College of Science & Engineering Alumni Newsletter

Fall 1998


Joy Kong, the student speaker for the class of 1998 and the hood recipient of the College of Science & Engineering, graduated with a major in physiology and a minor in chemistry. She transferred here from City College and has maintained a 4.0 grade point average.

Joy was born in Beijing, China, and attended Beijing Polytechnic University for two years studying architecture. Joy had intended to come to the United States for graduate work, but Tienanmen Square intervened and it became difficult for students to leave China. Still, in 1992, with the help of some Americans she met while guiding them on a tour through Tibet, she managed to immigrate alone to the United States and began at City College.  At San Francisco State, she has been supported by a grant from the NIH funded program called Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC). This grant has allowed her to pursue her studies in physiology in the laboratories of Dr. Joe Reyes. As there are only 500 MARC awards in the country, this was a significant Honor. Joy became interested in Biology at an early age. She read Darwin’s Origin of the Species when she was 10 and her interest has continue to develop. Her most recent research is on Long-Term Potentiation on the Lateral Perforant Path in rat hippocampus. This work seeks to elucidate the cellular mechanisms by which animal learns.

Next year she will study at the Mayo Clinic under an NIH predoctoral fellowship for Minority Recent Graduates in Patient Oriented and Clinical Research. She will then pursue an M.D./Ph.D. combined degree so that she can continue her research and also be involved in patient care.

In addition to her study and research, Joy has been a volunteer advisor in the Pre-Health Professions Student Alliance and a volunteer in the oncology nursing unit at Stanford Hospital. With GRE scores in the 96th and 97th percentile and a Biology GRE score in the 99th percentile (score of 910), she will succeed in her career plans.

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Updated by Lannie Nguyen-Tang on August 3rd, 2000