The College of Education congratulates all students who are graduating this semester. While we’re unable to gather in person for commencement, hooding and pinning ceremonies in December due to the pandemic, we celebrate the accomplishments of students like James Sang, a two-time graduate of TCU who's passionate about helping refugee and first-generation students succeed academically, driven by his own experiences.
Hometown: Yangon, Myanmar
My degrees: Master of Education in Higher Education Leadership '20, Bachelor of Science in Education '18
What inspired you to study education and pursue a career in the field?
"My inspiration to study education and pursue a career in the field mainly comes from my personal experience. I came to the United States in 2011 with very limited education. Though I knew that education was a door to many opportunities in this country, I had to learn the hard way to do well in school. I was forced to grow and learn almost everything by myself. I am highly inspired to walk this path because I have seen and understood what education can offer. In fact, it has ultimately changed my life and my community. I believe that we need to inspire everyone to follow their passion while letting them inspire us to do the same."
Tell us about your time at TCU.
"As I went through the master’s program, I was able to learn the tools to manage existing programs and to develop new programs in response to changing environments. Furthermore, I expanded my knowledge in understanding the function of a university in terms financial and administrative leadership. Most importantly, I recognize myself embracing and accepting the differences in every individual. I have exposed to many cultures, languages, perspectives, thoughts and so many more through out my program and work with TCU College Advising Corps. These experiences have helped me accept the difference in me and others which gave me confidence and opened more opportunities.
I had an opportunity to do some research based on my own interest, looking at significant factors associated with academic success of first-generation college students. My current job as a high school college adviser boosted my interest in this topic—I get to work with first-generation students in helping them prepare for their postsecondary plans. I wanted to increase my knowledge in understanding them from various perspectives so that I can be best prepared as I continue working in higher education."
What advice do you have for aspiring educators?
"I see educators as true leaders. And a true leader doesn’t always have to be appreciated, but continuously willing to serve with love and kindness without expecting anything in return. Let’s believe in our students and change the world!"