January 18, 2023, by Communications
We asked our students: What is success to YOU?
Success can mean different things to different people. To one it may mean making Dean’s list, for another,
it may be making an impact on their community. What these last few years have taught us is how much more resilient and determined young people have become in realising their goals. At the University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM), we see our students push the boundaries every day, helping their peers, their community and even the nation. We asked four inspiring individuals, Chen Hui Ling, Lee Yen May, Nurul Syahirah Binti Mat Aron and Welikadage Lakmina Kasun Jeewantha Botheju what they hope to achieve in the future.
For Chen Hui Ling, the environment and its protection are what’s most important. She actively speaks up about the sustainable usage of plastics and microplastics and has been involved with notable activities like the 2021 United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP26), a conference focused on global climate action, and the British High Commission Kuala Lumpur’s ‘Green is Great’ campaign. She even collaborated with a non-profit organisation, The Habitat Foundation, to educate primary and secondary students on the matter. Emphasising her passion, Hui Ling and her peers also wrote an opinion piece on plastic recycling in Malaysia which was published on The Vibes in June 2021.
For the UNM Science and Engineering PhD Research Scholar (SEPRS), success means introducing innovative solutions to help protect the environment and to also improve Malaysia’s food systems. One day, she hopes to run her own start-up to ensure a sustainable future for all.
Lee Yen May is a Sin Chew Daily Education Fund scholar who is currently pursuing a degree in equal parts Mathematics and Management, to support her passion for data science and analytics. She hopes this interdisciplinary degree will help prepare her for the very diverse field.
Up to August 2022, Yen May acted as the International Relations Specialist within the National Support Team of AEISEC in Malaysia, a global platform to develop the leadership potential of youths. In her role, she supported and educated youths through learning and development sessions and helped them gain internship experiences with local employers. This experience has helped Yen May realise her passion for helping other young individuals find and develop their own leadership potential and she hopes to continue doing so in the future.
MARA and UNM Postgraduate scholar, Nurul Syahirah Mat Aron, is a climate action expert and armed with five published articles in Q1 (top-ranking) journals and one top-cited paper in the International Journal of Energy Research, she is surely making name for herself. Syahirah is currently pursuing a PhD in Engineering and Engineering Trades (Broad Programmes) at UNM where she also serves as a Graduate Research Assistant.
Outside of university, Syahirah has been active in environmental protection initiatives such as leading a beach clean-up in Port Dickson. She also represented Malaysia at the 2018 UN Climate Change Conference in Bangkok, under the Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD). Syahirah’s current research focuses on finding new solutions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, through lipid extraction from microalgae for biofuel production, in an effort to address global food security issues and poverty. For her, success means ensuring a sustainable future for all.
Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience graduate, Welikadage Lakmina Kasun Jeewantha Botheju, is also a dedicated rugby and flag football player who believes in the importance of balancing one’s physical and mental wellbeing. Being a sports scholar was no easy feat for Welikadage, having to train tirelessly whilst also maintaining his grades. Padded up with resilience as an athlete, Welikadage is committed to applying his skills and knowledge gained at UNM to inspire his peers and other young aspiring athletes.
Driven to educate others on the importance of encouraging physical activities amongst youths, Welikadage hopes to eventually become a rugby or flag football coach, teaching young athletes to balance their physical and mental health from an early age. He also hopes to work as a behavioural therapist in a psychological institution to enrich the lives of children with special needs.
Success Has No Boundaries
What can these inspiring individuals tell us about success? There is no limit or end to achieving it and no goal too big or too small. At UNM, we encourage our students to look beyond the classroom, beyond the present, so that they may one day address issues impacting their own communities or even the world.
We are proud to see our students achieve their dreams and happy to have played even a small role in getting them there. To Hui Ling, Yen May, Syahirah, Welikadage and all UNM students, we wish you nothing but continuous success!