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Student Profile: Tiffany Phan ’11

Tiffany Phan traveled across three time zones to enroll at Hope, the journey to Michigan’s west coast beginning on the nation’s west coast.

She made the trip buoyed by the support and excitement of her family, but in the end, she admits, the transition to being so far from home wasn’t easy.

“I was really upset when I got here,” she recalls. “It was my first time traveling alone.”

Truly out on her own for the first time, Tiffany decided the best way to feel connected was to get connected. As a communication major, Tiffany has a special appreciation and aptitude for reaching others. She remembers her first encounter with WTHS, Hope’s own FM radio station, which has its studio on campus.

“My friend had a radio show that I used to guest speak on. It was fun. I started to think about hosting my own show.”

Last year, Tiffany did co-host a radio show with a friend, a DJ show aptly titled “Variety is the Spice of Life.”

“Hosting the show has really been a positive experience. It’s nice to know that I am using my major for something that has real-world application. It’s not just about the work in class; it’s about how the work in class translates out there.” Her education in public speaking is one of the ways in which Tiffany has seen her work in the classroom pay dividends on the outside.

“I used to think that with public speaking, people just knew how and did it, but I’ve learned that there are real guidelines and techniques for how you speak in public. You have to be conscious of what you are saying on air, even when it’s something as simple as a DJ show.”

In addition to the radio show, Tiffany has been actively involved in the Sigma Sigma sorority, serving as corresponding secretary, social chair and public relations for the sorority. Once again, her pursuit of a communication major has served her well in planning social events and sending out newsletters to Sigma Sigma alumnae.

Last year she gained some additional experience through an internship in the college’s student development office. This coming spring, she will be spending her final Hope semester on the other side of Lake Michigan, in Chicago, through the Chicago Semester program. She is looking forward to the additional opportunity to put classroom lessons into practice as she prepares for the next stage in her life’s journey.

“I’m excited,” she says. “It’ll be a good transition from school to the real world.”

This profile was written by Charlie A. Walter, a Hope College senior from Grand Rapids, Mich., for the 2010-11 Hope College Catalog.

Hope People - Learn about the experiences of some of the people connected with Hope College.