Student Highlights: Helen Tsang

Photo of Helen Tsang

Helen Tsang at the Asian-American Resource Center in Rockefeller Hall. Tsang was active in issues that affect Asian and Asian-American students at Cornell.

Major: Sociology
College: Arts and Sciences
Hometown: New York City

Why did you choose Cornell?
Because of its outstanding biology department and its beautiful campus.

Main Cornell extracurricular activity – why is this important to you?
Being the co-director of the East Coast Asian American Student Union Conference, planning a major event for the diverse group of Asian-American students on campus and working to instill a sense of Asian-American consciousness in the minds of Cornell students.
Also planning an Asian/Asian-American Welcome Reception to introduce first-year students to all the Asian/Asian-American student organizations on campus and working at the Asian-American Studies Resource Center, where I got acquainted with the Asian-American studies professors and staff and grew my network of mentors on campus.

Your most profound turning point while at Cornell?
Between my sophomore and junior year, I accepted Christ, changed my major, changed my career goals and became more active in the Asian-American community at Cornell.

Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most?
Asian American Studies Program faculty and staff, who encouraged me to continue advocating for Asian-American equality.

What Cornell-related scholarships did you receive?
The Meinig Family Cornell National Scholarship, which gave me the opportunity to be among individuals who were similar to me in leadership interests and provided me access to resources and a distinguished network.

Did any of your beliefs or interests change during your time at Cornell?
Definitely! Before Cornell, I was apolitical, had a clear goal of becoming a doctor. However, after taking a few Asian-American studies classes, I grew a consciousness for current events and became more politically involved.

While at Cornell, what other accomplishments/activities are you most proud of?
The success of the annual East Coast Asian American Student Union Conference. Along with 30 others, we were able to plan a conference for over 1,500 students from across the nation. Also, with several other students, we gathered support to have the administration meet the recommendations of the Asian/Asian American Task Force Report that was published over four years ago. Two of the recommendations were passed this year: the hiring of an assistant dean for Asian/Asian-American students and the creation of a cultural community center for Asian/Asian-American students.

What Cornell memory do you treasure the most?
There are too many memories that I have of Cornell. However, the two sets of memories that I value most were the two summers that I spent at Cornell, one before my freshman year and the other after my sophomore year. Both summers have affected my Cornell career in different ways.

What are your plans for next year and beyond?
Only God knows where I will be in the future.