Dong Quan Hao grad, who was pursuing a degree in the field of materials science and engineering, died unexpectedly on Tuesday, the University announced Wednesday. The cause of Hao’s death has not yet been released. He was 27 years old.
During his time at Cornell, Hao served as president of the Engineering Graduate Student Association from 2009 to 2010. He was recognized as a FlexEBio fellow for his work in the field of flexible electronics for biological and life science applications at Cornell.
According to an email sent to students, faculty and staff in the College of Engineering by Lance Collins, dean of the College of Engineering, several students said that Hao was “the best [teaching assistant] they ever had at Cornell.”
“Dong will be remembered for his joyful smile and his willingness to always lend a helping hand no matter what the project [was],” Collins wrote.
In a statement Wednesday, President David Skorton asked the Cornell community to take a “moment to acknowledge the tragic loss of a cherished member of our community.”
Hao was a temporary teaching assisstant with Prof. Peter Thomas Wolczanski, Chemistry, two years ago.
“[Hao] was a great kid, we had a lot of fun together,” Wolczanski said.
Plans to commemorate Hao’s life will be made in consultation with his family and friends, according to the University.