KUALA LUMPUR, December 17 — A Malaysian geoscience student has won praises on social media after a video clip of her inspiring speech at her convocation day in the US began making rounds online.
Lisa Nur Marini Mohd Kamal was sharing her story at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) Winter Commencement (convocation day) to a crowd of over 7,000 people, including 1,200 graduates who were joined by family members and friends.
It has been viewed more than 75,000 times since it was posted on YouTube yesterday.
The geology major graduate kicked off her speech with her own rendition of The Story of Tonight from the famous Broadway musical Hamilton and shared the story of how she got to UW-Madison.
The Petronas scholarship student from Kuala Lumpur also touched on the challenges of international students by saying that her experience as an international student from Malaysia made the transition to UW-Madison jarring.
She added that college students juggle a lot and for her finding the balance was made even harder as she was separated from all her friends and family by a 14 hour time difference.
However, as time passed, Lisa was able to adjust by building close relationships with other students and new friends.
Lisa also admitted that she went through a hard time during her second year when she chose her major.
“During my second year in college, I suffered burnout to the point of losing motivation to finish my degree,” she said.
She added that she had to rely on the university’s mental health services to get through those time.
“I could not have finished college without the friends that I made here,” Lisa said.
Despite the challenges Lisa faced throughout her time at the university, she managed to build an impressive portfolio by receiving multiple awards and recognitions.
Lisa was awarded a 2019 Hilldale undergraduate research fellowship, the university’s top research grand, to pursue her studies in electron microprobe analysis.
She was also the recipient of the “On To the Future” award for under-represented students in geosciences from the Geological Society of America.
Outside of her major, she explored her creative side through dance classes, sang, danced and acted in theatre productions as part of Malaysian Night, an annual cultural celebration that she helped reinvigorate as an officer with the Malaysian Students Association.