California State University, Los Angeles undergraduate student Yang "Kelly" Yang was recently named to the USA TODAY All-USA Academic First Team. She was one of only 20 college students from across the nation selected for the distinction.
A political science major with a pre-law option, Kelly Yang is a participant in the Early Entrance Program (EEP) at Cal State L.A. The EEP-the only one of its kind in the nation-introduces highly gifted young students directly into college life. She was accepted in the program in fall of 1998, at the age of 14. Currently a sophomore, she holds a 3.96 GPA.
Yang was the first EEP freshman hired as a staff writer for Cal State L.A.'s award-winning University Times, where she was honored as "Rookie of the Year." This academic year, she has begun writing articles and taking photographs for Eagle's Eye, a new newspaper published by Cal State L.A.'s student government.
In addition to her academic achievements, Yang has received numerous awards and scholarships. They include the Los Angeles Times Scholarship, the national honor society Phi Kappa Phi "Freshman of the Year" award, the National Organization of Chinese Americans "Journalist of the Year" award, and the Chinese-American Engineers and Scientists Associations of Southern California (CAESA) Undergraduate Scholarship.
Yang was already a published author before she enrolled at Cal State L.A., with fiction and poetry to her credit. She expects her next publication, Yang Yang Experiences America, to be released this March. Yang has also produced a series of guides for Chinese American children and visiting students on American culture and language, and has begun marketing them in China.
The USA TODAY Academic First Team was chosen by panels of educators, in a three-step judging process, from over 800 students nominated by colleges in 50 states and the District of Columbia. The criteria given most consideration were a student's individual scholarship or intellectual endeavor and leadership roles in activities on and off campus.
The 20 students selected will each receive $2,500 and be guests of USA TODAY at a special awards luncheon in Arlington, Virginia, to be held tomorrow, February 18. Winners are announced in today's issue of USA TODAY.
Public Affairs Offices/Campus News