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News: Medical student appreciates foundation he received at Roane State

News: Medical student appreciates foundation he received at Roane State

Weng Leong Choy

Nov. 21, 2018

By Bob Fowler
Roane State staff writer

If it weren't for Roane State, he wouldn't be a first-year medical student at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis today, says Weng Leong Choy.

So he wants to give back to his alma mater by letting others know how vitally important Roane State was for him. "I really want to give thanks to Roane State," he said.

"I was able to get the attention I needed from my instructors because of the smaller class size," he wrote in an email. "This enabled learning and understanding on a much deeper level, and also better retention."

Choy, originally from Singapore, graduated with an associate's degree in biology in 2015. He's a first-generation college graduate from an economically disadvantaged background.

During his Roane State career, Choy attained a 4.0 GPA and won numerous academic awards.

While he regularly attained the Honor Roll each semester, Choy has compiled his own Honor Roll of Roane State educators he says were so crucial to his future.

"I received individualized attention from my instructors and had great access to them," he said. "If I wanted to take my learning to a higher level, I'd go to their offices and talk with them."

They include, among others:

Choy said even his last-minute admission to Roane State was a testament to the college's willingness to help students. He said Maria Gonzales, the college's director of parent and family engagement, worked with him "just before school started" to get him enrolled.

For Choy, Roane State also offered an opportunity to explore the world. He traveled to Belize and worked with Sain at a facility for autistic residents. His visit with Rahmanian to Costa Rica and Nicaragua was part of an independent scientific research project.

Academic awards Choy received at Roane State included the 2013 Diversity Contest, and second place statewide that year in a calculus competition conducted by the Tennessee Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges.

After getting his associate degree, Choy graduated Magna Cum Laude from UT with a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and molecular biology.

Choy says he remains in contact with several of his Roane State professors. "Till this date, I am still good friends with people I met at RSCC," he wrote,

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