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Anika TindallAnika Tindall
‘The best version of myself’

Bubble tea? Boba tea? What . . .?

This is not your English grandmother’s “spot of tea,” and the U bio-chemistry junior and Learning Assistant Anika Tindall can explain to you just how explosive and now wildly varied the milk-based Taiwanese drink (traditionally served with tapioca balls) has become in Utah. Just stop into Boba Luv tea in Millcreek, punch that sturdy straw through the signature clear plastic wrap and you’ll be in multi-flavored heaven.

The tea emporium is where she chills from the research she’s doing first-hand as well her work in student mentoring sessions. But the ethic is the same in both places: “I love customer service,” she says, “… My philosophy is, while I don’t know what the people around me are dealing with or what they are feeling, I can make an impact on them through a positive interaction.”

She gets that ethic from her “lola,” Cebuano (native to the Philippines) for “grandmother.” “She was so outgoing, so generous to those around her, and always stood up for what she believed in.” Considered her “hero,” lola also saw the value of getting an education and encouraged her granddaughter to keep learning, both in school and from the world around her. “She wanted to see me succeed and become the best version of myself.”

That ethic led to her ambition to become a professor. “I absolutely love teaching. … It [gives me] the opportunity to do research to make a lasting positive impact on future generations.”

Anika in the classroom

Getting to that impact will require a sensitivity to and advocacy for equity in education, the San Ramon, California native explains. “While we do our best as educators to provide for our students, human error and unconscious bias still exist, I want to find ways to ensure that all students, now and in the future, are given the same opportunities throughout all higher education.”

A proficient French speaker as well as—ready for this?—a classically trained pianist and violinist—Tindall has clearly proven her bona fides as recipient of a Remarkable Futures Scholarship three years in a row!

Anika Tindall

Tindall is also a teaching assistant in chemistry and, since her first semester’s stint as an LA, now one of two mentor LAs for the program run by CSME. “This allows me to teach new LAs about teaching methods and student learning, equipping them to become confident and effective educators.”

Whether she’s guiding customers to their uniquely made boba tea or coaching students, Anika Tindall’s lola would be proud.

Story by David Pace


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