HomeCity NewsSan Marino’s Ko Earns Prestigious Award at Harvard

San Marino’s Ko Earns Prestigious Award at Harvard

San Marino resident Michelle Ko, a sophomore at Harvard, was recently presented with the prestigious Detur Book prize, which acknowledges outstanding academic achievements during their first year of study. Michelle is a 2014 graduate of Westridge School.

The Detur Book prize recognizes this achievement by presenting a book of the student’s choosing that is embossed with the Harvard and Detur seals at a formal ceremony and reception hosted by Dean Rakesh Khurana in the Faculty Room of University Hall at Harvard College. The word “Detur” derives from the Latin Detur digniori, meaning “to the worthy, let it be given.” Michelle chose the book “The Food Lab,” as it combines her interests in chemistry and cooking.

The Detur Book prize was originated in the 1600s by Edward Hopkins, an early governor of Connecticut, and is maintained by his foundation, the Charity of Edward Hopkins.

Michelle has chosen to concentrate in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology with a secondary focus in English. In addition, Michelle has also recently received the John Harvard Scholarship for academic achievement.

Michelle is currently involved with various organizations at the school, including serving as co-director of the Harvard-Radcliffe Modern Dance Company – the oldest student-run dance group at Harvard – CityStep, an organization that introduces public school students to the art of dance; the Taiwanese Cultural Society, and as a teaching facilitator in various academic courses at Harvard.

Michelle is currently in Japan participating in an international conference sponsored by Harvard in a partnership with the University of Tokyo called the Harvard College in Asia Program, whose major theme this year is “Equality, Tolerance, and Freedom: The Effect of Culture and Policy in a Globalized World.”

At Westridge, Michelle was a member of ASB, the Advanced Dance Company, the Chamber Orchestra, the Chinese-Taiwanese Student Association and Tiger track and field among other activities and interests. Locally, she trained at the San Marino Dance Academy and attended Chinese School.

“I felt so very happy and humbled to have won the award,” Michelle said, when reached in Tokyo. “It was a great feeling to have been recognized for working hard my first year and it was also inspiring to be in a room full of high-achieving scholars. It made me feel motivated to continue to try my best in school and in life.”

Michelle is the daughter of Margaret and Dr. William Ko.


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