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Lee Yong-hwa Wins Two Scholarships from U.S. and Britain

Lee Yong-hwa Wins Two Scholarships from U.S. and Britain

Posted July. 12, 2005 03:15,   


“After studying clinical medicine and immunology, I would like to use what I have learned to help others.”

Lee Yong-hwa, 24, who had been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship last year from Oxford University—and thus became one of 32 full-scholarship recipients—also received another scholarship last June that is granted to 12 immigrant college students who have demonstrated strong leadership and outstanding school activities in the U.S. Lee showed her strong will to recompense what she learned to society in an interview with Dong-A Ilbo held on July 10.

Lee, who graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in June, visited Korea early this month to take part in a seven-day forum, “Young Generation Forum,” organized by the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies. The forum started from July 4 with the invitation of both international and domestic students who have proven to possess talent in science.

Several world leaders including former U.S. President Bill Clinton have received the Rhodes Scholarship. In addition, the scholarship Lee received last June was set up with the purpose of supporting immigrant leaders in the U.S., who include former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. She is originally from the Czech Republic.

Last month, Lee met former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at the scholarship-awarding ceremony held in California and had a talk with her.

“She said to me that it was not a matter when you came to America because there is no difference between coming here in the 18th century and a few months ago, and added that since all people have their own values, you should be proud of yourself. She also encouraged me by saying that when she came to America first, she never dreamed of being secretary of state.”

Lee and her family moved to Seattle in 1998 when she was the in her first year of Gyeongnam Science High School, and three year later, she received a full scholarship from MIT.

Lee served as president of the school adaptation program for new students for three years since her sophomore year, and was selected as a member of school’s boat racing team. She also volunteered at a shelter for abandoned women and children and hospital emergency room in Honduras for one month in January 2003.

To them, Lee translated first aid medicine guides into Spanish and attempted to find out what they really needed. For example, she handed out four booklets about sanitation management and emergency treatment after gathering information about them.

“It was an invaluable experience to me. I always thank that I can help others by using what I have learned.”

Lee, who majored in brain and cognitive sciences and biology at MIT, is pursuing doctorial degree in the field of infectious disease at Oxford in England starting from September 2005. Thereafter, she plans to continue her study in Harvard Medical School.

“I would like to work in the field of international health to help those who suffer from poverty and disease. Even though I can’t show the precise picture of my plan now, what I really want to do is something beneficial to others, in any way.”

Hyo-Lim Son aryssong@donga.com