By Heather Cass
Publications Manager, Office of Strategic Communications, Penn State Behrend
Penn State Behrend’s class of 2017 is ready to make its mark on the world! We’re proud of our students and the things they’ve accomplished and learned while here at Behrend. Over the next couple months, we’ll be introducing you to a few of our remarkable seniors who have overcome challenges, pioneered new technology, participated in important research projects, and left an impression at Penn State Behrend.
Today, we’d like you to meet Yuanheng “Arthur” Wang:
Yuanheng “Arthur” Wang is the definition of a standout student, and he has the accolades to prove it, including the T. Reed Ferguson Award and the Irvin H. Kochel Award. He is also a two-time winner of the Rose Cologne Keystone Citizen Award and, in 2016, received the LaMarr Kopp International Achievement Award, a University-wide honor recognizing students who have contributed significantly to the advancement of the international mission of Penn State.
Yuanheng “Arthur” Wang
Hometown: Kunming, Yunnan Province, China
On the value of strong faculty and staff mentors: Many faculty members at Behrend are not only wise mentors, but also thoughtful friends. During the past four years, many of my professors in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, especially those in the English program, have gone above and beyond to help me polish my education, support my intellectual and personal growth, and become a better person. Their guidance has been invaluable.
On choosing to major in English: It is the most versatile major in a liberal arts education. It can give me a solid and comprehensive foundation for whatever I do later in life, such as research, teaching, and mentoring. Moreover, the English program at Behrend features rigorous courses that combine both theory and practice. These courses helped me develop my critical thinking and communication skills, which will be useful in any field I later enter.
Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: The most personally rewarding one has been working with hundreds of international and multilingual students as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teaching assistant and tutor. Mentoring these students and interacting with them really enhanced my teaching and communication skills. It also helped me form an appreciation for multilingualism and broadened my horizons as the students I worked with came from all over the world.
Campus involvement: I was the regional vice president of the Student Penn State Education Association, the co-membership chair of the Lambda Sigma Honor Society and on the executive board of the International Student Organization. For three years, I have been an orientation leader during the International Student Orientation Week program, which is organized by the Office of Educational Equity and Diversity. (Editor’s note: Last year, Arthur even shepherded a group of Behrend-bound international students for 24-hours when their flight to Erie was canceled: Read his first-hand account of the travel nightmare turned bonding experience here.)
What you’d be surprised to know about him: Many people, particularly native English speakers, are surprised when I explain to them the seven different sentence structures of the English Language, which some of them don’t know.
Advice for current students: Try to spend at least one semester living with a roommate who comes from a different country, embodies different cultural values, and speaks a different language from your own. Trust me: You will learn a lot from that person and about yourself!
After his graduation in May, Arthur will attend graduate school at Columbia University in the Applied Linguistics program.