Karen Ong: Chemistry
, August 20, 2008
Senior chemistry major Karen Ong has proven herself an excellent student, a quality worker, and one who possesses a spirit of service—which is why she received the Richard A. Jackson Memorial Award from the chemistry department this year.
The award was established in memory of Richard Jackson, a PUC student who worked as a lab instructor in the chemistry department and exhibited a spirit of service and generosity. “With Rick it was all about everybody else,” says chemistry department chair William Hemmerlin. “If anybody needed help, Rick was right there.”
When Jackson passed away the year after his 1983 graduation, his family set up a memorial scholarship to help chemistry students who share Jackson’s attribute of willing, helpful service.
Ong came to PUC from Orlando, Florida. “I'm a long way from home, but when I came and visited PUC, I fell in love,” she explains. So she finds it all the more rewarding to have her hard work acknowledged. “I was, quite frankly, surprised to receive the Award!” Ong says. “And pleasantly so. It's nice to know that I'm a valued part of the department.” Her work in the chemistry department has included web applications projects, tutoring, and grading papers.
But most of all, Ong values the award because of her appreciation for the chemistry department. When she was interviewing at medical schools earlier this year and they asked about Pacific Union College, she “told them about how amazing our chemistry department is and how kind everyone is here.” The support that Ong has felt for her work and her future gives her a sense of belonging, despite the miles between PUC and Ong’s Florida home. “The best part of working and studying with the department,” she says, “is that it's basically one big family.”