2018 Recipients

Cohan Lin – Palo Alto, CA

Film/Animation/Video, Rhode Island School of Design

Cohan Lin is a freshman at the Rhode Island School of Design and will be majoring in Film/Animation/Video. He is a first-generation Taiwanese American and was born in San Francisco. Inspired by his mother, he has always loved all kinds of art and has found animation to be the perfect medium to explore his interests. He hopes to experiment and collaborate with other artists to create work that can connect with people around the world. As an artist in animation, he hopes to be a storyboard or visual development artist for feature film and television, but also hopes to create independent short films. He hopes his work can make an impact on people one day and inspire people to pursue what they are truly passionate about. He spends time every week helping his mom at work and teaching kids arts and crafts. As a scout and musician, he has spent years doing volunteer work for his community, school, local and national parks, summer camps, percussion ensemble, and troop where he has had the opportunity to be involved in local Asian American and Taiwanese American communities. The Taiwanese community in the Bay Area and his family in Taiwan has always been a source of support and love, and he takes great pride in his heritage. He has not been able to visit Taiwan since he was 4 but hopes to return soon to visit his family, eat good food, and explore and draw the beautiful places across the country.


Derrick Bowen – Edmond, OK

Entrepreneurship, University of Oklahoma

In the fall of 2018 I will be a freshman at the University of Oklahoma in Norman where I plan on attending the Price School of Business and major in Entrepreneurship. I chose to be a business major for many reasons, one being, my dad who is in the real estate business. His work has always fascinated me and being able to help him and learn from him has been a huge privilege. Warren Buffett, Mark Cuban, and Nick Woodman have all had a major influence in my decision to go down the path of business. My future plans after college is to create my own real estate development company and hope to be an investor and an entrepreneur in other aspects after that. Community service has always been a big part of my life, whenever I got the chance I would always try to give back to the community. I have volunteered as an assistant counselor at a Chinese youth camp (CYC). I joined an organization called Formosa Association of Student Cultural Ambassadors (FASCA) which helped further my volunteering opportunities, where I have accumulated over 400+ volunteer hours. Not only have I became a assistant counselor at CYC but I have also at another camp called Heritage Camp hosted by Dillon International, a camp where adoptees of Asian descent come together to learn about their heritage and meet others who are in the same circumstances they are in as well. Our Oklahoma City Chinese School has also given me the opportunity to teach other children about Chinese culture activity called the Chinese Yo-yo or more commonly known as the diablo. All of these Asian volunteer opportunities have really given me a perspective of admiration for my parents who have devoted so much time and effort in helping me succeed.


Edward Chang – Rosemead, CA

Statistics, University of California, Berkeley

My name is Edward Chang, and this coming fall, I will be attending the University of California, Berkeley and planning to major in statistics. I am the youngest of three sons of Taiwanese immigrants. In my four years of high school, I have actively engaged in the STEM field through AP sciences, AP mathematics and clubs. I have joined clubs like Science Olympiad (which I have competed for all four years and consistently medaled), Engineering Club, and Computer Science Club—all to bolster my understanding of the vast STEM field. Through my exploration of the STEM field, I desire to become an actuary in the future because of my deep passion for mathematics throughout high school.
Apart from my engagement in the STEM field at school, I have participated in my high school’s Chamber Choir and achieved a black belt in Taekwondo. These two activities have helped me understand the importance of hard work through the experience of slipping up and making mistakes.
And driven by a desire to understand my culture and language more, I have taken Chinese classes in high school and visited Taiwan. In Taiwan, I volunteered as an English teacher at Changhua County’s Wu Feng Elementary School. My love and interest in Taiwanese culture has also led me to explore the popular culture in Taiwan and seek for more food, songs, and artists to follow.


Gene Lee – Tainan, Taiwan

Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana – Champaign

Hi everyone! My name is Gene Lee and I was born in Mountain View, California, but I moved back to Taiwan during fourth grade. Having just graduated from National Tainan Senior High, I am going to attend the University of Illinois, Urbana – Champaign for Electrical Engineering, while looking to minor in Business, Economics, or even Physics. I want to be more than just an engineer, and this was also reflected through my high school life. Besides just studying, I was also the captain of my school’s soccer team, and participated in many Model United Nations conferences as a delegate, chair, and instructor. Thus, I hope to possibly pursue an MBA to become a data analyst at Wall Street, or use my vast and diverse skillset to work on A.I. to change the world for the better. Throughout high school, I volunteered on many occasions, the most prominent two being serving as the head lecturer of a camp held for elementary school students in remote areas in Tainan, and also regularly visiting a center for disabled children. I also have hosted many foreign students including those from Japan and Australia (as a translator, a master of ceremony, and a student ambassador), and introduced them to the culture of Taiwan. Through these experiences, I felt the joy and pleasure of seeing the smiles on the children’s faces, and the thrill I got by giving back to my community.


Maggie Tang – Arcadia, CA

Business and Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania

I grew up with my single mother in Arcadia, California. She immigrated from Taiwan to the United States the year she was pregnant with me. Growing up, I lived a bicultural lifestyle, speaking mandarin and english, celebrating both Thanksgiving and Chinese New Year, and learning different customs. In eighth grade, I decided to attend Midland, a small, private school on 2,860 acres of land in Los Olivos, California for high school. After stumbling across the school online, I was immediately drawn to how different the lifestyle was compared to my norm. Unlike other schools, the eighty-eight students at Midland live in cabins, have limited internet access, and all contribute to the community through a daily job such as washing dishes or feeding horses. In the past four years, I’ve loved making desserts for my entire community to enjoy during dinner. I’ve loved being freshman girls’ prefect and checking them in every night before bed. I’ve loved exploring nature, and experiencing new adventures with my friends. Midland taught me the importance of community, and became my home. Next year, I will attend the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where I plan to study both business and anthropology. Seeing the world through two cultures has inspired me to be curious about how culture influences decisions in a global business economy. The next chapter of my life at Penn will be full of adventure; I’m enthusiastic to explore my interests, tackle real-world problems, and make a difference in our society.


Michelle Tang – Houston, TX

Aerospace and Astronautical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

My name is Michelle Tang, and I am a rising sophomore from Houston, Texas. I am majoring in aerospace and astronautical engineering and minoring in astronomy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In addition to developing air and space technologies and adapting them to other sectors, I am planning to continue with my research on asteroid orbital dynamics, an area that I have been involved in for the past few years. In the future, I hope to help mitigate light pollution through lobbying for the implementation of effective technology, as well as work on the reform of American public education. Additionally, I would like to improve my Chinese and German, earn my pilot’s license, make a latch hook rug, and take up piano again. I am currently a choreographer for the Asian Dance Team and an active member of Women in Aerospace Engineering, Flying Club, and Photography Club. I am also involved with the Association of Taiwanese Students, promoting the culture that was such a fundamental part of my personal development. Finally, in my spare time, I enjoy reading, baking, Ultimate Frisbee, figure skating, and slacklining.


Morgan Yen – Corona, CA

Political Science and International Relations, University of California, San Diego

Cradling two delicate halves of a Matryoshka doll in my stubby hands, I realized the existence of a second doll inside the first, lacquered clothing peeking out between carefully sculpted edges of the outer. As my grandmother laughed, my eyes, glossy but round with curiosity, paralleled those of Russians at the Exposition Universelle, where the emergence of the nesting dolls had first impressed the world – a toy that embodied the complexity of unfolding flower petals. As I grew, I began to perceive the reality of a Russian doll inside myself – a culmination of tirelessly crafted layers of diverse fascinations. While one doll delved into the art of English – devoured books as sustenance – another studied the law of murder cases, captaining peers and new freshmen to realize their love for public speaking and understanding the American judicial system. Yet another doll spoke to constituents at Congressman Royce’s office, presenting local honorees and businesses with certificates of recognition – as another embraced her Taiwanese culture, intertwining the foods, fruits, and phrases of local Taiwanese citizens into daily interactions. It is this onion-like character that I will take with me this fall to the University of California, San Diego – as I study political science and international relations, concentrations that reflect both my love for diversity, and my future aspirations of pursuing a career in law. I am hopeful that I will become a connoisseur of many subjects, and continue to grow in both my intellect and knowledge of the Taiwanese community.


Ying Fan (Tina) Ou – Flushing, NY

International Business, Queens College

Hello, my name is Tina Ou. My mandarin name is 毆瑩凡. I am going to Queens College for international business major and minoring in Korean. Growing up speaking multiple languages was a pro, as well as a con. Mandarin is a popular language that people speak nowadays. I grew up in Taiwan until I was 10. My memory only allowed me to remember the parts where I grew up running around in a hotel. Thus, to combine my advantage of speaking multiple languages and the environment I grew up in, I would like to pursue to hospitality. I wish to offer a comfortable travel experience for people that live in the hotel I work in because language is often the main barrier. I would also like to promote Taiwanese culture during my time working for the travel/ hotel industry, so people may travel to Taiwan and see its beauty. In terms of helping out the Taiwanese community, I have helped out Passport to Taiwan in New York for about two years now to help promote Taiwanese culture.


Sarah Teruya – San Deigo, CA

Biology and Psychology, California Lutheran University

Hi, my name is Sarah Teruya, and I’m from San Diego, California. My grandparents were born and raised in Taiwan, and my mother was born in Taiwan before moving to Guam. In the Fall, I will be a freshman at California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, Los Angeles. I will be studying to receive my Masters in Biology and Psychology, and plan to attend further graduate school to study Neurology or Neuroscience. I hope to someday work as a criminal analyst at the F.B.I. My involvement with my culture ties deeply to my religion. I am an active member of the Taiwanese Lutheran Church of San Diego, where I lead Bible discovery sessions and youth camps. I’ve made lifelong friends and have been able to connect with my culture in the duality of a faith-based setting. This summer, I will be going on a month-long missions trip to Taiwan in July, where we will be teaching with my church group of 15 students to Bible studies in the provinces of Wugu and Dalin. With this scholarship, I will be able to pursue my academic career while supplemented with work study to mitigate the costs of college my freshman year. I will have the opportunity to get involved on campus, make connections, and enjoy the beginning of my college journey with ease. I would like to thank the Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund for this great award. Thank you so much for investing in my future!


Sylvanus (Van) Tetzner – Madison, WI

Music, Berklee College of Music

My name is Van Tetzner, and I am a musician. I found my love for music in Taiwan, where I learned piano in a tiny buxiban tucked into a towering city building. I remember my heart rising as the elevator drew me close enough to hear piano scales, making me smile. Once I was four, my family moved to Madison, Wisconsin because my mother thought the schooling in America would fit us better; being a new immigrant was difficult, and I stuck to the periphery of things, immersing myself in music to avoid the wide-eyed stares and snide assumptions. However, I quickly learned English and made treasured friends I still see to this day; I found a place in America with my friends, the spirit of freedom, and the pursuit of success deeply rooted in American culture. By high school, my commitment to music evolved past love into commitment, as I began to see music as a tool to bring peace to an increasingly tumultuous America. In Social Justice Book Club, I learned about hate crimes, police brutality, and gun violence – and the more I learned, the more I focused on my craft. This fall, I am attending Berklee College of Music so I can study songwriting and performance and bring my music to new levels; I am going to become a musician of the caliber of Jay Chou and John Lennon and use my focus and dedication to break the barriers of hate and unite people through song.