Taylor’s ADP students urged to lead Malaysia with international exposure

Nearly 200 students from the Taylor’s University American Degree Transfer Program (ADP) have successfully been accepted into universities to pursue the remaining of their education in the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The Summer 2017 cohort have been accepted into higher education institutions like Cornell University, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Georgia Institute of Technology, Purdue University and Boston University.
Through the Certificate Presentation held at Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus, this high-performing batch of students included 15 ‘Summa Cum Laude’ (with highest honor) achievers, 8 ‘Magna Cum Laude’ (with great honor) and 36 ‘Cum Laude’ (with praise). 
This year, the event was graced by the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia Her Excellency Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir, who delivered the commencement speech. “Everyone in this room today has been supported, loved and fed by their family. There is a certain courage and commitment to leave all this behind and move to a different country to further their studies. It means they are willing to be bold, courageous, homesick and sometimes lonely, but experience a whole new world in another country,” she said.

Newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia Her Excellency Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir (middle) with Dr. Matthew Johnson (right), Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences and Associate Professor Dr. Anindita Dasgupta, Head of School for the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the Summer Certificate Presentation recently
Ambassador Kamala encouraged students leaving the country to challenge who they are and what they can do to develop new skills, “Live by three rules: always be curious, ask questions and do not believe the answer to those questions. Understand the old ways of thinking and think new things. In America, you are graded for participating in class – it is important to remember that your thoughts and ideas are as valid as that of your professors and peers.”
Associate Professor Dr. Anindita Dasgupta, Head of School for the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences, echoed Ambassador Kamala’s thoughts, “Everyone present has reached their goals successfully and demonstrated clear determination, dedication and commitment in their academic and personal growth. It is a proud moment for lecturers and parents to share your journey in personal development.”

U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia Her Excellency Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir (right), presenting the Valedictorian certificate to Aw Su Yee (left) at the Summer Certificate Presentation at Taylor’s University recently
Valedictorian Aw Su Yee, who will pursue her remaining education in San Diego State University, California fondly recalls advice from her mother when making important decisions. “She always told me it was up to me to decide. I never really understood what she meant until this moment – at the turning point of our lives,” said Su Yee.
“We have had plenty of accolades in the last two years through hard work and perseverance. We just did not know how to give up when things were tough. I realize that this is what it means when our lives are up to us – by what we make of its opportunities.”
On embarking his new journey to the United States, Maybank scholar, Luqman Razani Bin Noor Sham, who has been accepted to study Actuarial Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said, “I am very excited about meeting new people in America. Before enrolling into Taylor’s University, I was socially awkward – happy with my small circle of friends and contact. However, being in the American Degree Program put me amidst a lot people who are friendly and outgoing, which made me more comfortable and allowed me to open up. Eventually, I became more outgoing. Now I am more excited, than nervous to meet new people in a new environment.”

According to Ahmad Afiq Bin Ahmad Kamal, a Petronas scholar who will continue his study in Engineering at the University of Delaware, Ambassador Kamala’s speech struck a chord, “In one part of her speech, she advised us about creating a second Malaysia to the United States and this resonated with me. I realised that I needed to meet the locals, adapt to the environment and not remain in the Malaysian culture whilst I am abroad. Her encouragement to try new things and observe the norms is something I will remember and take with me during my studies in the States.”
In her parting words, Ambassador Kamala strongly encouraged the students to return home with new perspectives and insights. She urged students to bring back new aspirations and hope for their country – to use their exposure to change Malaysia or lead the country in a field of their choice.

A group photo of students from the American Degree Transfer Program with the U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia Her Excellency Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir at the Summer Certificate Presentation, Taylor’s University