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2020 Women in STEM Scholarship Spotlight: Vivian C.

Avomeen is committed to supporting and helping to inspire the next generation of scientists and leaders in STEM. We’re privileged to have the opportunity to help ease some of the financial stress that comes with higher education. Our Women in STEM and Minorities in STEM Scholarship Program allows us to support undergraduates who are on their way to doing incredible things in STEM fields of study. Today, we’re getting to know Vivian C., the recipient of Avomeen’s 2020 Women in STEM Scholarship.

You’re interested in studying biology and biochemistry, and your career goals include either biomedical research or becoming a healthcare provider. Did you consider any other professions or career paths before narrowing it down to these two options?

I have considered the possibility of teaching because I really enjoy tutoring and coaching younger students. Additionally, I considered engineering, but specifically biomedical engineering during my junior year [of high school].

Who influenced your career path?

I volunteered at the Grace Family Practice Office and Dr. Michelle Chu was my mentor. Every weekend, I would witness her connecting with patients of all backgrounds and cracking jokes that would make everyone laugh. Her compassion in working with each patient was very memorable and I hope to one day be able to help others in need the same way she has.

Can you tell us more about the community program you created, ProgressWithChess, to teach children lessons, alongside academic subjects?

I created the community ProgressWithChess as my Girl Scout Gold Award project and the goal of my program was to encourage students to explore chess, regardless of any obstacle. I noticed in my community that general school budgets have cut after school programs including chess clubs. I was determined to make sure there was a free alternative for students to learn chess and apply the same skills of the game to academic challenges.

As a member of the Future Health Leaders Club at your school, you were able to witness an open heart surgery. Can you tell us more about the club and its impact on your decision to study biology or biochemistry?

I joined the Future Health Leaders Club to get a better understanding of the healthcare field. During the meetings, students can meet with healthcare professionals as well as go on to field trips to the local hospital. Through this club, I was inspired by the stories of practitioners and it pushed me to continue pursuing an education in STEM.

Science is fun! We’re big fans of science and STEM jokes. Do you have a favorite joke you’d like to share?

This joke is a shout out to the great experience I had in the biochemistry lab at George Mason University: What’s this year’s spring fashion for restriction enzymes? Cut off jeans (genes)!