If ever there was a poster child for exploring new opportunities and expanding skill sets, first-year pharmacy student Hayoung Chang may fit the bill.
The South Korean national built up an expansive high school resumé that boasts accomplishments in the arts, sciences, and sport, and her thirst for exploration has carried over into her first semester at Northeastern.
“I was just so interested in so many different areas that I didn’t want to focus on just my math and science classes,” said Chang. “I wanted to throw myself into different experiences.”
She studied at the Daegu International School, a small school about 150 miles southeast of Seoul, where she got involved in a variety of activities and student organizations. She served as class president, played first violin in the school orchestra, and was an avid member of an animal protection organization that helped educate her peers about the cruelty of animal testing.
Inspired by the South Korean fencing team’s performance at the London Olympics in 2012, she even took up the sabre.
Chang said she was probably most well-known around her school for her television show “Chang Chat” that aired on the school’s broadcasting system. “I would choose a topic, like favorite music, and go around school interviewing students,” she said. “The younger students were so excited to be on camera, and the principal always wanted to be part of the show.”
It was during an internship at a psychology lab between her freshman and sophomore years that Chang realized her passion for the pharmacology field. She was reviewing an article on post-traumatic stress disorder, and pharmacological treatments for it. She was so fascinated by the topic it motivated her to write her own research paper on PTSD that was published in the National High School Journal of Science.
Now that her first semester at Northeastern is underway, Chang said she is focusing on her studies. But that isn’t stopping her from trying out a wide breadth of elective courses, including the history of fashion and African American history through music.
“In high school a lot of my classes were in science and math,” she explained, “and coming here for school is a big change, but getting to take all these electives is pretty cool.”