Senior Stephanie Hui talks about her time at Whittier, including how the College shaped her sense of self, the opportunities she found here and her plans for after her upcoming graduation.
What is your greatest accomplishment here at Whittier College?
“Self-development-wise Whittier has really gotten me out of my shell. I used to be very shy. Professors Da Roza and Sebanc got me out of my shell through peer mentoring.
I also think I am very active in my field. I have been doing research with several professors. I recently presented at a conference on adolescents in Philadelphia, then another conference in Montréal for the Society on Research in Child Development.
I have had three internships while at Whittier as well and these internships have furthered not only my understanding for my area of study but as well as my love for what I am studying.
I have also become really involved in the honor societies in my field. I am currently the president of Psi Chi as well as a member of Gamma Delta Kappa and Delta Phi Upsilon.”
How did Whittier College help you prosper?
“Whittier College exposed me to a lot of opportunities. I went to this autism panel my freshman year and became very interested. Also the professors here are very caring and helpful. They go out of their way to help you by doing things like searching for internships you might be interested in.
The college has also helped my self-esteem because the small school size and the caring people here have really helped me to get out of my shell and become more outgoing.”
Why did you choose Whittier?
“I went to a small private school in Indonesia and then when I came back to California where there were 5,000 students, I did not like it. I just wanted to get back to the small school environment. I did not really apply to many schools nor did I look into it much, but I am happy with my decision to come to Whittier.”
Do you have any advice for younger Poets?
“Take advantage of every opportunity that you can. Things are not just handed to you on a silver platter, you have to work hard for them. Since Whittier is such a small school you are given more opportunities than most college students to get involved and succeed.
That’s the thing about Whittier and its small size. I am not the smartest one in my classes but I worked hard, got involved and really benefited from that.
The more you get involved, the more you gain personally in the end.”
What are you planning to do after you graduate this year?
“I am taking a much-needed couple of months off in order to relax. After that I am moving to New York to attend the Columbia University Graduate Program in Occupational Therapy and possibly Public Health.
I want to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy, but my end goal is to open two clinics for children with disabilities—one in the USA, and one in Indonesia because that is where I was raised.”
Why did you decided to study the areas of psychology and child development?
“I have always loved children and have known that I wanted to work with them but I didn’t know in what context.
I also love psychology and the mental aspects of it. I think that mental well-being is very important for everyone and it is very related to physical health, and that’s what I love about it.
I was able to combine my Psychology and Child Development background to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy. My professors have also been really supportive of my pursuits as well.”
We heard that you are doing something unique for your 22nd birthday this year. What’s the reasoning behind it?
“Ever since I was little my mom would take me to an orphanage for my birthday and we would feed the children. Since my internship working with an autistic boy, autism has been very close to my heart.
Because of this, I wanted to do something more meaningful for my birthday, something other than what the average college kid does.
So I invited my friends to participate in an autism walk with me. So far I have raised $2,000 for the cause and am hoping that others will join me in the effort.”