Wenjun Kong

St. Louis, MO, US
Field of Work 
Biology
 
Software engineering, Biotechnology
Company 
Washington University in St. Louis
Job Title or "Student" 
Ph.D. candidate in Biology
Education 
Washington University in St. Louis
Degree 
Pursuing a Ph.D.
Education Level 
Bachelors
Profile Biography 
As I grew up in China, being a good kid, as quiet and obedient, has been a long-lasting virtue for children, particularly for girls. Though I had an interest in STEM, I was told by my parents and teachers to pursue a non-STEM career. When I got a bad grade in Math, my teacher would attribute it to me being a girl and does not have a mindset in Math. These words were like needles poking my heart. Yet, I kept my opinions to myself as I would not want to be considered rebellious.

When I decided to come abroad to study, I told myself to start brand-new and at least follow my heart once coming to decide my college major. I majored in biomedical engineering and biology when I started college at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Later, I found my interest in computer science and software engineering. During my undergraduate studies, I found myself so enjoying the environment in STEM that I felt belonged, leading me to pursue a Ph.D. in computational biology. However, when I took my first internship as a software development engineer, I felt discriminated against by getting assigned the easier tasks. In addition, I noticed the unbalanced representation of females in the field and how much struggle that they were facing. I was actively involved in teaching and tutoring to help students, including female and minority students. I participated program to foster STEM interest in local middle schools.
Interests 
Working outdoors, Pets, Computing, Reading, Travel, Sports
Race & Ethnicity 
Asian
Level of Participation 
After-school visit, Online role model, Summer camp visit
My Experience 
I am a new Role Model.
Availability 
Evenings, Weekends
Resources 
Career exploration activities, Fun demonstrations or materials, Hands-on activities for students, Online Mentoring (email or Skype)
Program Affiliation 
None

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