Q: How did you choose to attend Harvard and how did you pick your major?
A: It was pretty much the only school I ever wanted to go to. I chose psychology as my major haphazardly. Psychology, of all the classes I chose my first semester, was the class I liked the most. I ended up pursuing neuroscience, which I loved more than anything else because it was really exciting. It’s a field that was not explored very much. There was a lot to be learned, and I enjoyed doing research, so I switched what I wanted to do in life completely.
Q: What have you been up to since graduation?
A: After graduation, I worked for a year at Brigham and Women’s Hospital doing functional imaging research. Now I’m in my second year of medical school, in a dual degree MD/PhD program at the University of Maryland. I knew I wanted to continue doing research because I genuinely believe that to push forward doing medicine and to help people more effectively, there have to be better treatments and better understanding of diseases. My particular interest is psychiatric diseases which are poorly understood.
Q: What did your ENF scholarship mean to you?
A: It came as a surprise! I didn’t expect to go further than the local Lodge. Harvard was really expensive so it really made it a lot more affordable, and it meant that I didn’t have to do work study to have to pay for college.
Q: What was your favorite memory from attending the Elks Convention?
A: I don’t know what the best memory was, but I definitely remember a lot of warm and friendly people and who were really supportive. It seemed very much like they were trying to support me and my dreams. I also remember collecting little pins from every state and Lodge. Everyone was just the nicest, they were just so warm and friendly.
Q: What does being an Elks scholar mean to you?
A: Click here to watch a video of Haiwen explaining what being an Elks scholar means to her.
Q: What advice do you have for other Elks scholars?
A: I think it’s most important to find what you love to do and do it. Life’s too short to do some things because you think it’s prestigious or because you want to please your parents. Ultimately, you want to be happy and you want to go forward and do whatever it is you enjoy doing.
Q: What is an interesting fact about you that most people would find surprising or unexpected?
A: I did competitive ballroom dancing while I was in college. It was a lot of fun and I ended up being ranked one of the top 30 amateurs in the country.