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Heading Uptown - Salute to Student Scholars Series

March 9, 2009

This is another story in a series of articles about BMCC student scholars. This ongoing series focuses on students with high grade point averages, who have either overcome personal barriers and /or have contributed to the co-educational life of the college.

Gary Chang began his studies at Columbia University this semester and, if all goes according to plan, he plans to pursue an MBA degree.  But by his own account, he would never have gotten to this point in his academic career without BMCC. 

“BMCC opened my eyes to subjects I knew nothing about and gave me precisely the skills, guidance and support I’ll need to move forward,” he says.

Looking skyward
A liberal arts major, Chang decided early on to venture into other areas and wound up in an astronomy course taught by Prof. Barry McKernan.  “It wasn’t until I took this course that I realized how fascinating science can be,” Chang says.  “What made it so interesting was Prof. McKernan’s hands-on approach—and his willingness go beyond the confines of the classroom and textbook. One day he led us outside and had us observe the sun, focusing on the direction where it rises and sets. It was an amazing experience.”

While maintaining a 4.0 GPA, Chang also made time for extracurricular activities at BMCC, he served as president of the college’s chapter of Chi Alpha Epsilon, a national honor society that recognizes the academic achievements of students admitted to colleges and the universities through non-traditional criteria. He was also vice-president of BMCC’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) chapter, which encourages the academic success of two-year college students.

At Columbia, he is majoring in economics and eventually hopes to earn an MBA at Harvard or Penn.  “My long-term goal—and passion—is to start my own business,” he says. 

He is also interested in philanthropy.  “I want to learn the basic concepts of both areas—business and philanthropy—and, perhaps, make a difference to the community.” 

Just as BMCC has made a difference for him, he might add.



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