (Sat) @ Peterson Loop for rides, 7:30 AM (graduates) or 10:30AM (attendees)

Come to Tzu Ching’s special graduation ceremony, where we thank our Tzu Ching graduates for their hard work and dedication to community service. We are all inspired by their efforts and hope you can join us in honoring the graduates and congratulating them on everything they have accomplished.

*For more event details, please check our Facebook page (UCSD Tzu Ching) or our website (ucsdtzuching.wordpress.com) for how to sign up for an event if you don’t have Facebook.

**If you are a new member, please fill out the following registration form so that we can contact you in the future: http://goo.gl/forms/z395gEQ45G

Hope to see you soon!

Sincerely,

UCSD Tzu Ching ❤