Receiving the Daisy and Robert Pang Scholarship at the National University of Singapore (NUS) meant a lot to Science student Celestine Cai Xueting. It allowed her to make full use of the wide range of opportunities that NUS has to offer.
“The award has given me access to many helpful and stimulating specialist textbooks that would have otherwise been very costly and unaffordable. Last summer, I was also able to participate in a research programme working on a multiplex PCR diagnostic panel used for detection and diagnosis of illnesses and diseases. This summer, I hope to participate in research programmes overseas to gain exposure to the laboratory practices of international institutes. This valuable research experience would have been a pipe dream without the award,” Celestine expresses.
The Daisy and Robert Pang Scholarship was established in 1986 for undergraduate students with excellent academic results.
According to the Year 2 Life Sciences major however, being a Science student is a lot more than just hitting the books.
“Every day at the Science Faculty has been filled with learning. The professors are very experienced in their diverse fields, and there are many opportunities to do research under them. The curriculum is such that there is enough flexibility for students to choose their modules and explore the fields of their liking, whilst ensuring sufficient broad based scientific knowledge. On top of that, the Science Club organises many fun extracurricular activities for students to broaden their experiences and step away from all the academic stress,” Celestine shares.
Having been on some community service trips, Celestine developed a deep interest in point-of-care diagnostics and aspires to become a research scientist to develop cheaper, more accurate, and more accessible test kits.
“The award has not only given me the chance to study in NUS and pursue my passion in science, it has also allowed me to throw myself headfirst into the world of science and research without having to worry about finances. I feel so grateful because all these used to be just a pipe dream,” Celestine admits.
The aspiring scientist also finds time in her busy schedule to contribute to a charitable cause – the Artwards project by Artsolute, which brings art therapy to the sick. Professional artists do simple artwork with patients at the National University Hospital while volunteers chat with them and guide them through the art therapy.
“Artwards has brought together my hobbies – art, and reaching out to the community. As much as I try to give, I always feel that I receive so much more. Interacting with patients from all walks of life has been a very enriching experience, and I hope that the patients feel the same way about trying out art therapy. Seeing healthcare at the ground level has also strengthened my aspiration to improve diagnostic technologies through advancing research in the field,” she explains.
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