Tony Yang remembers his first day in a Genetics class when his teacher asked, "What are your future goals?" Tony recalls thinking he would like to be a scientist but was unsure of the career path to achieve this passion. That’s when his instructor, Dr. Kristyn VanderWaal Mills, responded that her job was to help Tony achieve his goal and set up a viable path to move forward.
Dr. VanderWaal Mills recommended that Tony apply for the Science Scholars Program and consider stacking his Biology Transfer Pathway major with a Science and Engineering Technology major. Tony undertook lab research on grape genetics and was able to showcase his findings at a campus Student Research Showcase in May 2022 and then later, along with two other students, at a
Washington DC Science Conference that fall. Tony had this to say about the Saint Paul College
Science and Engineering Technology Program:
Despite the many misconceptions you may hear about community colleges, the programs at Saint Paul College were very helpful. They helped me achieve my career goals by presenting doorways, giving me real-world exposure to the world of science, and providing me with the necessary experience, knowledge, and opportunity to shine in a competitive field, even against those who attend more prestigious colleges. Not often can you do research, and even less often do you get to present this research at a national conference in Washington, D.C.
At Saint Paul College, I built meaningful, empowering, and motivating relationships with students, student groups, and faculty mentors who have helped me from straying away from my dreams. I believe the connections I built were key to opening many opportunities. Academically, they become a valuable resource to bounce ideas and learn much. They become good friends and serve as a foundation for a healthy lifestyle, and professionally, they serve as ever-stretching pillars that can help you reach your dreams and aspirations!
The Science Scholars program provided Tony with connections and money to complete his degree. He was awarded $2000 for 6-11 credits and $3000 for 12+ credits, so he could work less and take out fewer loans. Tony achieved all this as a non-traditional student with family and work obligations through tenacity, passion, and drive to reach his dream!
Tony greatly appreciated the career mentoring he received that helped give him the confidence and skills needed to start finding jobs that would strengthen his skills in the scientific field. Tony used these new-found skills and confidence to receive an offer as a Technical Aid at 3M in their Nano-Imprint Lithography Lab. After gaining exceptional experience at 3M, Tony advanced as a Microbiology Laboratory Technician at Boston Scientific. At Boston Scientific, he performs Kinetic Turbidimetric Bacterial Endotoxin Testing and Bacterial Indicator Sterilization Testing.
If you want an experience similar to Tony’s, apply to be part of the Science Scholars Program today at
Saint Paul College Science Scholar.