International Student Awarded American Heart Association’s Pre-Doctoral Fellowship
Student: Yumeng Hao
Home Country: China
Degree: PhD student, Molecular Biology, School of Medicine
When international student Yumeng Hao received offers from four top universities to pursue her graduate career in the United States, the choice was clear: the University of Colorado Denver. Hao explained: “The Molecular Biology program not only fits my academic interest the best, but also provides opportunities to enrich my graduate school experience and help me in my future career.” Hao commented that she has never regretted her choice.
At this spring’s luncheon for international students hosted at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus by International Student & Scholar Services, Office of International Affairs, Julie Wilbers, Senior International Student & Scholar Services Specialist, learned more about Hao’s educational experiences.
American Heart Association’s Pre-doctoral Fellowship
Hao was one of six recipients in the Southwest affiliate, and one of 49 awardees nationwide, to be awarded the American Heart Association¹s pre-doctoral fellowship. It is one of the few awards open to international students. When several of her lab members received fellowships, she challenged herself to apply. Hao was granted the $50,000 fellowship for a period of two years, providing her financial support in her graduate education, as well as opportunities to network with others in her profession. Hao feels that it has been important in helping to build her confidence in future success.
Support and gratitude
“I understand it is hard to live in a different country and start a new life. But I¹m lucky enough to have my lab, the graduate school program and all my friends to support me all the way.” Hao specifically feels thankful to her mentor, Dr. Jeffrey Kieft, and all of the Kieft lab members who have provided her with academic, social, and cultural support during her time here.
Lessons for Success
Hao believes studying in the U.S. is a wonderful opportunity to learn about American culture.
“I personally think studying in a foreign country is a great opportunity to learn more things about other people and about a different culture. This experience broadens horizons, gives us the chance to bridge cultures, and to communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds.”
One of the most valuable lessons Hao has learned as a student has been to never be afraid of asking questions or asking for help. She encourages people to step out of their bubbles and to try new things because
“if you don¹t try to fly, you will never have the whole sky!”