Towards a Healthier Psyche: Think Statistics.
For many years, Lo-Hua Yuan suffered from a severe mental disorder and because of this, she became intrigued by the complexities of mental illness and mental health. As a Ph.D. student studying Statistics at Harvard University, Yuan wishes to be able to use statistical methods, particularly in the area of causal inference, to help provide scientifically tenable answers to some of the intricate challenges in psychiatric analyses and mental health care.
As an incoming graduate student, Yuan was awarded the James Mills Peirce Scholarship, a merit scholarship given annually to some of the most talented prospective Ph.D. students in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering fields at Harvard University. She also received a National Physical Sciences Consortium Graduate Fellowship. She plans to complete her Ph.D. in 2017.
In 2008, Yuan graduated from East Lansing High School in East Lansing, Michigan and moved to Ann Arbor to attend the University of Michigan.
At the University, Yuan was excited to be one of the pioneering concentrators in the newly launched Life Science Informatics program. She also completed a second B.S. degree in Math. Outside the classroom, Yuan was an active leader in student organizations such as the Taiwanese Student Association, for which she co-founded a traditional Chinese folk dance troupe, and K-grams, a program that connects college and elementary students in the surrounding community through a pen pal letter exchange. Yuan was also part of the UM Tzu Chi collegiate association, through which she taught weekend English classes at a senior living center. The first student organization that Yuan joined in college, however, was University of Michigan’s Stamps Scholars Society.
“One of the clearest memories I have of my freshman year at the University of Michigan was waiting on the warm, sun-stained steps of Angell Hall to walk with fellow incoming Stamps Leadership Scholars to our annual welcome dinner at Cottage Inn restaurant. It was there that I met the inspiring group of young people with whom I would share professional and personal connections for the next four years and beyond,” said Yuan.
Yuan realized that as a Stamps Leadership Scholar she was part of a network of young intellectuals who shared a common zeal for life and learning that spanned a gamut of disciplines. Yuan wanted to increase the University of Michigan Stamps Leadership Scholars’ sense of community and was elected by her fellow scholars to serve as president of the Stamps Scholars Society from 2009-2011 when the group was still in its nascent years. Besides planning regular bonding opportunities for the group, Yuan worked closely with her board members to solidify the Stamps Scholars Society’s presence as a formal student organization on campus. They initiated inaugural activities such as the Stamps Alternative Spring Break trip and participation in Detroit Partnership Day. They also planned community service projects and collaborative events with other scholarship societies on campus.
In the summer after her freshman year, Yuan traveled to Ghana with a dozen other University of Michigan students through the Global Intercultural Experience for Undergraduates (GIEU) initiative to implement plastics recycling programs throughout several university campuses and towns in Ghana. This environmental awareness field study gave Yuan an opportunity to explore a markedly foreign land and culture as a contributor and collaborator rather than as a bypassing tourist.
In spring 2012, after finishing her undergraduate degree, Yuan sat with several of her Stamps Leadership Scholars at the University of Michigan spring commencement and Yuan couldn’t have been in a better spot. As they marked a milestone in their academic careers by moving their graduation cap tassels from one side to the other, Yuan felt the completion of a circle. She was bidding farewell to her alma mater with the other Stamps Leadership Scholars, who over the years had grown from fellow students to friends, smiling by her side.
According to Yuan, “I am really proud to be a Stamps Leadership Scholar. Penny and Roe Stamps are truly amazing people. They’re not just giving students a financial means to attend college, but cultivating a family of bright minds, challenging us to dream deep and wide, and helping us manifest these dreams. Being an active member of the Stamps Scholars Society was, and will continue to be, one of the greatest satisfactions of my life.”