1) What's the best advice you've ever received, and who gave it to you?
"My father told me when I was a child that it is every man's duty to follow his unique dream and unique life. It is better to follow your life and risk failing than to betray yourself. In addition, he said that there are no excuses - you cannot blame others if you don't pursue your dream. The only obstacle is yourself."
2) How would you define love?
"Depends on what kind of love we're talking about. It could be defined as the suddenly-dropping-elevator feeling I get in my stomach when I meet a beautiful woman. Or, more soberly, it could be defined as the genuine desire to place another's needs ahead of your own, to do the little unglamorous things every day. It's often not sexy, which is precisely what makes it an act of love."
3) What do you believe in?
"I believe that people can do generous things when least expected. I also believe that life is the passionate pursuit of what we love most on Earth while at the same time striving to ignite the soul's journey back to divinity. And lastly, I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior."
4) Name five things you could not live without.
"I can only think of three: Something to Love, Something to do, and Something to hope for. Oh...what the heck....my iPhone and perhaps an occasional walk on the beach."
5) Are you a vegan?
"I'm not a vegan, but I never eat anything genetically modified, so I'm 100 percent non-GMO. And if I eat meat, it's only organic, but beyond organic - like only 20 chickens on the farm instead of 900. And I actually go to the farmers an d order directly from them.."
6) Some people might be surprised to hear that you're taking an acting class.
"I think a lot of people still go to acting classes....I go for my own benefit. I feel like I become a stronger person from acting class. When you do improv exercises, it helps your brain function quicker. When you do scenes, you learn a different color of yourself, and you get to explore different emotions. We do all of our scenes as a cold read, and just dive into it and commit!"
7) Do you think you will continue to dance or act?
"I hope so. For the moment Iím really enjoying college life and feel that I still have so much to experience and so much to discover. I donít have any definite plans for the future at the moment and thatís all part of growing up. But, I still love dancing and acting and hope to continue whether it be on stage or in film."
8) Of the countries you've traveled, why did you choose The University of Hong Kong (HKU) to complete your master's degree?
"I was seriously torn as to whether to stay in China or go to the States as letís face it the U.S. has some of the best universities in the world. But, ultimately, I loved Chinese language and really liked the idea of experiencing a different country and culture Ė and I must say I've never been happier, I absolutely love HKU."
9) What were your first impressions of Hong Kong and China?
"I first came to China as an undergraduate student from UC Irvine studying Mandarin Chinese at Beijing Language and Culture University (BCLU). I was very much impressed by the Chinese culture and the hospitality of Chinese people. I came back two years later as a graduate student at Peking University and had the opportunity to explore China further during my year teaching English in rural Hengyang, Hunan Province, China.
In general, Chinese society has a very high moral standard and takes huge pride in respecting individuals and diversity. Moreover, the country is at the forefront of research and development, especially in the field of education, which is rapidly changing. I have learned overtime why Hong Kong is renowned for its high standards in education and research. Overall, China is very upbeat to me, over congested (at times), and a safe country."
10) In what ways was studying in Hong Kong and China different from studying in the United States?
"To be honest, there really isnít much of a difference. The education in both the United States and Hong Kong encourages freedom of thought. I guess the major difference in Hong Kong compared to the United States are the Professors. In the U.S., I met Professors who were not very keen on teaching and would rather spend all days on their own research project. Here at HKU, the Professors are so passionate about their subjects and passing on their knowledge. I really learn how to think critically and analytically. I had very positive experience in Hong Kong, and am very impressed by the Professors."
11) How well did HKU meet your expectations?
"Yes, perfectly. The University of Hong Kong is the top ranked university in Asia and enjoys very high reputation for its leading academic research and for providing an open gate to China's educational system. At HKU, I had the chance to learn from the best and the brightest, and to work with high-ranked Professors in the field of Higher Education, together with a group of highly talented students from many different countries and backgrounds. Additionally, I had numerous opportunities to network with a number of postgraduate students within my residence life at the HKU Graduate House.
What is great is how the city is well connected to the city life. I am always kept up-to-date with the Chinese educational system and that was extremely important to me. In addition, the university is small enough that there is a sense of community with other students, but large enough to offer a lot of opportunities. My advice to other international students coming to HKU is to buy a bike and travel around Asia."
12) How will your education in Hong Kong and China help further your career?
"I see myself doing academia research in the future and I would like take my experience studying at HKU back to the United States after my doctoral studies at Boston College.
13) Why did you get involved with "WorldTeach"?
"I think a lot of young people like me are very concerned about education, especially those living in extreme poverty. "WorldTeach" is all about sending volunteers to teach English in developing countries. The more I can help promote international educational development, the greater chance we have as a generation of changing lives and investing in the future of our planet."
14) Is it true that you met Shawn Johnson when she competed at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games?
"Oh my God, that is so not true! I only shaked her hand once and we shared a taxi from an event to the after party, but never let truth get in the way of a good story and all that."