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Shih-Ting Alyssa Yang

The Ripple Effect

Shih-Ting Yang grew up in the island-nation of Taiwan. She also goes by Alyssa. She is well-versed in STEM and humanities, and she is passionate and committed about bridging the gap between technology and morality to improve people’s lives.

She inherited her wanderlust from her parents. Her family used to travel around the world, both for fun and for academics. Being able to interact with people from various backgrounds broadened her worldview and allowed her to develop her own identity. Diversity has taught her introspection. As she got older, she began to understand the political tensions in her home country that transcend traditional principles of peace and patriotism. 

Alyssa used to be very STEM-oriented, but after participating in UPenn’s summer Social Justice Academy, she realized that people’s pre existing biases are reflected in the innovations they make and the systems they set up. Aside from taking a rigorous course load that ranges from APUSH to AP Comp Sci, she actively seeks opportunities to improve her soft skills. 

She is the founder of the mock trial club, the first student-run club in her school. She leads a team of five members and hosts monthly mock trial competitions. She was selected as the student project head in the Columbia Climate School’s online high school program, organizing weekly study sessions and overseeing the group’s magazine publication. Additionally, she was a two-time USAD Decathlete and is now the co-leader of the club. 

Outside of school, Alyssa is a Pioneer scholar with a research concentration in The Social Life of Technical Objects. She will be exploring the interconnectedness between societal factors and STEM applications and examining the harmful effects that can come with this interdependency. She has participated and won awards in USACO, iGEM, and MUN. Alyssa’s weekends are spent mostly with her family and friends, but she also utilizes the time to take coding lessons and tutor kids at a children’s home in her neighborhood.

Alyssa’s favorite Chinese saying roughly translates to “one who has never tasted what is bitter does not know what is sweet.” She looks forward to being in a multidisciplinary and dynamic learning environment and to engaging in intellectual debates and foster lifelong friendships. She hopes to study Science, Technology, and Society (STS) and molecular biology in university, and to ​​analyze, contextualize, and draw connections between science and society.

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