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BMCC Student Wins Top Prize in the USA Today Academic Team Competition

April 24, 2006

Saint Hung is a partner in a consulting firm and his resume boasts work experience at such prestigious New York financial giants as Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan Chase. The 25-year-old BMCC student recently won top prize in the USA Today Academic Team, a respected competition, co-sponsored by both Coca-Cola and Phi Theta Kappa. The contest was open to students from public colleges throughout the country.

“I was 16 when I was working at Merrill Lynch, so when I went to college at SUNY Stonybrook, it felt like I was going backwards,” Hung explains. “I decided to drop out and keep working.”

For seven years, Saint Hung worked in the financial market without a Bachelor’s degree. It was after three years of working at JP Morgan Chase as a Senior Account Executive that he decided he needed a college degree.

“Stockholders want more returns on investments these days,” Hung said. “And companies are beginning to cut back on the commissions they give employees. That’s why I want to run my own business – to carve my own destiny. I came back to BMCC to work towards a degree.”

In July 2003, Hung set out, with a couple of partners, to put together his business plan. That’s how his company, Universal Processing Solutions, a financial services/portfolio management services company, came to be. He also began taking classes here at CUNY that fall.

“I didn’t care much for the college campus feel of Stonybrook,” said Hung. “But BMCC is perfect because of its location and because I can tailor my academic schedule around work.”

Saint Hung seems to juggle all of his life’s tasks quite well. The judges of the USA Today Academic Team, who placed him in Team One (the highest prize) figured that out after reviewing his application dossier: six essays, transcripts and recommendations from faculty, staff and mentors. Out of thousands of contestants, Hung was the winner of the only prize that includes scholarship money as well as the chance to represent BMCC at the AACC (Association of American Community Colleges) Conference in Long Beach, California.

In addition to being a superior student and a working professional, Saint Hung is also very involved in the community – especially the one here at BMCC. He is president of the Peer Mentoring Club, Student Ambassador of Office of Student Activities and has been an active participant in working with Dean Craig in setting up a Faculty Student Disciplinary Committee, a mock-court that decides on what kind of action to take against students, who’ve displayed criminal and/or unruly behavior. He’s a member of the media board and chair of SERC (Student Electoral Review Committee). A member of Phi Theta Kappa, he admits to being sleep deprived.

“I’m lucky to get four or five hours of rest a night,” Hung said, laughing.

When he’s not studying, mentoring other students or growing his clients’ base capital, Hung visits the Chan Meditation Center in Queens.

“I volunteer there as well as give to charities they support,” he explains. “But sometimes, I just need to go and meditate.” Well, it sounds like Saint Hung deserves to take a deep breath.

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