Chung Harmonizes Life of Music, Biology

Yan Yi “Anny” Chung was awarded the Harrison D. Stalker Award, which is given to a graduating student for excellence in biology and contributions to the university through art and community service. (Courtesy Photo)

A mariachi band performs at St. Cecilia’s Lent fish fry every year in St. Louis. And for the past few years, the violinist hasn’t been Mexican, or even Catholic.

She has been Taiwanese student Yan Yi “Anny” Chung, Arts & Sciences Class of ’11.

In recognition of her many and varied talents, Chung was awarded the 2011 Harrison Dailey Stalker Award in Biology. The award, named for a former biology professor, goes to a graduating senior in biology whose undergraduate career was marked by outstanding scientific scholarship and contributions to the university through art and community service.

Since her freshman year, Chung has been involved in ecological research under the guidance of Tiffany Knight, PhD, associate professor of biology in Arts & Sciences. Chung found that non-native plants integrate readily into native plant-pollinator networks through the agency of generalist pollinators; their effects on the pollinator visitations to native plants species is limited.

“I can never get over the huge amount of resources available to students at Washington University, whether it is for community service, research or any other activity,” Chung says. “The students I’ve worked with are all incredibly talented and passionate individuals. The professors are dedicated people who are always willing to provide opportunities for teaching, research and performance. They, as much as the infrastructure at the university, have helped shape my college experience and made it memorable.”

Her work extends even beyond academic success, research and playing the violin.

Chung was a teaching assistant and peer tutor for the biology department. She also tutored grade school students in science, math and English through the Community Service Office’s Each One Teach One program.

“Coming from a completely Taiwanese education, I never had the opportunity to volunteer and engage in community service. I really looked forward to trying these things in college,” she says. “I got started and just loved it. St. Louis is such a complex city with all the different neighborhoods and people. Doing things like tutoring and performing allows me to see parts of the city and people that I otherwise would not have.”

Chung will be attending Rice University’s ecology and evolutionary biology graduate program in the fall.

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