The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Yuying (Chloe) Zhang Selected as 2020 Celebration of Excellence Student Speaker


Yuying (Chloe) Zhang, a chemistry major on the pre-med track, has been selected as the student speaker of the 2020 Commonwealth Honors College Celebration of Excellence. The event will be made available on the Honors College website on Thursday, May 7, at 6:30pm. In her speech "After Brushing My TeethThen What?," Chloe explores the uncertainties of life.

“Being a student speaker is like winning a musical award where I can use my tune to create resonance, to express gratitude, and to voice the words that are buried in the mind,” Zhang said.

During her time at UMass, Chloe earned many prestigious awards, including the Edward Shapiro Scholarship, Oliver Zajicek Memorial Scholarship, Dr. John H. Moran Scholarship, and Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship. She was also awarded an Honors Research Grant and presented at the Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference, where her abstract and poster were accepted by the American Chemical Society National Meeting in 2020.

Beyond her academics, Chloe founded the KPop Dance Club on campus, was named Resident of the Year in 2018 by the Residence Hall Association, served as house council president and, later, as a resident assistant and teaching assistant. She furthered her interest in the medical field by working in patient support at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Massachusetts.

As a member of the UMass Baccalaureate MD (BaccMD) Pathway Program, Chloe has received a provisional acceptance offer to UMass Medical School.

Chloe shared a brief poem entitled “Who Am I?” She wrote,“Some people know me as Chloe/Some people know me as Yuying…/If you know both, then you have probably witnessed my growth and transition.” You can find the entirety of her poem below.


Who Am I?

Throughout my life, I have played many characters

When I was born, I became a daughter

When my brother was born, I became a sister

When I immigrated to the United States, I became an immigrant

When I entered UMass Amherst, I became a first-generation college student

Who am I exactly? Perhaps it is a question that I am still investigating

Some people know me as Chloe

Some people know me as Yuying

Those who know Chloe describe me as outgoing, confident, and good at public speaking

Those who know Yuying know that I used to be shy, lacked confidence, and terrified at public speaking

If you know both, then you have probably witnessed my growth and transition

At home I speak Chinese

At school I speak English

With friends, I try to practice my broken Spanish

Who am I exactly? I am probably a lover of languages

When kids were running around playing hide and seek

I was learning how to properly pronounce Snicker versus Sneakers

When students were hanging out after class

I was working at Dunkin Donuts to pay off my tuition and to care for my family

Who am I exactly? I am probably a lover of challenges

I am a commander of the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps who exemplifies the values of integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do

I am a High-School financial aid coordinator who believes in servicing underserved populations such as first-generation college students

I am a House Council president who promotes community inclusion for students

I am a founder of a non-audition-based K-pop Dance Club on campus who advocates for equal opportunities for students to showcase their talent despite differences in dance level

I am a resident assistant who supports the well being of students

I am a patient support who is passionate about the field of medicine

Who am I exactly? I am probably a lover of leadership

Last year during my twentieth birthday, I wished for self-empowerment

This year during my twenty-first birthday, I wished for self-encouragement

Throughout my life, I have played many characters, and together they have contributed to who I am today

No matter what my next character will be, I hope to play it with optimism, perseverance, and strength