Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way

“Nothing is impossible to a willing heart” – the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln has been a guiding force in Dr Chang Woan Ching’s life, and the motivation behind her string of academic achievements during the difficult COVID-19 lockdown period.

A Lecturer and Programme Director of Bachelor of Nursing Science (Hons) Post Registration Programme at International Medical University (IMU), Dr Chang had to deal with the impact of the pandemic like everyone else.

Despite the challenges, she completed her PhD studies and notched up several successes along the way, including:

  • Best Oral Presentation at the Asia Pacific Conference on Curriculum Studies and Instructional Designing (APSSCID) 2021 International Conference
  • Getting her works published in research publications such as Scopus and other peer-reviewed journals
  • Appointment as a reviewer of Journal of Educators Online (JEO), and International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS)

  • “The amount of stress stemming from work, family and studies while working from home has been tremendous. There were times that I felt depressed – like when I fractured my toe a few days before my viva voce for PhD – and the thought of quitting my job crossed my mind.”

    At work, Dr Chang had to deal with the many changes that were implemented including taking lectures online, to ensure teaching and learning activities could continue without compromising on effectiveness.

    “I am glad I persevered in spite of all these challenges. Looking back, I was fortunate that the journey of my studies had gone on fairly smoothly as it is not easy to take on the role as a part-time student while working full-time as a lecturer cum Programme Director,” said Dr Chang.

    But as she discovered, it helps to ‘do the things you love and love the things you do’.

    “I picked up my drawing skills during the pandemic and produced several art pieces in watercolour and acrylic, re-discovering my talent and interest in art since I last held my brush more than 10 years ago. Drawing is a therapeutic way for me to feel good about myself and I’m satisfied with the work I do.

    “I am also blessed with the unconditional support and understanding from my beloved family, friends, colleagues, superior and research supervisor. I am very thankful to my ex-colleague, Yee Bit Lian who inspired me to go the extra mile in research publication. The encouragement from peers is invaluable.”

    To Dr Chang, learning is never-ending. Her next big goal - to contribute more to nursing education and be a role model for young nurses to uphold their profession.