Wai Kat Lam has come a long way since she journeyed from China to the United States when she was 18-years old. “I wanted a change of environment that would bring me opportunity,” says Kat about pursuing a higher education. The Biology Major, Honors student and recognized award-winner finally found what she was searching for at LaGuardia Community College.“My mom wanted me to have a different life than her, so she encouraged me to go to college,” Kat shares about her mother whose elementary-level education limited her options, especially in trying to find a job to support her family.
Heeding her mother’s advice, the ambitious scholar immediately took advantage of the College’s resources and immersed herself in HSAC—the student-run collective that coordinates peer-led transfer and scholarship events and projects that promote student research and civic engagement. The support from her peers and community motivated Kat to reach even higher: she was elected as HSAC’s executive officer.
Kat’s dedication to her research on the effects of alcohol on the courtship, mating choices and fertility of fruit flies won her first place at the National Collegiate Honors Council for the 2013 Student Poster Presentation in Natural Sciences and Mathematics. She is also a research intern at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Carrying a 3.9 GPA, Kat is also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and has won two $1000 LaGuardia Foundation scholarships: LaGuardia Community College Merit Scholarship for STEM Majors and the Mary and David Soloman Scholarship.
Kat is looking forward to commencement in June, preparing to celebrate her proud success at LaGuardia with no regrets. After graduation, she will apply for transfer to John Hopkins University, Brown University and Cornell University, towards her dream of becoming a physician to research cancer vaccines.