2022 Ignatian Hoya Recipient
Michelle Chung is from Boston, Massachusetts. Before coming to Georgetown Biomedical Graduate Education, Michelle majored in Biology and Medicine, Science and the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University.
Why did you choose Biomedical Graduate Education at Georgetown University?
I chose Georgetown University because I wanted to be in a program that prepared me well for the academic environment of medical school. By taking rigorous medical school courses along with the guidance of renowned professors and mentors, I knew that my experience at Georgetown would be formative to being a physician that cares for the whole person.
What do you hope to accomplish here at Georgetown and/or what is your interest in biomedical research or graduate studies?
At Georgetown, I hope to explore the beauty of human physiology and push boundaries to my learning as I acquire the most fundamental skills that are necessary for becoming a physician that fights for every patient. With the camaraderie of friends, faculty, and mentors, I am determined to face any and all challenges head-on, learn with humility, and maintain a curiosity that propels my pursuit for medicine.
What community service activity has meant the most to you?
In college, I challenged myself to step outside my comfort zone to work with populations I have never worked with before. So, I stepped inside a detention facility in Baltimore to teach a group of detainees GED English and Math every week in English and Spanish.
After this program was discontinued, I remained steadfast in wanting to continue working with the incarcerated populations and joined a nonprofit organization called From Prison Cells to PhD (P2P), where I served as a P2P tutor and assisted with workshops that were helpful for societal re-entry. During these interactions, I met individuals who needed to redefine a new normal as they lived new lives with titles such as “ex-convict” or “felon,” but still had an invigorating desire to do better and be better.
Working with these populations of currently and formerly incarcerated populations has taught me that advocacy is about meeting people in their current situation and trusting in their potential to be their best self when they may not be able to trust themselves. I have been challenged to see beyond immediate differences, to confront my cognitive biases head-on, and to persistently ask the unanswered questions that could be the key to ameliorating the suffering of marginalized members of our society. Through my experiences working with the incarcerated populations, I have become a firm believer of second chances and gained a more refined understanding of advocacy.
Is there anything else that you would like to share?
I am so grateful to have been one of the recipients of the Ignatian Hoya scholarship. As an aspiring physician, I want to continue being an advocate for the local community at Georgetown as I gain a stronger understanding of the pathophysiology of human disease and body systems through the Special Master’s Program in Physiology. I will persist in the fight against cognitive biases that perpetuate unfavorable psychosocial conditions of marginalized populations. I am committed to connecting with individuals of all backgrounds and better understanding how I can be their best advocate. Finally, I will choose to bring humanity to my studies and my future medical practice within Georgetown’s cura personalis mission as I am ready to take on any new challenge that comes my way.