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[2018/07/04] Yeh Tsai-Chu, a School of Medicine Alumnus at the University of California Berkeley, Speaking at Commencement Created a Surge of Press Interest in Taiwan

Faculty of Medicine graduate Yeh, Tsai-Chu giving her “Make world a better place” commencement speech (Picture/description from UC Berkeley graduation live video)


Yeh Tsai-Chu, an alumnus of the Faculty of Medicine, was given the honor of representing her class by giving a commencement speech at University of California Berkeley School of Engineering. This was the first time in many years that a Taiwanese student was given the opportunity to give a commencement speech at UC Berkeley. Not only did she make it to the front page of newspapers in Taiwan, but she also created a surge of general media interest.


Yeh Tsai-Chu studied Gene Therapy at the School of Engineering and received her Masters in Translational Medicine. In her 6-minute speech, she first explained that, although she came from a medical background, she found many similarities between doctors and engineers, such as researching microscopic objects, working overnight and sacrificing holidays until the problem is resolved.


Yeh Tsai-Chu mentioned in her speech that the world is ever-changing and tools that were once able to solve a problem are soon out of date. Nevertheless, collective creativity, critical thinking and collaborative teamwork help replace such tools. She talked about a drop-out girl whom she met in Tibet as an example, explaining to everyone even if one does not have any tools, it is still possible to have the ability to change the world. This Tibetan girl used all her saved-up money to buy coal so that the students could feel warm in class during the coldest days in winter.


Yeh Tsai-Chu also said that, while many people outside of university may tell students to face reality, if we never have the courage to try, the result of doing so will never be known. Whether you are a scientist, an artist, a doctor or an engineer, no matter what your background is, life takes on the meaning that you give it the chance. The ability to change the world does not require having the right tools to hand, but rather having the ideas and mentality to create change in your heart.


When Yeh Tsai-Chu received her Bachelor of Medicine degree from National Yang-Ming University, she followed this by completing thePhysician Scientist Program” and was then given a scholarship to study abroad. In the US, she has studied the process of developing new drugs and how to incorporate successful medical research and newly developed techniques into clinical medicine in order to benefit patients. In addition to attending UC Berkeley, she has also studied at Harvard University and Washington University to further her education. She was also selected by University of California San Francisco to participate in their seed program at the Medical Center and take part in the development of new clinical research and clinical techniques at the hospital.


Both of Tsai’s parents are also alumni of National Yang-Ming University. At the graduation, another National Yang-Ming University Faculty of Medicine alumnus, Chen Guan Lin, also received his masters in Translational Medicine. Both of his parents were also alumni of National Yang-Ming University Faculty of Medicine.


UC Berkeley had three students representing their class by giving commencement speeches at the graduation and Yeh Tsai-Chu was one of them (picture/taken from the UC Berkeley web page)