2021 Recipients

Allyson Dye – Flagstaff, AZ

Computer Science, Harvey Mudd College

Hello everyone! My name is Allyson Dye (戴艾莉). I currently live in Flagstaff, Arizona, and graduated high school from BASIS Flagstaff.

As a Taiwanese American, I was born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. My mother taught me how to speak Mandarin and immersed me within the wonderful culture of Taiwan from a young age. Although I grew up in the United States, I had the privilege of visiting Taiwan for a few summers to learn how to read and write in Traditional Chinese. The Taiwanese culture is invaluable—the amount of respect and generosity that the Taiwanese have for each other is truly special and inspirational. I am grateful and proud to be a Taiwanese American, and I now uphold these cultural values in my own life, as the blend of these two cultures has shaped the person
who I am today.

I will be attending Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California this fall. I will be pursuing a Computer Science degree, and I also intend to minor in Psychology. In the aftermath of the pandemic, I’ve noticed that there has been a rising national mental health crisis and a growing lack of affordability when it comes to mental health care. My career goal is to combine my knowledge in both computer science and psychology to further improve accessibility of mental health care within my community. I envision myself contributing to advancements that support efficient and effective delivery of mental health care by further introducing the implementation of artificial intelligence within the mental health care field.

 

Andrew Li – Lake Oswego, OR

Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

My name is Andrew Li. I’m from Lake Oswego, Oregon. I was born in Los Angeles, California, but my family and I moved back to Taiwan a few months later. And I’ve lived there for 12 years. Throughout my life in Taiwan, I learned to speak Mandarin. At the age of twelve, my dad and I moved to the United States. I was naïve and scared. I couldn’t talk nor play with the other kids because of the language barrier. But I kept progress and learned to engage with others. By involving the community, I learned about their story, and at the same time, I was able to express myself. Having a background in the cultures of both countries, I learned to combine the two. I found myself inspired by technology’s ability to provide convenience and ease of use yet also experienced technological downfall where I have encountered unenjoyable electrical shocks. During my time honing my electrical engineering skills, my robotics team and I encountered a short circuit that started a fire; luckily, we put it out before it caused the wires and circuit boards to explode. I want to enter the electrical engineering field to increase electrical equipment’s stability and functionality to lower the danger of getting a shock and a short circuit that can cause a fire. Regardless of how advanced a program is, it will not be widely adopted without stability. By pursuing electrical engineering, I hope that I can advance technology to function correctly in every household to reduce potential damage.

 

Brendan Lan – Ripon, CA

Entomology, Cornell University

It was wiggly and squishy. I laughed. This was delightful. A comforting voice from high above broke through my thoughts. It wanted me to place the wiggly thing down. I did what the voice wanted. Many years later, I’m told that I had been holding a rhinoceros beetle larva – my kindergarten’s class pet. That was where it all started. Since then, my love of invertebrates has only grown. I’ve kept a variety of live invertebrates, volunteered with entomology professors, scientifically preserved arachnids, and revolved my life around entomology. As I spend more time outdoors exploring different microhabitats, I learn the intricacies of entomology – the subtle nature of invertebrates in general. My appreciation for them grows. When I step outside, I’m in tune with the gentle buzz of miniscule life… and yet, so few people truly see how amazing the world of invertebrates is. Now I’m headed off to Cornell to study entomology. As I’ve become more involved in entomology, I’ve discovered that the general public is largely ignorant of the invertebrate world living underneath our noses. As such, I hope to pursue a career as an entomology professor so that I can satisfy both my deep curiosity for the field and help educate people about the wonders of it.

 

Curtis Liu – Rolling Hills Estates, CA

Mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles

My name is Curtis Liu, and I’m from Rolling Hills Estates, California. In the fall, I will be attending the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), majoring in mathematics. Both of my parents are from Taiwan; my dad is from Taipei, and my mom is from Yunlin County. Every summer, my family and I would visit Taiwan for two months, where my entire extended family resides. It was from these lengthy experiences where I learned that there were always two (or more) sides to a story. It taught me about the differences in the Taiwanese and American cultures, and how to adapt to these discrepancies. More importantly, these experiences taught me how to become a bridge between the two cultures, and I’m proud of representing this community. I would like to say thank you to the Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund for awarding me this scholarship, as it will help me tremendously in both the present and the future, along with serving as a reminder to me of my Taiwanese origins.

In the United States, mathematics has been my passion. My very first form of mathematics at the age of 4 was the abacus, which originated in Chinese culture. Through these quick manipulations of arithmetic, I was able to build strength in swift calculations, which led me to qualify for the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO). In the near future, I plan on competing in several other mathematics competitions to represent the Taiwanese American community.

 

Hsun-Wei (Alex) Lee – Folsom, CA

Economics or Computer Science, University of Chicago

Hi my name is Hsun-Wei (Alex) Lee and I am currently living in Folsom, California. I was born in Taiwan and moved to the US when I was 12. I moved a couple of times and finally, before high school, we moved to Folsom where I attended Vista Del Lago High School where I graduated from in 2020. In high school I was part of the varsity basketball team where I was the team captain in my senior year. I am also a member of the varsity Track and Field team. I am currently attending the University of Chicago where I have just completed my first year. At the University of Chicago, we are not required to declare our major until the end of our second year so therefore, I am still uncertain what my major is going to be. However, I have great interest in Economics and Computer Science so I aspire to major in Economics with specialization in Data Science or Computer Science. It is my dream and goal to be either a data analyst at a big firm or a computer scientist when I graduate. As I take more classes relating to computer science and economics in my second year, it will hopefully narrow down my interests between the two. At the University of Chicago, I am also a student athlete. I am a member of our school’s varsity Track and Field Team where my main event is high jump.

 

Kimberly Hsueh – South Pasadena, CA

Sociology, Wellesley College

Kimberly Hsueh is from South Pasadena, CA, and her pronouns are she/her/hers. As a low-income student, she would like to first thank the Asian Pacific Community Fund for awarding her the 2021 Cathay Bank Scholarship Award, as it will help her immensely in alleviating her parents’ financial worries and affording college expenses. Recently, she graduated from South Pasadena High School with lifelong memories. From being a columnist and staff writer for her school’s newspaper,Tiger, to filling leadership positions, such as the Commissioner of Academics and the founder of the Taiwanese-American Student Association, she has come to realize what community means to her and has seen firsthand how effort, time, and dedication in building a community have resulted in tighter bonds among individuals. She recognized how consistent outreach and communication have exposed her peers and educated them of the different cultures, traditions, and experiences, the harmful consequences of ignorance, and the significance of movements. With these experiences in high school, she hopes to carry this purpose of community and enlightenment to Wellesley College. She wants to be part of an open dialogue, one that demands student engagement. Wellesley provides an environment made for exploring, where she can find her own communities and stand together with her peers to work towards positive change on and beyond campus grounds. At Wellesley, she hopes to use her education and her major in sociology to build her knowledge and use her voice to create a larger, global community.

 

Oscar Cheng – Arcadia, CA

Applied Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley

My name is Oscar Cheng and I am a Taiwanese immigrant. My mother and father met in Taiwan and that was where I was born and raised for 11 months. Afterwards, I flew to Arcadia, CA and began my life as an official Taiwanese American. As a young student, I aspired to be the pinnacle of a successful student. Representing my Taiwanese heritage, I took pride in being one of the only non-Caucasian students at my school. My inclination to math drove me to compete in American Math Competitions and to skip classes of math in high school. Even after being told by my teachers and counselors that skipping math classes would be a bad idea and a waste of everyone’s time, I pressed on and proved them wrong. Because of my unrelenting urge to explore deeper topics of mathematics, I can now skip almost all lower division math classes at UC Berkeley, the college I am attending this fall. At Cal, I am pursuing an Applied Mathematics degree with an emphasis in economics. However, I may choose to double major in economics instead with the extra room in my class schedule. I look forward to meeting new people and learning more intriguing math concepts at Berkeley. Go Bears!

 

Yi Chi (Izzy) Huang – Glenview, IL

Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University

My name is Izzy, I grew up in Taiwan and moved to the United States in my sophomore year of high school. Pollution is personal for me. Growing up in heavily polluted cities in Taiwan exposed me to the harmfulness of industrial air pollution, as I developed serious air allergies. After finding my passion for math and chemistry in high school, I plan to major in chemical engineering when I study at Northwestern University this fall. I hope to develop my specialties in the field of chemical engineering to help tackle worldwide pollution issues in the future. A science research project in high school and some volunteering experience in my neighborhood solidified my passion for the field of chemical engineering, and I believe a college education would further my passion for chemical engineering and equip me with the knowledge and skillsets required to tackle worldwide environmental challenges. In addition, I’m also planning to participate in the Northwestern Integrated Science Program to delve deeper into my passion for math and sciences and explore their extensive research opportunities.

 

Yvonne Gu – Artesia, CA

Cognitive Science, University of California, Berkeley

Hi! My name is Yvonne Guu and I’m from Artesia, California. My mom was born and raised in rural Pingtung, Taiwan alongside her five other siblings before moving to America. My grandparents have worked as farmers to support our family for decades, planting and harvesting all kinds of crops from bananas to lemons. Seeing my grandparents’ unwavering resilience and patience while tending the fields has instilled a sense of perseverance and determination in me. This fall, I will be attending the University of California, Berkeley where I intend to major in Cognitive Science. With this interdisciplinary field, I am eager to gain more insight into how people interact with technology so I can learn to create more user-friendly platforms for all individuals. Having lived in Southern California for my whole life, I am super excited to explore the Bay Area and meet new people. In the future, I would like to learn more languages and travel around the world in hopes of bridging different cultures together while sharing my Taiwanese culture with others.

 

Zoe Slatkin – Zionsville, IN

Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University

Hello! My name is Zoe Slatkin, and I am from Zionsville, Indiana. I am a Taiwanese-American since my mother is Taiwanese. Although I was born in the United States, I lived in Taipei for seven years until we moved back at the start of elementary school. I grew up in a bilingual and bicultural household where I ate well—at Thanksgiving and Chinese New Year— and grew up appreciating the best of both worlds. More than anything, I miss the night markets and street foods like mán tou, yóuyú wán, and zhu xiě gāo. This fall, I will attend Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. I plan to pursue a double major in aeronautical and mechanical engineering. In the future, I see myself working as an engineer at NASA or SpaceX, the leading forces of cutting-edge aerospace technologies and aviation. In addition to designing and testing engines, I hope to focus my studies on zero-fuel aircraft and advanced materials, notably graphene and nanotubes. I am currently an active member of Model United Nations, Engineering Club, and Kiwanis Key Club. I have also volunteered for years with my father at a community kitchen, putting in hundreds of hours and helping different communities around the city, including the Asian-American community. Additionally, I would like to improve my Chinese, take up figure skating once again, go on another cross-country road trip, and learn to cook without the rice cooker.