Myxee Thao

Myxee Thao

Where were you born: Wausau, WI

Where are you from: Wausau, WI

Major: Human Development and Family Studies

Year in school: Sophomore

Interests/hobbies: Singing, Cooking, Photography, Writing

Involvement on campus: HASA, Oneness of Human Kind, Badger Volunteers

Career aspirations: Clinical Counselor or a Professor

Describe your college experience so far and how has CAE contributed to your success.

CAE has been an imperative part of my college transition because it provided me with so much academic support. Firstly, being a part of CAE has given me the opportunity to take part in the Summer Collegiate Experience, the summer before my freshman year. SCE helped me navigate campus, introduced me to college coursework expectations, and allowed me to meet so many wonderful people who have become my friends.

Secondly, CAE has contributed to my success because various academic resources are made readily available to me, such as top-notch academic advising and Peer Learning which guided me in making good choices in my academic career. Not to mention, CAE is like a family to me, and they give me much joy and emotional support.

What advice can you give first-year students in order to help ease their transition from high school to college?

The most important thing first year students can do is BELIEVE. The college transition isn’t always easy and is very different from high school. This may cause students to doubt themselves or want to give up. Therefore, it is important for first-year students to BELIEVE that they will make it through their hardships, BELIEVE in their dreams, BELIEVE in their talents, BELIEVE in their merit, and most importantly, BELIVE in their values.

How has CAE helped you create your Wisconsin Experience?

CAE encourages scholars to take part in high-impact learning opportunities like First-Year Interest Groups (FIGs), Residential Learning Communities and Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) that enhance the Wisconsin Experience by generating knowledge/skills, promote cultural competencies, and apply real-world knowledge. Because of this, I decided to enroll in a FIG—a series of courses with all first-year students—and it made this big campus much more intimate. Through my FIG, I’ve met, engaged, and befriended classmates from various backgrounds and upbringings. This has broadened my worldview which is such an essential part of my Wisconsin experience.

What are advantages and benefits of being a CAE scholar?

As I mentioned before, CAE provides me with personalized academic advising and makes academic resources like Peer Learning readily available to me. The CAE staff is always so kind and willing to help out regardless if it’s regarding academics or not. Another great thing about CAE is the events which always provide us with free food! –Oh, yeah! CAE students also get priority registration!

What advice do you have for students who want to increase their cultural competency?

Increasing cultural competency begins with being open-minded, curious, and asking questions. Most people are very willing to tell you about themselves, so don’t be afraid to ask about their practices, their beliefs, their lifestyles, and their experiences. Just remember to be sensitive, sincere, and respectful in the questions you ask. Don’t assume anything, and make your questions open-ended.

Oftentimes, we surround ourselves with people who are like us, but a huge part of increasing cultural competency is stepping out of our comfort zone. Hang out with people you don’t know a lot about. Go to events that the Multicultural Student Center hosts. Actively seek to expand your knowledge of others.