Stephanie Soh, born & raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the daughter of a Chinese father and Singaporean mother. When she was 8 years old, her family packed up as her father followed a job opportunity to China, where she went to International schools in southern & northern China until she graduated high-school.
“Going to international schools was great, I was exposed to so many cultures but still had my American education. At the same time, if I wanted to go out in the streets of China and blend in, I could. I didn’t ever notice that I was different when I was in Utah until later in life, when I realized I was the only Asian in my elementary school.”
After graduating high-school, Stephanie’s family moved back to Utah and she applied to colleges across the United States, including most IV league schools like Harvard, Yale, etc. Her father also suggested some good state schools like Michigan State and ultimately where she ended up, UVA.
She came to @uva to major in Foreign Affairs and Media Policy & Ethics. She did keep her artistic skills in use throughout school as she was the head of graphic design at UVA Dining for all 4 undergrad years. Her friend, Anna Cho (former director of operations for @uvawomenshoops UVA’s Women’s Basketball team) recruited her to be head photographer, just 2 weeks before graduation. Stephanie held that position for 2 years before applying to law school, which she just started at @william_and_mary
“When I first got to Charlottesville, I was definitely trying to shy away from my Asian-ness because I’m American. Honestly, I bonded more with the white people at my school because I’m American.” She had joined a Christian fellowship where she found her community, but by her 4th year she realized she didn’t have any Asian friends. When she got her gig for the Women’s Basketball team, 2 of her co-workers were Asian and they all bonded over food at Thai Cuisine & Noodle House. Finding pockets of Asians throughout Charlottesville was really helpful, especially relating through food.”
“It’s cool to see how much Charlottesville has changed since I first arrived. A place like Moge-Tea @mogeteeuv on the Corner wouldn’t have existed in 2015. Where else in town are you going to get fresh Taro in your drink? I feel like @charlottesvilleva and the existence of something like @dairymarketcville is also really cool… the fact that @manilastreetcville , @chimmstreet , and others are in there is huge, just exposing people to beyond Americanized Chinese food.”
Stephanie’s top 5 Asian food she must have in her kitchen:
1. Laoganma chili crisp
2. Rice, of course
3. Soy sauce (dark and light)
5. Furikake seasoning