In August of 1983 I traveled from my native Malaysia to UWGB. It is the place where I grew up from a school boy to an adult. UWGB itself and its people might have changed and grown since I left, but it has been a part of my life. Many members of the faculty and staff had profound influence on me, and some I am still in contact with… Ron Baba, Ray Hutchison, Per Johnsen, Ismail Shariff, Kumar Kangayappan, Bill Niedzwiedz, David Damkoehler, and Johnson (Patricia). I am now an Urban and Regional Planning Associate Professor at the MARA University of Technology, one of the public universities in Malaysia.
My fondest memories came from his time at the International Student Center, at that time located on the seventh floor of the Cofrin Library. The center was headed by Elizabeth K. Hocking, the Assistant Dean of Students, and she was assisted by her secretary, Nancy Long. They were among the sweetest ladies I have ever met during my stay there. The center was our home away from home, away from home (twice). That’s the place we used to hang out between classes, for drinks and food. There were also the International Dinners, when we played host to our American friends. We cooked our traditional dishes, put on our traditional clothes and got to showcase our cultural dances and customs.”
My experience at UWGB has helped me in many ways. Being a student in a foreign land gave me a different perspective and appreciation about America and its people and cultures, apart from what I saw on TV when I was growing as a child in Malaysia. Although I studied about North American geography in high school, being there myself was amazing. I also got to meet and know some American families on Washington Island and Door County during a program arranged during the 1986 Easter Break. We became good friends and they became my foster families to this day. And then, there was the Green Bay weather and the Green Bay Packers. I played rugby at my school, so American football comes naturally for me.When I wasn’t in class or “LL730” (Library Learning Center), I spent time at the Phoenix Sports Center playing indoor soccer and swimming.
I invite anyone who knew me or my international student friend to join our facebook group… UWGB Alumni – Malaysia.
Ahmad Faisal Alias
Class of 1987