In The Media

Clarity

By Jeff (Chi-Hung) Chen • Schulich Leader at Simon Fraser University
Fall 2013

This past summer, I had the amazing opportunity to work as a research assistant in a molecular and cellular cardiology lab. I was immersed in the world of research and I loved it. The discovery and application of knowledge and the sense of unity and collaboration among fellow academics really appealed to me.

So when the summer ended and the semester first started, I was a tad disillusioned. As I sat at my desk and studied, I felt like I was not contributing anything. I felt like I was not making a difference.

In a somewhat poetic way, it took another lab to make everything clear. While in my chemistry lab course, my professor brought up the opportunity to volunteer with Science In Action. She explained that the goal of Science In Action was to bring elementary and high school students into university labs to give them a chance to enjoy science and to cultivate an interest in the field. I had been looking for a way to share the passion that I had developed over my summer lab experience with others, and this seemed perfect.

The first event was called Halloween Spooktacular. At this Halloween themed event, I was responsible for by far the best task: making liquid nitrogen ice cream! During my time, I saw hundreds of smiling faces. With what I had learned through my studies, I was able to answer everyone’s questions. Then and there, my disillusionment towards my studies turned to clarity.

In addition to Science In Action, I have also played a more active role in the medical fraternity Phi Delta Epsilon. Along with continuing to volunteer with the Learning In Depth program, as the new Recruitment Chair this semester, I had the opportunity to completely overhaul the recruitment process. Having been a member of PhiDE for a year, I felt ready to take on the extra responsibility, and I was really glad I did. I redesigned the application and interview, and I had a lot of fun with it. But for me, the best part of it all was getting the chance to meet some extraordinary people! Through the recruitment process, I became really good friends with the new members. At their formal Initiation (see picture), I felt like I was a part of a small family.