For Immediate Release
May 7, 2012
Contacts: David Ottalini, 301 405 4076 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Commencement 2012: Jenny Wang Named Student Medalist
By Monette Bailey
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Jenny Wang came to Maryland from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring with a lot of energy and interests - and found just the right outlet for them all.
She double majored in unrelated disciplines, served as a teaching assistant and helped start an undergraduate research journal. She also volunteered in a local emergency room and organized community service events.
"My attention span is kind of short," she jokes. "I get interested in a lot of things."
Wang earned 40 credits before becoming a Terp, and she kept up that academic pace on campus. She maintained a 4.0 GPA as she completed degrees in physiology and neurobiology and in English language and literature. An Honors College student, Wang is also a Banneker-Key Scholar.
"Jenny has clearly been recognized for her superior academic performance and strong career trajectory over the years, but I am regularly amazed at how much this young woman has accomplished," says Stephen M. Roth, associate professor of kinesiology. He is also the director of the Functional Genomics Laboratory, where Wang researched the effect of long-term exercise on telomere length, or the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes.
As a result of that work, she co-wrote one paper appearing in the Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences and another submitted to the Journal of Applied Physiology.
She picked up the second major after only one semester as a biological sciences student. Wang enjoyed the intimacy of the upper-level English classes and the nonscientific discussions. It provided balance. If she got tired of microbes, she'd work on a short story assignment.
"In each class, she did solid 'A' work, in difficult courses that required 40 pages of writing and three exams," says Michael Olmert, professor of the practice in the Department of English. "In fact, she did sensational work."
After graduation, Wang will take a week to relax, then plunge into applying to medical schools. She also would like to travel to her parents' homeland of China to supplement calligraphy and folklore courses she took at Maryland.
She doesn't have a particular school in mind, since she's not sure of her focus, but she is clear on one geographical requirement: "It must be north of Virginia," she says. "I do not handle hot weather well."
Information provided by the Office of University Communications
Email University Communications at email@example.com