Honors College Student Elena Neoh Named Recipient of 2019 Golden Flash Award
Elena Neoh, a human resource management major with a creative writing minor, has been announced as the recipient of the 2019 Golden Flash Award. According to the website for the Kent State Alumni Association, which sponsors the award, the Golden Flash Award recognizes a student who “promotes Kent State University spirit, pride, and tradition,” is involved in campus activities, and who serves as a positive role model for other students. Elena, a member of the Honors College, embodies such a student: she is an editor for Brainchild, a managing editor for UHURU, and a content writer for the division of Information Technology.
Elena says that her favorite aspects of the Kent State community are the people and the culture. She enjoys learning about people’s “idiosyncrasies” and seeing how even people within the same culture can be very different from one another. Elena, who is originally from Malaysia, has studied abroad twice throughout her undergraduate career at Kent State, first through the Honors College’s Freshmen in Florence program and again, during the Spring 2019 semester, when she studied in Sydney, Australia at the University of Technology. Elena says that some of the most important knowledge she has gained from studying abroad is how to adapt to different situations, in addition to learning about different cultures. She recalls a principle that she first heard during one of her study abroad programs and that she has remembered since: “nothing’s wrong, nothing’s right, it’s just different.” When asked about advice she would give to students who plan to study abroad, Elena says, “I think being open-minded is one of the most important parts.”
For students who want to get more involved with organizations at Kent State but may not be sure how, Elena suggests that students look through the list of student organizations and find one that fits what they’re most passionate about. Once you find an organization that you like and start making connections, Elena says, “you’ll find your way eventually.” If students are too shy to go to a meeting on their own, she recommends asking a friend to go as well or talking to an advisor who can suggest ways to get involved.
When asked if there was anyone she would like to thank related to receiving the award, Elena responded, “Too many,” with a laugh. “If my dad is reading this, I am thanking my dad,” she says. She also credits her friends as being a “very great and supportive group” for her, as she still gets nervous when she tries new things that are out of her comfort zone. She also thanks faculty members who have guided her throughout her career, especially through application processes.
One of the most advantageous aspects of being an honors student for Elena was being able to participate in the Freshmen in Florence program, which she says was such a great place from which to start, as it was from “where you embark on your journey as a college student altogether” for the students involved. She says that experience shaped much of her perspective and her friendships as well. Another advantage of studying abroad was that she could receive honors credit for it, which she says is something that interested students should definitely look into. Following her experiences abroad, Elena was happy to know that she had a place and people to which she could return. Of Kent State, she says, “it’s just a great community.”