When Quan “Jason” Ho began his studies at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith in 2013, he told friends his exceptional English skills were thanks to not only his voracious desire to learn but also his love of American television. Now Ho is the star of a Vietnamese reality television show himself.
During the latest episode of Người Ấy Là Ai, Ho’s talent and confidence earned the affection of the female lead, Mai Suong. “She is the muse of my creation,” said Ho, after having earned a bouquet and a green light for an elaborately choreographed sword performance.
Though he is now earning celebrity status in his own right in the capital of his home country, Ho arrived at UAFS eager to grow as a person and experience all that higher education and America had to offer.
“It was UAFS that gave me the opportunity to study abroad, and that to me was a life-changing experience. For the first time in my life, I was able to see what the other side of the world was like with my own eyes, experience and interact with new people in different languages,” Ho said. “The four years that I was at UAFS, I became more confident, more open to new possibilities and more ready to voice my opinions. Being exposed to both my own and a new culture really prepared me for everything that life has to offer.”
When he isn’t on television, Ho uses his graphic design education daily in his work as a senior digital designer and photographer in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. “It’s dynamic and ever-changing. Being a creative, repetition is my worst fear, so being in an agency allows me to do something different each passing day.”
Working in the advertising field, Ho has encountered limitless new opportunities and challenges, taking them all in stride. “The possibilities are endless,” he said.
“Jason was an exceptional and conscientious student and designer,” added Colin McLain, department head and associate professor in the UAFS Art & Graphic Design department. “He took pride in the work he did, handled critical feedback well and strived for constant improvement in his work.”
Ho has also had the opportunity to work with clients ranging from fashion brands to rescue shelters that help homeless animals, non-profit environmental organizations to peace and development foundations. “With my clients being both local and global, each gave me a new appreciation of what I do and what people in my field can potentially contribute to the community.”
“It has been wonderful watching Jason’s development as a person and as an artist, both during his time at UAFS and now in the professional world,” said Rachel Rodemann Putman, who taught Ho during his two years working as a student photographer in the UAFS Marketing & Communications department. “You always hope your students will be able to thrive and advance, not just while they are immersed in learning, but when they enter the workforce as well. The size of UAFS is so ideal because faculty and staff truly get to know each student and celebrate in their successes as much as we support them in their development.”
“At UAFS I was able to be a part of a community far bigger and more meaningful than I had ever hoped for,” said Ho, whose initial plan was to focus solely on his studies and earn a respected degree that would equip him for a career in Vietnam.
“I never really planned on being involved with anything else, but the people and the environment at UAFS brought out other aspects in myself that I thought weren’t there in the beginning. I’m proud that I now have stories to tell, memories to cherish, friends to remember and a place where I can be thankful for helping me discover my true self.”
The full episode of Người Ấy Là Ai, can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/-w6bEkNzhDo