Thanksgiving to OGAPS BLOG in Halloween Holiday

    Posted on Tuesday, Oct 29, 2019
    Spooky treats, bulk candies, pumpkin patch, costumes…Yeah, the 2019 Halloween is coming! Having too much homemade pumpkin cinnamon rolls makes me feel so refreshing and emotional that I could not wait till Thanksgiving Holiday to say thanks to OGAPS (Office of Graduate and Professional Studies) for providing us blog ambassadors this amazing platform! Being grateful to the OGAPS Blog platform, here I would like to share my experience about how this platform has improved my forward-thinking of our Aggies’ responsibility, traditions, and core values.

    Selfless Service
    I came to College Station in year 2016 after one-month summer program “Sustainable Agricultural Solution” at Ben-Gurion University of Negev in Israel. Graduated with my Master of Science Degree in College of Geosciences this May, I have been so grateful that Texas A&M University offered me the gateway to access the Internationally Excellent Academic Stage. During the last three years, I had been mainly studying in the Halbouty Geosciences Building, receiving various types of volunteering services at campus. In the period of my master thesis writing and application to School of Public Health (TAMU), looking-back offered me a great chance to evaluate TAMU at the higher level, especially after I got my Aggie Ring, gaining the deeper insight of understanding and admiring the Aggie Core Values, TAMU has become the irreplaceable homeland for me, and  I have had stronger resonance with the words of Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, “A&M encourages volunteerism, encourages being one of a thousand points of light, helping others ... and it comes naturally to Aggies”. Formally enrolled in School of Public Health this August, I have been searching for the opportunities to contribute my international advantages for promoting an internationally friendly and diverse climate in Texas A&M University. Fortunately, I received the email from Kyle Hill who was working as an IT Generalist in OGAPS and knew OGAPS was looking for Blog Ambassadors for this semester, so now I am here with you.

    Loyalty & Respect
    There was the application question before I was recruited for the joint appointments between the University Library Student Advisory (ULSA) committee and the Academic Affairs Division, Student Government Association, the question is “Who would you like to have dinner with from Texas A&M University if possible”. My answer was Ms. Mingqian Liu, who has served as Blog Ambassador for OGPAS since Summer 2017. Her experience with an international perspective is inspiring, she has participated in many activities to inform students about different on-campus and community resources. If you have a chance, close your eyes, feel the breeze, listen to the warm but powerful voice of A&M students, it would encourage you if you are touched by the values of friendliness and caring. The time for pursuing a degree is limited, but the support and camaraderie from cohort and friends would be lifelong, or beyond. Thanks to the respect given by Kyle Hill and other staff for supporting and accepting our personal blogs!

    For now, no matter in research projects or student service activities, leadership means “YOU CAN DO IT” and “JUST DO IT” to me. I would save time to consider and organize my ideas and positive thoughts for my next blog contents rather than worrying if my team workers would like me or not, if my work would be acknowledged by others, etc. Be true to yourself, be sincere to your relationship, be responsible to your words and actions, be wild to diversity and challenges, be simple to your life, then we might could contribute our fullest energy and efforts to not simple ideas, to be who we want to be, to be a real leader in work and in life. Our leadership would be defined by others, but the ability to improve our leadership is enhanced by ourselves, and the sense of leader achievement is also determined by ourselves. When you have something in your mind, you would be surprised to see your potential in searching and applying for all the possible resources to make your goals come true, the experience in which you are leading the directions to the destination might be considered as a legend. Every year The Raymond Ideas Challenge (BIG IDEA) competition is held at campus for undergraduate and graduate students from any major to dream up the next great product, service, or solution. OGAPS has been organizing 3-Minute-Thesis competition for this year to provide a valuable high-impact learning experience for us graduate students, which definitely would help improve participants’ professional development and research communication skills. My point is that if we could focus on our real interests, train ourselves to be the expert in that field, someday you would be something beyond the leader’s title.

    Integrity & Excellence
    Being optimistic of writing as a Blog Ambassador without negative pressure, without being impoverished, I think the key would be adhering to the integrity. Usually, there would be a blank word document in my double screen, when I want to relax myself from research and papers, I would type my instant thoughts into the document, like what regional conference or international meetings I want to attend, what recipes I am eager to try, what surprise and gifts I want to prepare for my friends and myself, etc. It would be like the daily or short-term wish list, I really enjoy this kind of entertainment and highly recommend it to you, because the instant thoughts are priceless, tracking, reviewing or sometimes self-judging your minds would help adjust, refresh and energize yourself. To me, being excellent means acknowledging our ordinary. It is not contradictory because I think the first step or our baby steps are significant for everything, and the initial process would not be that struggling if we acknowledge we are just ordinary people. For example, last month, I wrote the pre-proposal for USGS graduate student research program, at first I dreamed a lot but the feedback from my advisor hit me back to the real world, being pointed out my professional writing has a lot problems and seemed to her I was totally confused with the research objectives… I am so surprised to notice that I laughed and I am excited to hear that.  Later it did force me to acknowledge my own professional weaknesses. Sincerely grateful to work with my advisor whose integrity is so appealing to me. Now I completed revision and submission, with my advisor’s confirmation and positive evaluation. As my previous advisor communicated with me many times that we are here in college is not to show off how much you already knew but for being brave and being honest to face our disadvantages, both personal and professional, only in this way, the improvement and development could be achieved.
    Thank you for your time and appreciate you interest!

    ---Kaiyi Zhang
    Kaiyi Zhang is a doctoral student in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health

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