Jacqueline Wu, Alice B. Macy Outstanding Undergraduate Paper Award Winner
- June 16, 2010
- Most likely place to find Jacqueline on campus: The NACS Computer Room underneath the Student Center, conveniently located near Starbucks and Jamba Juice – a good place, she says, to recharge while studying or writing a paper
Name: Jacqueline Wu
Hometown: El Monte, California
Major: political science
Most likely place to find Jacqueline on campus: The NACS Computer Room underneath the Student Center, conveniently located near Starbucks and Jamba Juice – a good place, she says, to recharge while studying or writing a paper
Best UCI memory: Dorm life at UCI
Why UCI, particularly political science?
I chose to come to UCI for its world-class research facilities and researchers/professors, and its central location. I’m studying political science because I view knowledge of politics as a form of empowerment. Understanding how, who, and why certain people get certain things has always fascinated me.
What do you plan to do after finishing your degree?
Following my undergraduate studies, I plan on taking a year off from school and then attending law school. With a law degree, I would like to eventually become a professor at a community college teaching Criminal Justice, Political Science, and/or Sociology. During my time off, I hope to complete an internship in Washington, D.C. as well as traveling abroad to Asia and Europe. I also have a great interest in real estate and have considered making a career out of it.
What would you consider your biggest accomplishments at UCI?
I feel like one of my biggest accomplishments at UCI has been transforming as a person. Overcoming shyness was definitely a challenge and a catalyst for my involvement in student and community groups. I learned that doing something - and risking the anxiousness it might make me feel – was better than doing nothing at all. Due to my self-initiated involvement with local community organizations, I feel more empowered and independent than I have ever.
In 2009, I received a Yum! Andy Pearson Scholarship which allowed me to attend the Organization of Chinese Americans Bamboo: Build, Breakthrough and Believe event in Washington, D.C. where I got to network with leading Asian Pacific American professionals. I also had the honor of being named one of the Top 30 Most Influential Asian Americans at UC Irvine by the Asian Pacific Student Association at UC Irvine during the 2009-2010 school year.
What activities have you been and are you currently involved with on campus and in
Since starting college, I have taken a particular interest in the Asian Pacific Islander community. During the summer of 2009, I began an internship with the Orange County office of the Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team and was a part of the planning committee for its 10-Year Anniversary Luncheon. Following that summer, I began a year-long internship with the Orange County chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans. I serve on its Advocacy Committee to raise awareness of local civil rights issues. On campus, I have worked closely with the Pre-Law Society at UCI as a publicity member and in 2009-10, served as vice-president (2009-2010). I am also the internal chair of the UCI chapter of Young Generation Asian Professionals, which is a pre-professional umbrella group that seeks to embrace cultural awareness and professional ambitions.
Are there any unique circumstances that have played a major role in where and who
you are today?
Growing up as the daughter of immigrant refugee parents has shaped my worldview in being grateful for what I have experienced and what is yet to come. Feeding my early interest in race relations has increased my awareness of the significance and implications of events. My father has played the most influential and important role in my life. Stemming from his role in raising me as a single parent to consistent lectures of moral principles and ethics, my father is the primary force that has shaped me to be the person I am today. Being accepted to college and having the means to study are definitely milestones for me. My family did not have the means to allow my father to study beyond third grade. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to fulfill my father’s dreams.