Christopher HuynhNancy D. Palm UH Tier One Scholarship Endowment
From a young age, I was always taught to “work hard, but play harder”, and this adage applies now more than ever. Because these four years at UH are so crucial to determining my future, I have no intention of slacking off. I make sure that academics are my top priority, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the college life and what UH has to offer.
I love chemistry and am not too fond of biology, but biology covers integral parts of premedical studies so I picked a major that seemed to combine the best of both worlds – biochemical and biophysical sciences, commonly shortened to biochemistry. My interests primarily lie in the sciences, as this has always been my forte. Being at UH gave me the opportunity to pursue my passion for music, since my high school did not have an official music program, and I am currently pursuing a minor in music theory, which provides me with a nice break from the rigorous science courses I’m used to taking. I am a pianist and classical guitarist, and I absolutely love classical music and frequently attend concerts held at the Moores Opera House.
Campus and Community Involvement
I am currently an active member and the treasurer for two campus organizations, the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the Horticulture Society at UH. With ACS, I travel to various elementary, middle and high schools in the greater Houston area and perform chemical demonstrations for students, showing them the marvels of science and encouraging them to strive for higher education. I also regularly volunteer to tutor students in general and organic chemistry at the ACS Tutor Room located in the Lamar Fleming Building. With the Horticulture Society, I educate members and the general public about general gardening techniques and plant care, and I am also working to establish a slanted green roof with native Texas flora on top of the Keeland Center located near the G. D. Hines College of Architecture.
Awards and Honors
Throughout high school, I was an active member in the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), and I attended the Area, State and National Leadership Conferences, winning 2nd and 3rd in Forensic Science at the first two conferences and taking 1st place in all three in Human Growth and Development. In my sophomore year I won 1st place in the Science and Engineering Fair of Houston at the district level in physics for an experiment on wireless energy transmission. During my last year of high school, I attended the Houston Model UN Conference and was nominated for Best Position Paper and Honorable Mention. I was also the salutatorian in my graduating class of 2011 at DeBakey HS.
I’m taking Vietnamese right now, but I’d also like to learn Chinese and Spanish. I’d love to study abroad if I had the time for it because I love traveling and I’d like to practice the languages I’m learning.
In the summer of 2012, I had the opportunity to work as an undergraduate research fellow at the Methodist Hospital Research Institute under the supervision of Jason Sakamoto and Diana Chan in the Department of Nanomedicine. Our research was primarily focused on delivering nanoparticles to live human lungs for specialized therapy and to extend their viability time for organ transplantation. I worked alongside an intern from the Monterrey Institute of Technology in conducting a degradation study utilizing silicon nanoparticles in a closed system.
Also during that same summer, I worked with Dr. Evangelina Villagomez, Pat Casillas and other undergraduates from UH in a research study assessing youths’ perceptions of diabetes in the Magnolia Park area. For about 5 weeks we interviewed children from ages 5-16 about what they thought and knew about the disease, and we also implemented educational lessons on how to eat healthily and exercise to prevent diabetes.
My current objective is to attend medical school after graduating from UH and ultimately obtain an MD and work in a hospital setting, perhaps in the fields of anesthesiology, radiology or surgery. I am also interested in possibly pursuing a PhD and continuing with conducting research in the medical center or with going into academia and teaching at a university.