The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Profile – NE instructor finally doing what she loves

By Brendon James/reporter

Fung’s journey lead’s her to job abroad before arriving at TCC 

After years of job searching and freelancing, NE instructor Urania Fung found her home at TCC.

Born in Kansas, Fung moved with her family to Texas in 1984 for her father’s job and bade farewell to her friends.

“I had a hard time leaving behind my childhood friends,” she said. “After I moved here, I ran up the phone bill trying to keep in touch with them.”

NE English instructor Urania Fung, a Kansas native, is a published author, having written short stories in anthologies. She encourages students to find what they’re passionate about and pursue it.  Photo by Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian
NE English instructor Urania Fung, a Kansas native, is a published author, having written short stories in anthologies. She encourages students to find what they’re passionate about and pursue it.
Photo by Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian

After moving to Texas, Fung graduated from Lamar High School and attended the University of Texas to major in computer science. Fung did not major in computer science because it was her passion but because it seemed to be a trend for a good career.

“I can’t fix computers,” she said. “[The field] was hot at the time, and that is why I majored in it.”

After graduating, Fung worked for the Sabre company, but due to the events of 9/11 and the tech bubble, she was one of the workers to get laid off. After that, Fung went to China to teach English.

“But then the SARS epidemic hit,” she said. “I had to leave earlier than expected and came back to America.”

Fung began her job search again and eventually worked for a Social Security office in Kansas. Fung said the job was very risky because the office tries not to close no matter what the weather is outside.

“If it was snowing, you have to get up and get there before the snow gets bad,” she said. “Sometimes, the car could not get out.”

Fung eventually quit and said her family was unhappy with her decision.

“I pissed off my family when I told them I quit, but I had to in order to save my life,” she said.

Fung decided to return to school so she could teach. She went to Sam Houston State University for her English degree and Texas State for a creative writing degree.

“After I got my degree, I went to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to be an English teacher for one year,” she said.

After her tenure ended, Fung went to a conference in Austin, where she met Julie E. Czerneda, who asked if anyone was interested in writing a short story for her anthology. Fung accepted the opportunity.

“I had written a short story at Texas State, and it was no good,” she said. “I liked the idea of it though, so I rewrote the story three times, and after that, I had to rewrite the first half three more times before I was satisfied with it.”

Fung’s short story “Mist Wraith” got published, and she went to Canada for the launching of the book Ages Of Wonder in 2009. She then met Czerneda’s friends Derwin Mak and Eric Choi, who held a similar contest for writers interested in writing short stories. Fung wrote another non-fiction story called “The Right To Eat Decent Food,” which was published in the anthology The Dragon and Our Stars in 2010.

Fung began job searching and eventually came to TCC to teach. NE English department chair Eric Devlin said he has appreciated her hard work since her hire.

“She has a very strong background,” Devlin said. “She impressed us with her knowledge and talent. She is a very reasonable and earnest person. She takes her job seriously, and her students’ responses are very positive. She is a very committed professional, and we are very happy to have her here.”

NE administrative assistant Kristi Toler said not only is Fung a good teacher but a good individual.

“She’s awesome,” Toler said. “She is organized, nice and is very friendly. Every time I see her, she brightens my day. I’ve never had any problems with her. She is also very funny. I think she is well-liked, and she contributes to the department’s activities.”

Fung said if there is something people enjoy doing, they should pursue it.

“If there is something you are passionate about, go for it,” she said. “I followed my passion, and I enjoy what I am doing now.”

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