Ching Yan “Winnie” Lau, a chemical engineering major in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, is going into her sophomore year with support from a prestigious ASU Foundation President’s Club Scholarship.
Lau, a student in ASU’s Barrett, The Honors College, was selected along with business major Chelsea Medbury from among 60 candidates who vied for the scholarship. It will provide $5,000 for each of them to meet education expenses during the 2012-2013 academic year.
Lau was the valedictorian of her graduating class at Coronado High School in Scottsdale in 2011. She is an ASU Obama Scholar and made the dean’s list in her freshman year.
She is a recipient of the Y.F. Wu Asian American and Pacific Islander Student Scholarship. It’s awarded to high-achieving U.S. students who exhibit leadership and participation in the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community.
Lau also was awarded the 2012-2013 Stephanie Lahti Memorial Scholarship. It’s given each year by the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering to a chemical engineering student who demonstrates a strong work ethic and outstanding interpersonal skills, and is involved in activities outside of engineering.
The President’s Club scholarship selection committee cited Lau’s work “both as a student and a member of the community, and felt she would be a great representative of the President’s Club,” said director Andrew Carey.
The scholarship is awarded to students who exemplify the ideals of the President’s Club. In addition to academic achievement, recipients must have experience in community service and involvement in the university outside of the classroom.
Beyond her studies, Lau is a member of several ASU student groups and volunteers with a number of community service programs.
She is the events coordinator for the Chinese Undergraduate Student Association, and grant-writing leader for the ASU student chapter of Engineers Without Borders.
She also participates in the Circle K International collegiate community service organization, as well as Challah for Hunger, which raises funds for hunger-relief charities, and Science Detectives, an after-school science program for fifth-grade students.
In the fall semester she will begin funded research through the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative. She’ll work in the lab of Mary Laura Lind, an assistant professor in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, exploring the use of membranes for the separation of biofuels from water – a part of research to develop renewable alternatives to fossil fuels and petroleum-based fuels.
Lau plans to take advantage of the Fulton Engineering Schools’ 4+1 program, which will enable her to earn a master’s degree within five years. She also has aspirations to earn a doctoral degree, and to work in industry.
“It felt so great and rewarding” to win the President’s Scholarship, Lau says. “I was actually hesitant to apply because I read that only two students would be chosen as recipients.”
The President’s Club scholarship brings with it an obligation for Lau and Medbury to help promote the President’s Club. They will participate in various public events in which the club is involved throughout the school year.