The Point Flagship scholarship for LGBTQ students provides financial assistance, mentoring, leadership programming, and more, to help LGBTQ students attending 4-year colleges or graduate schools achieve their dreams. Learn more about the flagship scholarship program and apply to join this year’s class.

Why did you choose your major or program? 

I chose to study biochemistry in college because I wanted to solve some of the world’s biggest problems such as cancer and antibiotic resistance. As I learned more I became strongly convinced that the complexity of cancer biology also demands a strong grasp on physical and computational sciences in addition to the traditional biological sciences I was exposed to, therefore I made a last-minute career change and decided to pursue a master’s degree in computational biology to make up for my previous lack of quantitative skills, in preparation for my MD-PhD application.

What is a fun fact about you that few people know?

I was a fish vet back home in China and my proudest moment was when I excised a tumor from a fish’s fin and managed to keep him alive afterwards.

What is your favorite song and why?

Delilah by Florence + The Machine It’s the song that was on repeat the day I first got off the plane from China to the U.S. alone and began a new chapter in my life, it reminds me of home.

What is your current favorite streaming binge and why?

Grey’s Anatomy; It’s been a constant in my life for 10 years now and I mostly just play it in the background while I do other work. It brings up the passion I have for medicine and public health. Besides I like how the show portrays every doctor as kind of a workaholic obsessed with their work, exactly like me.

What is your favorite hobby or activity you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy spending my free time cooking/baking, spending time with my pets (rabbit and fish!), reading, exercising and occasionally shopping.

How have your identities (race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender) affected your college experience?

It was an interesting process to adapt to a college environment as a first-generation foreign student. Because I was lucky enough to be in a very liberal and diverse university, UC Berkeley, I received more support about my sexuality and identity than I thought I could have or even deserved to have.

How do you practice self-care?

The virtual working environment means that there is no more commute time which was what I used to use as my break time to clear my head so now I give myself a one hour break in the morning and in the afternoon to listen to some music and enjoy some tea so I can slow down the pace of my work when it gets overwhelming.

How are you adjusting to the “new normal” as we’re emerging from this pandemic? Do you have any tips for other students who are going back to college this semester?

I am still adjusting to it and I will also be a student who is going back to school this coming semester. The pandemic cut off a lot of personal interactions so I am very much looking forward to connecting with people in person and hopefully getting to form a friend circle once the semester begins.

This post’s responses were submitted by René Plessner Point Scholarship recipient Manny Faris (He/Him).

Davy is currently studying Computational Biology and Quantitative Genetics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Read more about the Point Flagship Scholarship for LGBTQ students program here.

Please follow and like us: