Campus Life

Nine Thousand Miles From Home, December Graduate Finds Community In Aggieland

Meytty Pattikawa, a master’s student from Indonesia, was drawn to Texas A&M by the university’s strong alumni network and the tradition of the Aggie Ring. She’ll be flying home soon with a diploma in hand and a ring of her own.
Article by Luke Henkhaus, Video by Emily Caroline Sartin | Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications December 16, 2022

a photo of a woman in a dress, heels, and a graduation cap and gown sitting outside the administration building on the Texas A&M campus
Educational human resource development master’s student Meytty Pattikawa will be graduating on Saturday, Dec. 17, at Reed Arena.

Courtesy of Meytty Pattikawa


Meytty Pattikawa has accomplished a lot of “firsts.”

Already the first member of her family to earn a high school diploma and a college degree, she’s about to be the first to earn a graduate degree, too.

This weekend, Pattikawa will walk the stage in Reed Arena and receive her Master of Science in educational human resource development from Texas A&M University’s School of Education and Human Development. She’ll be joined by hundreds of her fellow Aggies, who have become like a second family to her during her time in the United States.

“Going to A&M is not about just going to school,” Pattikawa said of her two years in Aggieland. “The people that you meet will be there to help you, to be with you, and support you in any way.”

It’s that same spirit of respect and selfless service that brought Pattikawa from her home country of Indonesia all the way to Bryan-College Station. In 2019, while applying for a master’s scholarship from the Indonesian government, she came across something that intrigued her — a video about an Aggie Ring, lost in Indonesia during WWII and later returned to the family of its owner during a special ceremony at Kyle Field.

“Everyone was cheering for the return of the Aggie Ring, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, what’s that all about?’” Pattikawa said. “I got excited, and I read about the Aggie Ring and I said, ‘If I get this scholarship and apply for a master’s program, I want to be at A&M because I want to be part of that tradition.’”

She knew she made the right decision when she visited the U.S. embassy in Jakarta and got her first glimpse of the Aggie Network in action: “When I went to apply for a visa, the worker saw my document and asked, ‘What school are you going to?’ I said I was going to Texas A&M  and he put up his hand to show me his Aggie Ring.”

Once she arrived on campus, it surpassed all expectations, Pattikawa said. She connected with fellow international and first-generation students and even served as president of A&M’s Indonesian Student Association. She’s also been a leader with the Aggie Baptist Student Ministry and worked as a graduate assistant in the Career Center, all while excelling in her studies.

These would be big accomplishments for anyone. But for Pattikawa, a wife and mother from an area where women are often encouraged to stay in the home, every new success helps set an example for the next generation.

“In our culture in the east of Indonesia, normally married women don’t go anywhere,” she said. “So being here is giving an example to my children that you can go beyond everyone’s opinions. You can do so much. You’re going to drive whatever your future is, because your future is not determined by what people say you can and can’t do.”

Pattikawa will carry that same spirit with her when she returns to her hometown after graduation to teach at a local public university. She also hopes to continue forming connections with Aggies from around the world.

“I know that to support my people, I cannot work alone,” she said. “So I think I will use that Aggie Network that I’ve always been helped by.”

All the while, she’ll be wearing an Aggie Ring of her own — a powerful symbol of that network and a reminder of what drew her to Texas A&M in the first place.

“This ring will always be a reminder for me that there is no dream too high to achieve,” she said. “I’m pretty positive I’m the first Aggie in my town, and I feel like there will be more after me.

Media contact: Luke Henkhaus,

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