A large contingent of those with close ties to San Marino’s school community gathered at The Athenaeum last Thursday afternoon for the presentation of the 2nd annual Yun-Chung W. Chang Memorial Scholarships, which are given in the memory of the mother of San Marino School Board President Joseph Chang.
The scholarships are presented to two graduating seniors at San Marino High School who have shown an interest in secondary study in the medical sciences, in honor of Mrs. Chang, who was a pharmacist and physician’s assistant in her native Taipei.
Recipients of the 2017 scholarships are Katherine ‘Kat’ Chen and Nicholas Oo, who were in attendance, along with their parents.
While at SMHS, Kat ran track and cross country and was captain of both teams in her senior year. She served as president of the Girls Who Code club, working with engineers from Caltech and JPL to inspire more young girls into pursuing their interests in STEM – science, technology, engineering and math.
Kat also conducted immunology research at USC, developing a novel anti-tumor therapy with her research lab. In the fall, Kat will be attending Columbia University as an Egleston Scholar, entering college as a mechanical engineering or biomedical engineering major. She hopes to either minor or concentrate in finance, business, or biology to further her chances of success at building a biotech startup in Silicon Valley.
Nicholas has been an active member of the math and swim teams for all four years at San Marino High School. He has been the president of the math team for the past two years and has participated in swimming since the fifth grade. His favorite subjects are math and chemistry, and Nicholas was able to incorporate both subjects during a recent internship at City of Hope. He will be continuing his academic and swim careers at Pomona College, where he plans to major in Chemistry, follow a pre-med track with the hopes of becoming a cardiovascular surgeon.
The scholarships were presented by Mike Antonovich, who for 36 years served on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors until he was termed off last fall. In an homage to Mrs. Chang, Antonovich mentioned his 5th grade teacher, who he said, “provided the inspiration that led me to enter public life.”
The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Robert Kloner, vice president of the Huntington Medical Research Institutes, who discussed recent innovations in concussion treatment and research at HMRI during his speech “Why you should consider science in your future.”
Helena Bugacov, a 2013 graduate of San Marino High School who recently received her diploma from the University of California, Berkeley in Molecular Biology and is about to enter a graduate program at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, gave an inspirational, off-the-cuff testimony to science education that received a spirited ovation.