Jacqui Kong Huiyi

Good mentors and supervisors

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Arts and Social Sciences (expected completion 2016)

Awards and scholarships:

Dean’s Recognition Award – Received in Semester Two of 2007, and Semesters One and Two of 2008

Best Student in Bachelor of Communication Course – 2009

Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Postgraduate Research Scholarship

1. Full name / age /nationality.

Jacqui Kong Huiyi / 26 / Malaysian.

2. Describe your current major, or the current focus of your research thesis.

My research field is multidisciplinary, with a specific focus on food studies, film and television studies, and postcolonial studies. My thesis aims to examine Chinese celebrity chefs and the texts which they author and appear in, chiefly their cookbooks, travelogues, food memoirs, and television shows. In a nutshell, I am researching the role of food in celebrity chefs’ narratives and texts regarding their identity.

3. Why did you choose Monash Malaysia?

At the time, I chose Monash Malaysia because it was the only university which offered an Arts course which I felt was suited to my needs. Other universities were offering Mass Communication degrees with industrial training, which wasn’t entirely what I wanted. I preferred a much broader approach to the humanities and social sciences, i.e. subjects and units offered which extended beyond mass communication, which the School of Arts and Social Sciences (SASS) in Monash Malaysia offered.

4. While at Monash, what type of opportunities do you participate in?

I was part of the Monash University Student Association (MUSA), and I was on the Editorial Board for the Monash Gazette (MONGA), the campus student publication.

5. How has your postgraduate experience been at Monash?

In the School of Arts and Social Sciences, I’ve had nothing short of an amazing undergraduate and postgraduate experience. SASS offers many opportunities for learning and identity-building which, in my opinion, you would not get elsewhere or in any other universities in Malaysia. The lecturers are always available for individual consultations, and they really care about getting to know you, and guiding you in your work and learning.

‘Ancora Imparo’ really is the essence of Monash; one is always learning, either from one’s lecturers or tutors, or from the detailed syllabus which Monash ensures will inspire a student to learn, and most importantly, give him/her the push to learn more, and discover more about a particular topic or subject.

Besides that, I have had an enriching postgraduate experience with SASS – the School ensures that all postgraduate students feel supported and have access to yearly travel grants and research activities funds. Research is highly valued at Monash, and the most encouraging aspect of postgraduate work in Monash is the feeling that you are contributing to knowledge, and your contribution is valued no matter your age or your research field.

6. If you are a postgraduate student, why did you choose to do a postgraduate degree? What are the benefits and challenges that come with studying in a postgraduate course?

I chose to do a postgraduate degree because it was the natural progression from an Honours degree with the School of Arts and Social Sciences. With my Honours dissertation topic, I found that I had discovered a research field which I loved, and wanted to research on even more. With the experienced lecturers in SASS, I had fostered a really good mentoring relationship with my Honours supervisor, and I knew I wanted to continue a PhD under the supervision of my SASS mentors.

7. What do you love most about your student life at Monash? 

I love how we have a vibrant student community in Monash - there is a great atmosphere of collegiality and belonging in Monash Malaysia. There are always fun activities that are organised amongst the student population, and one truly feels like part of a big family on this campus, even though we are in various Schools and studying different courses and subjects.

8. What is your goal in life, where are you headed to in the future?

I love teaching; therefore, I see myself becoming a lecturer and pursuing teaching and research. I would love to become a lecturer in Monash Malaysia after I graduate.

9. What is your advice to current Monash Malaysia students? 

Enjoy the experience each and every day! Student life is an incomparable and irreplaceable experience which you won’t find elsewhere. Savour every moment!