Selamat ulang tahun!
On this 25th of June, as she celebrates her birthday in Semarang and I start my day here in Rochester, I think of all that inspires me about and connects me to the beautiful soul that is Puji Astuti.
Her Family Values
Puji brings a sense of adventure and commitment to excellence to her roles within her family. Drawing their unique strengths together with their collective values, this family unit celebrates creativity, appreciates nature, pursues knowledge, remains faithful, and holds together in support of each individual and the family whole.
I remember this trip to the zoo in December as we watched the elephants interact, and I asked mother and daughter to pose here for this picture because the ways that the mother elephant, gently nudging and lovingly guiding her young one, seemed to so beautifully remind me of how I have seen Puji interact with her daughter.
Her Scholarship and Teaching
An educator at heart, Puji comes to every scholarly interaction prepared and ready to pull the learners/audience into the points she’s trying to make using charm, evidence, and effective techniques for engagement. My time in Indonesia allowed me to bear witness to Puji in her classroom, meetings, writing camps, school visits, and conferences. I’ve seen the ways that she displays commitment as an English teacher educator, a research mentor and teacher, a scholar presenting research, and a colleague encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence. She remains steadfast in ensuring that her work leads to the betterment of Indonesia and its students, through high quality language and literacy education and research. This woman works harder than any other scholar I know!
Like me, Puji values friendship and maintaining connections to those who have been bright spots in her life’s journey. I feel blessed to be among the constellation of friends, colleagues, and dear ones with whom she surrounds herself.