News Release| Phi Kappa Phi; Cal State L.A.


Note to reporters:

To request a digital photo or to arrange an interview with David T.
Wang, please contact the Public Affairs office at Cal State L.A., (323)

CSULA student awarded
$5,000 Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellowship

19-year-old biochemistry major to head to MIT

Los Angeles, CA

Presented with a $5,000 fellowship toward his graduate studies, Cal
State L.A.’s David T. Wang
(Walnut, CA resident)

is one of only 57 students nationwide to be selected for the prestigious

Kappa Phi (PKP) Graduate Fellowship

for the 2011-12 academic year.

Wang—who will complete his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry
this spring at 19 years old—will pursue a Ph.D. through the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institution Joint Program starting this fall.

“Congratulations, David, for this well-deserved honor and recognition
of your accomplishments academically and contributions to the
community,” said Alfredo Gonzalez, dean of Undergraduate Studies at CSULA. “You make all of us at CSULA very proud!”

“David is an outstanding candidate for receipt of a [national]
Phi Kappa Phi fellowship,” said CSULA’s Chemistry Professor Scott
Nickolaisen. “He shows remarkable ability to understand [and solve]
complex concepts. ... Of all the students I have known in my role as a
professor and adviser at CSULA, I would place David as one of the top
five in terms of his intellectual ability and academic performance.”

A Dean’s List student, Wang is a member of CSULA’s
Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

Wang is also a recipient of the 2008 Student of the Year and
Honors Scholarship presented by the University’s G.E. Honors Program,
and the CSULA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s 2011 Katherine
Carter Award in Scientific Writing.

Wang took advantage of CSULA’s

Early Entrance Program

(EEP) to start college at the age of 15. EEP admits
extraordinarily gifted youngsters—some as young as 11—directly into
college, providing the early entrants with monitored evaluation, regular
counseling sessions, and the opportunity to study with like-minded

Wang said, “One of the best aspects of this program is the
support the students receive. EEPsters benefit not only from the advice
of a very dedicated staff, but also from the wonderful professors,
diverse campus, and peer interaction fostered by the program.”

“The faculty [members] are extraordinarily committed to their
students, and the guidance provided by my professors has been invaluable
during my time at CSULA,” he added. “In particular, Dr.
Andre Ellis has been a
fantastic mentor and research adviser, and it was under his tutelage
that I became interested in exploring the links between chemistry,
biology, and the Earth sciences.”

Also at Cal State L.A., Wang currently serves as vice
president of the EEP student government and is a member of the Student
Affairs Subcommittee in the College of Natural and Social Sciences. He
has also been actively involved with the University’s Associated
Students, Inc. and the CSULA Amnesty International.

Off campus, he has volunteered as an event supervisor for the
L.A. County Science Olympiad since 2008.

Additionally, he works as a research assistant in Professor
Ellis’s geology lab at CSULA, leading a team in developing stable
isotopes as tracers of chromium contamination in groundwater. He also
conducted research on drug resistance in ovarian tumors with the Dorigo
group at UCLA as a volunteer in the summers of 2008 and 2009, and as an
Amgen Scholar in the summer of 2010.

According to Ellis, “David is more than ready to take on a
career at the forefront of academic research. His intellectual ability
is second to none and he has been able to understand advanced concepts
in isotope geochemistry with ease. I have no doubt that he will be
competitive at any level and make unique contributions to the field.”

Every year, Phi Kappa Phi awards 57 fellowships of $5,000 each
and three at $15,000 each to members entering the first year of graduate
or professional study. Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi
Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective collegiate
honor society for all academic disciplines.


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Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to
the Honors College for high-achieving students, opening in fall 2011.
Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.


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