Enriching Education

Student spotlight: Soyeun Yang, senior, Fairview High School

Daily Camera • • TAGS: Awards, Community, Education

Soyeun Yang

Soyeun Yang

Soyeun has been involved in scientific research during the past few years. She began research at the University of Colorado during her junior year, studying nanoparticle applications. Throughout last summer, she worked as a research assistant at the Children's Hospital, studying mineral deficiency in developing countries.

Recently, she was accepted to the 44th Dr. Bessie F. Lawrence International Summer Science Institute as one of 19 Americans. Through the program, she is receiving a full scholarship to conduct scientific research in July at the Weizmann Institute in Israel with 74 other students from all over the world.

She was also one of two Colorado students who placed at the 2011 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, placing fourth in Microbiology. She was a Siemens Competition semifinalist last fall.

What do you like about scientific research?

It's all about finding a new solution to an old problem. Working with professional researchers was a challenge at first, since they know so much and I started off knowing nothing, but it was also a very collaborative and creative process.

What was it like to work as a research assistant at Children's Hospital?

It was incredible. It was my first real job, so that also made it special. I worked in a lab that studied zinc and iron deficiency in developing countries, which changed my perspective on public health and social responsibility.

Tell me about your junior-year science fair project?

It was one of my favorite parts of junior year. I worked on a project that focused on nanoparticle drug delivery to bacteria. It was great to directly engage in science. I felt like I could contribute and help people, which was a wonderful feeling. Being able to attend (the International Science and Engineering Fair) at the end of this research project was also just mind-blowing. I can't express it better than that.

What kind of research will you do in Israel? What are you most looking forward to about the trip?

I don't find out until later, but I'm hoping to study either neurobiology or immunology. I'm honestly looking forward to the whole trip. It feels surreal. Israel's got such a rich history, and students from all over the world will be coming to this program. I'm excited to meet everyone and learn more about Israel.

What did you like the most about high school?

Everything. Even with the demands of (the International Baccalaureate program), I've had a great four years. As much as I'm excited to graduate, I'm sad that high school will be over.

What would you change about high school?

Less homework.

What's your favorite movie?

This is a tough one, but "The Avengers" was one of my recent favorites. I'm a huge Iron Man fan, so of course I loved it. But the whole movie was really well done.

What do you like to do for fun?

I watch action movies, play the flute, cook (I am addicted to the food blog Smitten Kitchen; it's every foodie's heaven) and love being with my friends.

What are your plans after high school?

I will be attending Dartmouth in the fall. I'm not sure about my major yet. The closer I get to college, the more hesitant I become. But I'm leaning towards biology and history.

What's your dream job?

After working at Children's and seeing both the clinical and research sides to science, I'd really like to pursue medicine and run my own lab. I want to do something that keeps me excited and challenged every day, and being able to directly connect research to the clinic would be wonderful.