Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Major: Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Languages: Bahasa Malaysia (Malay), English
Hobbies: Nature photography and exploring Oregon's outdoors
Biography: Athena was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. The words Kuala Lumpur translates to ‘Muddy Confluence’, which is how the metropolis acquired its name as it was founded and established around the intersection of two prominent rivers. Today, with its rich multicultural heritage, historic monuments, protruding steel-clad skyscrapers, bustling street markets, lush rainforests, and colorful mosques and temples of the country’s Malay, Chinese, and Indian communities, Kuala Lumpur is a feast for all the senses and it is where Athena calls home.
As she embarked on her journey to study abroad, Athena moved to the United States where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa. To further fuel her passion in mental health and social justice advocacy, Athena is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Portland State University. She works towards integrating her Southeast Asian culture along with her western educational training in her counseling practices.
With culture being a significant part of Athena’s identity, she aspires to continue sharing about Malaysia and its unique culture as well as learning about people and cultures from other parts of the world through ICSP. In doing so, she continues to maintain cultural humility through all of her work.