UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Ang Chen, a junior majoring in electrical engineering in the College of Engineering at Penn State, and a Schreyer Scholar, has been awarded the University's 2021 Ardeth and Norman Frisbey International Student Award for undergraduates.
The award recognizes undergraduate students who have contributed significantly to furthering international understanding. The student’s contributions could consist of academic, athletic or extracurricular campus activity and/or community involvement in school or civic group programs or service projects.
As international travel restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic prevented more than 400 incoming first-year students from China from traveling to Penn State’s campuses, Chen was instrumental in creating a welcoming environment through Penn State First: Shanghai Program.
As student program coordinator, teaching assistant and resident assistant in the Global Penn State sponsored program, Chen traveled to Shanghai, China, to promote the University’s goals for academic excellence, diversity and global citizenship. Chen helped lead on-site orientation, academic seminars, movie night, mid-autumn celebration, alumni connections, Halloween night and international education week.
“Ang worked diligently to be our ‘boots on the ground’ with the rest of the Penn State team, obviously, directing the program’s co-curricular activities from the United States,” a nominator said. “This work involved WeChat posts, deploying surveys, and following up with students in person that we were having trouble reaching. It was essential that we had Ang on-site to assist with organizing WE ARE events for students.”
As a teaching assistant, Chen helped 100 students in two sections of Math 140. He was resident assistant for 55 on-campus students. He’s also one of the leaders of Penn State Chinese Students and Scholars Association, a group that took on the role of helping international families gain access to information amid the pandemic. It also provided personal protective equipment to students.
“Whether leading a student club or working for Global Programs, Ang consistently goes above and beyond to fulfill others’ needs,” a nominator said. “He has made an outstanding contribution to the global community of Penn State. In doing so, he demonstrates to everyone in a positive way what ‘WE ARE’ truly means.”