Class of 2022

Nicole Lee
Hairong Deng
Lingxiao Gao
Daniel Lin
Rachel Wang
Tianyi Wang
Ziyu Zeng
Kai Zhang

Nicole Lee

Lee Nicole

German Swiss International School, Hong Kong
Our Lady of Perpetual Succor Global Scholar,  Frank Reilly Scholar,  Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar

This fall, I began my journey at Notre Dame as a physics major. Now, with the experience of a semester behind me, I intend to double major in physics and German, with minors in journalism and the Glynn Family Honors Program.

Having lived in three major cities in Asia and studied at multiple international schools, I received my high school diploma from the German Swiss International School in Hong Kong— a school I attended for seven years. There, I was elected head prefect by the faculty, serving as an ambassador of the school. Outside the classroom, I was captain of the school’s underwater robotics team and alto section leader of our chamber choir. I was also active in the rink, playing ball hockey, and on the court, playing basketball for the school team for seven years, and coaching the junior team for my final three.

I am passionate about languages, owing to my desire to meet and communicate with people. I currently speak five language including English, German, French, Mandarin and Cantonese. I am looking forward to learning a sixth while studying at Notre Dame.

Though I have only been here for a short time, I have grown to love Notre Dame, the people, our school, our campus, and its warm, inviting atmosphere. Our community is second to none, and truly fosters a stimulating and balanced learning environment. As such, I intend to use my Notre Dame education as a platform for personal growth and education, with the ultimate intent of giving back to the greater community.

My professional goal is to be a journalist or documentarian with a specific focus on science journalism. Therefore, I plan to study abroad and participate in summer enrichment programs which will help me to further expand my world view and become a better global citizen. This will supplement my Notre Dame education and help me to raise awareness on key issues around the globe and effect change in the world around us.

Hairong Deng

Affiliated High School of Peking University, Beijing

I am a first-year student at Notre Dame, and a prospective Philosophy major with a Classical Language minor.

In high school, I joined the discussion group of Plato’s works. Three years of successive reading intrigued my interests in philosophy and ancient Greek civilization, which later determined my major. I also joined the campus newspaper club, investigated the cultural inheritance value of the gradually disappearing physical bookstores, organized lectures for peer students, conducted an independent investigation on the unbalanced educational resources in rural and urban areas, and founded a platform for recycling and co-sharing of the idle resources within campus.

My current mission at Notre Dame is reading books and learning ancient Greek. I plan to study abroad in Greece during the summer and my junior year. Meanwhile, I am participating in the Directed Readings program and exploring classical literature with my faculty mentor. During my time at Notre Dame, I have learned of some very well-organized service programs in the wider communities. I wish to participate in service programs during my future breaks, in order to have a deeper understanding of the real needs of this world and how I can be at its service.

Lingxiao Gao

Affiliated High School of Peking University, Beijing

I plan to major in History and Anthropology at Notre Dame, while considering a minor in Philosophy or in Art History. It is my utmost interest to decipher the enchanting myths of diverse human civilizations. I am fascinated by learning about how ancient people lived their lives, how different cultures interacted and synthesized into new flourishing styles, and how human species strive to pursue happiness and ultimate truth.

In high school, I served as president of the student government and founder of Yuanpei academic forum. I directed and led in the play “Audience that Are Bound” and performed in Nanyang High School in Singapore. I founded the team “Bookstore Travelers” to survey the significance of bookstores and advocate for cultural preservation. I attended the Pre-College Program of Peking University and took two courses on history and ancient Chinese culture; I was selected to attend the Harvard Secondary School Program, where I studied comparative philosophy and history-writing.

Following my passion in humanities, I take challenging courses offered by the University and the Glynn Family Honors Program. I am currently assisting in a research program led by a Notre Dame professor on ancient Chinese history and interpersonal relationships. I have also joined various cultural clubs and student associations. I performed a Chinese Pop Dance with other members from the Chinese Culture Society on the annual Asian Allure talent show. I served as the event facilitator, “the Fire Starter”, at Gender Relations Center. I hope to participate in or initiate more culture-related activities to enrich my college experience and promote the diversity of Notre Dame.

Daniel Lin

Lin Daniel

Taipei American School, Taipei

I find questions concerning the fabric of our humanity to be engaging. In light of these interests, I intend to study neuroscience and behavior and viola performance. I also intend to be partake in philosophical conversations beyond the two required philosophy courses.

Among the most rewarding experiences I carry with me are music performance, missions, scientific research, and athletics. I have been playing the violin and viola for 13 years, piano for eight. I am grateful to have performed at home and in Beijing, Singapore, Manila, Doha, Jakarta, and Luxembourg. Over the past four summers, I served as a missionary in Tainan, Taiwan, where I fostered confidence in students aged 5-18 to learn the English language, and shared my experiences as a Christian with them. Their smiles and voices echo in my mind, lending me peace and simplicity when the world seems to grow more complicated. In the summer of 2017, I interned in Professor Shin-Hong Shiao’s laboratory in National Taiwan University College of Medicine’s Department of Parasitology. I worked with graduate and doctoral students on a project investigating the potential of photosensitive dyes for implementation in larvicides targeting Aedes aegypti to curb dengue virus transmission. I also thoroughly enjoyed my time competing on my high school’s rugby, basketball, and cross-country running teams.

I currently play viola on the first stand in the Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra, and have recently begun to compose instrumental pieces. I actively serve as a peer advisor on the judicial council, editor for Scientia, performer for Sacred Music at Notre Dame graduate recitals, and artist with the Composer’s Consortium. Soon, I will commit to multidisciplinary research, both on campus and on a transnational level with the aid of Notre Dame’s global institutes. I read widely: from the world literatures to postcolonial theory to music history, seeking always to refine my capacity for expressing myself and understanding others – in English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and, hopefully, German.

Rachel Wang

Shanghai High School International Division, Shanghai

I am a proud Welsh Family Hall whirlwind from Watertown, Massachusetts. I am currently an intended major in political science, though I am also looking to add two supplemental majors of global affairs and Japanese to my repertoire.

In high school, I actively sought out opportunities to develop and pursue my interests. I led the school media group, which focused on giving students and parents more insight into school events and happenings through social media and video interviews. I created and led the Vocaloid Club to promote the appreciation and understanding of different cultures around the globe. In the Chinese National Language Olympiad, I won third prize and went on to coach and teach other students about the competition. I occupied my summers with volunteering at my former preschool and an internship at Spacious, a Hong Kong-based housing startup, in the summer of my junior year.

I was honored to be a part of and deeply moved by my experience in Notre Dame’s Outward Bound program this summer, where I had the chance to meet a plethora of amazing people from around the world and spent a week exploring my own limits in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. Back on campus, I have pursued various interests of my own as well: I have followed my dream of learning a third language, taking an intensive Japanese course and becoming junior officer in the Japan Club. I am also currently working with history professor Katie Jarvis on her newest publication, focused on the concept of justice in the time of the French Revolution.

Next summer, I plan on studying language intensively in a summer study abroad program in Japan. I also plan on becoming more involved in service programs in the community.

Tianyi Wang

Wang Tianyi

Nanjing Foreign Language School, Nanjing

I am majoring in physics and plan to double major in philosophy or honor Mmth.

In high school, I put most of my effort to physics study and activities. I attended the Jiangsu Physics Association Summer Camp, National High School Physics Tournament, Shing-Tung Yau Science Award, United States Invitational Young Physicist Tournament (USIYPT), and other physics activities, and earned Physics Tournament Provincial first prize and USIYPT Personal Best Poster Presentation Award. At the same time, I actively explored other fields of interests, including delegating Nanjing Foreign Language School in 2017 Peking University Model United Nations conference. I founded Dot Love Charity Club with my classmates and serve as vice president and accountant. We regularly do charity events in Nanjing Library and care centers for people with intellectual handicaps. We accompany them to make handicrafts and celebrate festivals, and hold charity sales and broadcasts.

My first semester at Notre Dame has been busy and fruitful. Before the fall semester, I joined the Outward Bound Program when I was immersed in nature, challenged myself, and received long-lasting friendship, which prepared me better for college life. This semester, I attended the Topology Reading Group led by Professor Connolly, and studied computer knowledge for physics under the guidance of professor Kevin Lannon. This prepares me for the research group in high energy particle physics next semester. I also joined Notre Dame team in the rocketry contest held by NASA. In addition to designs, test launches and presentations, we regularly visit the Robinson Community Center to teach local kids about STEM and aerospace and raise their interest through self-designed games.

Next summer, I plan to either stay on campus for a physics research project or attend the Global Professional Experience program to further develop my academic interest. I also hope to attend International Social Service Learning Program, where I hope to enrich myself through service and contribution to the society.

Ziyu Zeng

Zeng Ziyu

Affiliated High School of South China Normal University, Guangzhou

I am a proud Flaher bear from Guangzhou, China. I currently plan to double major in biological sciences and applied computational math and statistics (supp.), but I am also interested in Japanese.

In high school, I eagerly explored and pursued my interests both in and outside academics. As vice president of the school broadcast station, I produced high-quality radio programs for teachers and students every morning and afternoon, as well as planned and organized events for the music festival. I founded Curbside Talk, an online radio program and also a platform for high school students to talk about significant issues ranging from science to news comments. In United States Academic Decathlon, I won four bronze medals and one silver medal, and helped my team ranking 8th among more than 140+ teams nationally. I occupied my first summer with Green Across the Pacific summer camp, in which I studied ecology at the University of Vermont and did a research on rain gardens. I spent the other summers primarily volunteering.

I am extremely honored to be a member of the Notre Dame community. This semester, I identified my interest in computational biology, especially in utilizing math and informatics to provide personalized treatment plans for patients. I plan to gain more research experience in Dr. Patricia Champion’s lab next semester. I hope to occupy my upcoming summers with lab research, internships and possibly service learning programs where I can put my knowledge to use.

Kai Zhang

Zhang Kai

Qingdao No. 2 High School, Qingdao

I am a knight from Keenan Hall. My intended major is computer science with mathematics as a supplement.

I explored various fields in high school. After winning the first prize in the National Olympiad in informatics, I devoted myself to physics and mathematics as I developed an interest in the study of nature. Through the collaborative team efforts, we took third place in the US Invitational Young Physicists Tournament in 2017. In mathematics, I participated in the “Dengfeng Cup” National Mathematical Contests in Modeling and earned the first prize. I also dabbled in robotic activities and received the second prize in the International Botball Competition after one year of assembling and coding.

I participated in Model United Nations for three years and worked as the vice president of the MUN Association of our high school. In addition to holding our own conferences, we organized a joint conference with Jinan Foreign Language School to show more students in Shandong the spirit of MUN. I also invented a type of creative household multifunctional folding fitness equipment that has received a patent and is currently under testing.

After one semester’s exploration in Notre Dame, I decided to continue my studies in computer science and mathematics. I joined the CS for Good team to help others with my coding skills. We are building a medicine and supply inventory system for the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in Guatemala. I am currently seeking research opportunities to explore various branches in computer science. I also established the Notre Dame badminton club with friends. Contact me if you are into badminton.