March 2, 2006

C.U. Student Wins USA Today Award

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Papers, classes and prelims are enough to keep most Cornell students busy all the time. Kevin Hwang ’07 however, has found time to do these things while earning a 3.78 GPA and founding a national undergraduate interdisciplinary journal called The Triple Helix.

His work has certainly paid off.

Hwang was one of 20 undergraduate students selected from over 600 applicants to be named a USA Today Academic All-Star. His profile was featured in the national newspaper, along with information about his work with The Triple Helix.

“It’s a great honor. I’m happy to be representing Cornell,” Hwang said.

Hwang founded The Triple Helix, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, in 2004 because he felt at the time that no journal at Cornell combined major disciplines.

Since then, The Triple Helix has expanded to 13 campuses in the United States and involves the combined effort of over 500 students.

“It was really just meant to be a Cornell journal. I never thought it would go national,” Hwang said.

Not only does The Triple Helix have a presence on campuses across the country, such as the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Pennsylvania and Dartmouth College, but will soon be published in Europe, Australia and Canada.

“It’s important to include international students to get even more global perspectives on different topics,” Hwang said.

The Triple Helix raises awareness among undergraduate students of career possibilities that span multiple disciplines. The group also holds speaker events, helps students bridge the gaps between certain fields and gives involved students the opportunity to have leadership roles on their campuses.

“Kevin’s work with The Triple Helix has empowered undergraduate students to realize that they can generate a first-class magazine that tackles some of the most complex issues in science and society today,” said Prof. John Helmann, microbiology, who is Hwang’s research advisor. “I am not at all surprised by Kevin’s selection as a USA Today Academic All-Star. He is a truly impressive individual with an exceptionally long and impressive record of accomplishment.”

Hwang’s accomplishments, aside from The Triple Helix, include being vice-president of the Undergraduate Society of Intellectual Property, former treasurer of Pi Delta Psi, a student representative on the Academic Integrity Hearing Board and a biology student advisor. He is also writing a book entitled Entrepreneurship and Management for the Effective Student Leader.

“I’m interested in getting a lot of different experiences,” Hwang said of his accomplishments.

A Harvard student was the only other Ivy League student recognized by the USA Today. The competition included a nominating and application process with an essay and multiple letters of recommendation. Hwang was nominated by Prof. Michael Lynch, science and technology studies.

“This year’s honorees represent a new generation with passion, promise and a global perspective,” said USA Today editor Ken Paulson in a Feb. 14 USA Today article. “We’re pleased to be able to salute the good work and commitment of these outstanding students, all of whom are destined to make a difference.”

Hwang spends between 20 and 30 hours a week working on The Triple Helix alone and juggles working closely with hundreds of students around the country and keeping up with his schoolwork.

“There’s definitely more potential in me than I thought there was,” Hwang said.

Archived article by Nate Lowry
Sun Staff Writer