May 17, 2019 Richard Rezler
In one of her final acts as a Washtenaw Community College student, Vivian Wang encouraged her fellow high achievers to step outside their comfort zone in order to maximize their college experience.
Wang, who will graduate with a General Studies in Math and Natural Sciences associate degree and an advanced certificate in C++ Programming with a 3.95 GPA, was the student speaker at the Spring Honors Convocation on Thursday, May 16.
A selection committee chose Wang as the student speaker for the biannual event that celebrates all students who earned high honors (3.8+ GPA) in the Winter 2019 semester and honors (3.5-3.8) and high honors (3.8+) graduate candidates.
“It took me four years to realize I was my own stumbling block,” said Wang, an international student from the Jilini province of Northeast China who came to Ann Arbor in 2015 as a high school sophomore. She had trouble fitting in with kids who had been friends since kindergarten, blaming the environment and her English proficiency.
When Wang enrolled at WCC, she “stayed in my own little bubble.”
That bubble popped when Wang accepted a job as a WCC Student Ambassador, which led to more involvement on campus. She joined the Phi Theta Kappa honor society and founded “Transfer to Success,” a student group focused on helping those interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree.
In retrospect, Wang says she realizes she hadn’t “made the effort to talk to people, share my interests and contribute my skills. I held myself back from taking the opportunities around me. So please,” she told other honor students in attendance, “learn from my lesson; get out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself, take advantage of the resources around you, and bring your uniqueness to the WCC community.”
After pursuing her own bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, Wang hopes to build a career as a software engineer focused on creating learning tools for physically and mentally challenged children.
WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca, WCC Board of Trustees secretary Angela Davis and Dean of Health Sciences Dr. Valerie Greaves also addressed the Honors Convocation invitees and their guests. Vice President of Instruction Dr. Kimberly Hurns served as the master of ceremonies.