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Life’s A Joyful Dance For Jillian

Jillian Terese Teo, a member of the SIM Dance Art

“STUDYING psychology puts me in the position to help those who struggle with psychological conditions,” says Jillian Terese Teo.

Currently doing her BSc (Psychology) at SIM-University of Wollongong, Jillian says her favourite subjects in this programme are Psychology of Abnormality, Biological Psychology and Statistics in Psychology.

“I enjoy learning about psychological disorders, the biological causes as well as the different types of treatment and therapy available. I also enjoy statistics and numbers as it is a break from a lot of reading and writing that we have to do on the course,” she adds.

Voluntary Work At IMH

“I also do voluntary work. I currently volunteer at the Institute of Mental Health as a Dog Therapy Ambassador where I facilitate animal-assisted activities with patients in both the adult’s and children’s wards.

“I feel that there is a lot that can be learned from giving up time to help others. My experience as a volunteer has also reassured me that this is the path that I would like to take in the field of psychology.”

Only 21, Jillian will be graduating in October this year (2015).

“I hope to build a career as a clinical psychologist specialising in animal-assisted therapy,” Jillian says. “I have an interest in the animal-human bond and the use of animals in the treatment of children with psychological issues because I have witnessed the benefits of such interventional strategies at IMH.

“After my graduation at SIM GE, I hope to continue my studies and complete my Honours in Wollongong, Australia.”

Thrilling Audiences

An SIM Global Education scholar, she helps out in the Scholars’ Network and participates in dance events as a member of the SIM Dance Art, a jazz and contemporary dance club. She and other members have danced and thrilled audiences at SIM GE’s events such as the Open House, Freshmen Orientation and concerts.

“My friends and I from the club have also taken part in contemporary dance competitions such as The Royal Dance Off (TRDO),” she says. Both in 2013 and 2014, the team reached the finals. Started by Ryan Tan, TRDO is a contemporary dance competition held in Singapore.

Jillian started dancing at the age of 7. “I enjoy contemporary dance and ballet. In 2013, I performed in Singapore Dance Theatre’s production of The Nutcracker.”

Jillian started dancing at the age of 7

“Dance helps me to let go of any unnecessary worries and express myself. Dancing has also allowed me to expand my social circle and connect with friends who share my passion for dance.” Hence, she’s often busy with dance rehearsals. But when she is not dancing, she loves to bake and to create desserts for her family and friends.

Scholars Network

Off the stage, Jillian served as director of student engagement in the Scholars’ Network from July 2013 to June 2014. She planned and successfully carried out the Scholars’ Network Welfare Pack distribution to the student body on SIM campus.

“I’ve also coached more than 30 students from other partner universities of SIM, to be student ambassadors during the SIM GE’s Open House in March and September.”

Also, in 2015, Jillian was awarded the the SIM All-Round-Student Award for academic excellence and significant leadership contributions to the school and community.

In class, she likes the university experience at SIM GE because of the rich mix of students from different cultural backgrounds. “This diverse environment is both vibrant and enjoyable, and allows me to learn from my peers as we all have different strengths and weaknesses.”

For incoming or current students, her advice for them is to participate actively in class and in activities beyond the classroom. These experiences allow for much personal growth, as a student and as a person with skills and character, she says.

Photos by Jillian’s dad, Neville Teo

– Posted online 13 August 2015