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Young Chemist Award

CACS Young Chemist/Scientist Award 2016, Calling for Submission

Dedicated to promoting chemistry and science as a career choice among young Chinese Americans in the greater Tri-State area.

The candidates must be high school students who will enter colleges as freshmen in the 2017-2018 academic year. The awards will be honored on the basis of the academic performance alone to those who have the highest potential & intend to pursue careers in chemistry & science-related fields.

To be considered for the CACS Young Chemist Award, a student must:

  • Be a full-time high school senior in the 2016-2017 school year.
  • Plan to enter an accredited four-year college in 2017-2018 academic year as a full-time student.
  • Have a GPA of 3.3 or higher and a SAT score above 1470 (out of 1600).
  • Be an offspring of current Tri-State CACS member(s).


Application deadline: October 23, 2016
Winners selected: October 31, 2016
Winners notified: November 02, 2016

The application package shall include:

  • 1. An essay describing candidate’s interest in pursuing a career in a chemistry-related field (600 words).
  • 2. A list of received awards.
  • 3. A list of Advanced Placement or Honors courses with updated grades.
  • 4. Current transcript until the end of the junior year.
  • 5. Documents for SAT scores, such as a screen shot showing SAT scores

Please send ALL the application materials, in Email to:info@tristatecacs.orgor mail to the following address:

CACS Tristate Chapter
P. O. Box 786
Edison, NJ 08818

2016 Tristate CACS Young Chemist Award

Alice Gao
Union County Magnet High School

Bonnie Hu
West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South

Jamie Liu
Princeton High School

Alice Gao is a senior at Union County Magnet High School. She plays the liuqin in the Music From China Youth Orchestra, which performs annual concerts for Chinese New Year at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and has performed at Carnegie Hall. Alice is also the build captain for UCVTS Science Olympiad. She participates actively Bridge Building, a competition where students build bridges made out of Popsicle sticks to support heavy weights. Alice is also part of the senior team for Hydrocar, a competition where students race cars powered by two hydrogen fuel cells.

Bonnie Hu is currently a senior at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South. She prides herself on being both an avid artist and scientist and hopes to pursue such diverse interests in the future. As the president of South’s microbiology research club, Waksman, Bonnie enjoys guiding students through microbiological lab techniques and wielding her micropipette! When she’s not preoccupied with creating agarose gels in the prep room, you can find her in the library, mesmerized by the wonders of Adobe InDesign and Photoshop. As an Editor-in-Chief of Yearbook Club, Bonnie loves designing yearbook spreads and capturing the vicissitudes of senior year through her camera lens. Outside of Waksman and Yearbook, she is heavily involved in the community. She serves as the president of Artists for Charity (AFC), a group of passionate artists who are committed to using handcrafted art as a means of empowering others. On Sunday mornings, she dons her blue polo and khaki pants and transforms into an Acute Rehab Unit volunteer at the Princeton HealthCare System. In her free time, Bonnie enjoys taking naps and attempting to teach her Bichon Frise puppy tricks!

Jamie Liu is currently a senior student at Princeton High School. She has taken various honor and AP courses and received a score of 5 in the AP chemistry test in addition to various other subjects. Jamie has been recorgnized with the AP Scholar with Distinction Award, the National Merit Scholarship Letter of Commendation, and the National French Honory Society Award. She has been a member of PHS Swimming Girls Team (varsity) and received the “Rookie of the Year” Award in her freshman year. As a member of PHS orchestra, Jamie performs as a violinist for school activities at PHS, participated in the European tour performing at the Headquarter of the World Intellectual Property Organization and at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels sponsored by UNICEF Belgium, and volunteered in assisting elementary school students’ music workshops through the Princeton District After-School Music Program.

Daniel Wang
Bridgewater-Raritan High School

Alice Zheng
South Brunswick High School

Daniel Wang is a senior at Bridgewater-Raritan High School. He was named a National AP Scholar after his junior year, as well as a National Merit Semifinalist during his senior year. In school, he is the President of the National Honor Society and President of the iSTEM club, which is funded by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Daniel is captain of the Bridgewater-Raritan Science Bowl team, which has placed 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the state since his freshman year. He is also captain of the Congressional Debate team, and in the spring enjoys playing volleyball on his school’s varsity team. In 2015, his volleyball team won the NJSIAA state championship. Daniel has worked with Rutgers professor Dr. Li Cai to research the effects of topoisomerase II beta gene knockdown on neural stem cell migration. During the summer, he has worked at Arbor Glen nursing home and attended the prestigious Yale Young Global Scholars Program in New Haven, Connecticut. In his free time, he enjoys serving his church community, playing basketball, and watching movies.

Alice Zheng is currently a senior at South Brunswick High School. She has been recognized as National AP Scholar at her junior year and is a National Merit semi-finalist. Along with her excellent academic achievements, she has won multiple awards in Science Olympiad competitions. As the president of Future Business Leaders of America chapter at her high school, Alice has recently led the chapter to achieve the Super Sweeps Award and won 1st honors in economics at the 2016 State Leadership Conference. She is the captain of her varsity swim team and the best among her highly competitive teammates in long-distance freestyle. Alice has actively engaged in Girls Scout since her first grade and won prestigious Silver Award. As a beloved teaching assistant, she much enjoys her volunteer work at the Hua Xia Chinese School Plainsboro. In her free time, she loves reading, drawing/painting, and music.


2015 Tristate CACS Young Chemist Award

Alison Ho

Melanie Zhang

Lorraine Zhang

Alison Ho is a senior at Bridgewater-Raritan High School. Her academic accomplishments include Semifinalist standing in both the USNCO and USABO, and the National AP Scholar award. Through a research program at Rutgers University’s Waksman Institute of Microbiology, she sequenced DNA from the plant Landoltia punctata, presented a poster at a scientific conference, and published a newly-discovered sequence in a national database. Outside of academics, Alison is an avid clarinetist. For the past six years, she has performed regularly with the New Jersey Youth Symphony, All-State and National orchestras at such prestigious venues as the Grand Ole Opry House and Carnegie Hall. Alison is passionate about giving back to the community. She volunteers on the township first aid and rescue squad, and spends summers teaching young orchestra musicians. In her spare time, she enjoys running and watching Star Wars.

Melanie Zhang is a senior at East Brunswick High School. In addition to her impressive academic record filled with AP and honors courses, she is highly involved in her school’s extracurricular activities, serving as Community Service Director of the Science Honor Society, Secretary of the National Honor Society, and Secretary of Asian Club. She also participates in her school’s Model United Nations program, serving as a delegate, editor, and crisis committee assistant director. Outside of school, Melanie served as the President of East Brunswick Leo Club, a youth volunteer branch of Lions Clubs International, and led a successful book project that collected and sent over 1,000 books to children in the typhoon Haiyan devastated areas of the Philippines. Melanie is also a talented dancer, who performs regularly in senior centers as well as community and cultural events across central New Jersey. She also teaches self-choreographed Chinese Folk dances to children from 1st to 5th grades at the Fidelity Chinese School and East Brunswick Huaxia Chinese School.

Lorraine Zhang is currently a senior at Montgomery High School. She is heavily involved in FIRST Team 1403 Cougar Robotics, where she has been the strategy captain for the past two years. She has led the development of a tablet based real time data collection system to analyze over 50 teams during each competition. In the past year, the advanced data analysis and strategy setting has helped the team winning its first district champion and qualify for the World Championship in St. Louis. She has been recognized as AP Scholar with Distinction by the end of her Junior year and a National Merit semi-finalist her senior year. She is actively involved in the community, volunteering for the Somerset Cancer Center and Dr. Sun Eye Care. She has also been invited to play piano for international music festivals.

2014 Tristate CACS Young Chemist Award

Vivian Hu

Susan Liu

George Zeng

Vivian Hu is currently a senior at Montgomery High School. She has an impressive academic record, taking rigorous courses and being recognized as a National AP Scholar by the end of her junior year. Additionally, she is involved in a wide range of extra-curricular activities including the National Honors Society and Montgomery iGEM, a synthetic biology club of which she is the R&D Team Leader. Vivian is a dedicated dancer serving as the Community Service Officer of the Montgomery High School Varsity Dance Team and as the captain of the Qing Yang Dance Studio. She is actively involved in the community, volunteering for Stony-Brook Millstone Watershed association and performing at local senior centers. She also teaches Chinese dancing to children at HuaXia Chinese School at Montgomery.

Shuning (Susan) Liu is a senior at Montgomery High School. In addition to her strong academic record, including two Computer Science courses at Princeton University, Susan is also very involved in Montgomery High School’s extracurriculars. She is the president and founder of Montgomery iGEM, a synthetic biology team. Last year, her team genetically engineered bacteria to reduce acne and competed in an international competition at MIT. She is also one of two Robot Managers on FIRST Team 1403 Cougar Robotics. Outside of STEM, Susan enjoys writing and performing Slam Poetry, volunteering at the international school NJCCC, running Cross Country, and tutoring. Last summer, Susan interned at the Columbia Stem Cell Initiative to study hippocampal neurogenesis using immunohistochemistry and attended the Notre Dame Leadership Seminar. She was additionally recognized a USNCO and USABO National Semifinalist, the Valedictorian of HuaXia Chinese School, and a National AP Scholar. While she is interested in engineering, Susan hopes to pursue a career in neurological medicine.

George Zeng is a senior in the class of 2015 at Montgomery High School. An impressive academic filled with AP and honors courses aside, George spends his time throughout multiple extracurricular activities, volunteering, and internships. He is highly involved in the YMCA Youth & Government and Model United Nations, and serves as a state level officer in the former, and has won awards for being the best delegate in the latter. In the winter and spring, George is a member of the varsity track team, whose shuttle hurdle team came in third in the section. He has also founded a club, called Montgomery Against Cancer, which raised over $3,000 for donations in its first year of existence. He has also served as the class Treasurer. George volunteers as a teacher’s assistant that teaches 9thgraders at the HuaXia Chinese School. He has interned at Hills Pediatrics as a medical assistant, and done brief work as an intern at an investment management firm.

Chris Chu

Eric Lu

Amber Zhen

Chris Chu is a senior at Montgomery High School. He has an excellent academic record, taking several AP courses and achieving the AP Scholar with Distinction award, as well as a number of extracurriculars. He is a member of the Montgomery Science Olympiad team, the Mock Trial team, the Science Bowl team, as well as the National Honor Society. He has played violin since he was 10 years old, and is a member of the Montgomery High School Concert Orchestra, Pit Orchestra, as well as the Young Musicians for Volunteer Actions. He has participated in many internships, including two years in the Nelson Lab in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at Princeton University, and Tynker in Mountainview, California.

Eric is an aspiring scientist and current senior at East Brunswick High School with credentials in biology competitions statewide and nationally. He is a USABO semifinalist and has received state placement in the New Jersey Science League and MERCK tests throughout his high school career. A student at the Columbia Science Honors Program and researcher at Rutgers University during the summer-times, Eric is an avid volleyball player and participates in his school's Model United Nations Program, serving on advanced committees throughout national conferences. He plays on his school's jazz band, participating in State Finals as lead trombone in 2013.

Amber Zhen is a senior at Conestoga High School. In addition to having a strong academic record, she is involved in many extracurricular activities. She has been a member of Science Olympiad for three years and has won over a dozen medals, including 1st place in Chemistry Lab at the 2014 Pennsylvania State Competition. She is also a member of the school marching band and orchestra in which she plays the mellophone and bass, respectively. As part of the National Honor Society, Amber individually tutors other students and volunteers at many school events. One of her biggest passions is the environment, and she hopes to use chemistry to make progress in the field of energy. She enjoys reading FanFiction, watching Netflix, and eating cookie dough.

2013 Tristate CACS Young Chemist Award

Catherine Gao

Belinda Liu

Bowen Li

Catherine Gao is a senior at Hunterdon Central Regional High School. She spends her time with school clubs, volunteer organizations, and a job as a sales associate. Catherine has taken multiple AP courses and is part of the National, Math, and Science Honors Societies. As an active member of the community, she volunteers at the Hunterdon County Library, works with the American Cancer Society in their Relay for Life campaigns, and tutors other students. Catherine enjoys music, sports, and art in her free time. In 2013, her volleyball team won GEVA Regionals and in 2011, she won 2nd place in a statewide piano competition.

Belinda Liu is a senior at Princeton High School. On top of having an impressive academic record, she is involved in many extracurricular activities. Her contributions as the captain of the cross country team for two years have earned her the Coach’s Award two consecutive times. She is currently captain of the swim team, which has won both county and sectional titles. In the spring, she runs track. Outside of being a 3-season varsity athlete, Belinda is also very active in her school newspaper. As one of the editors (Opinions), she contributes to and creates the newspaper every month. She is also involved in HiTops Teen Council, a group of seniors that are educated in leadership and sexuality issues, visiting various school and detention centers to educate and equip students. Previously, she has also volunteered as the ESL teacher for senior citizens at a local Chinese school. Last but not least, she interned at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute last summer, examining factors that influence human decision-making.

My name is Bowen Li, and I am currently a senior in the Lawrenceville School. I am taking full honors courses that the school offers. In junior year I took the school’s most rigorous honors chemistry course. Consequently, I scored a 5 on the AP chemistry exam. Extracurricular wise, I am heavily involved in music. I am the clarinet principal of the school collegium orchestra. I am also a member of a tenor in the school choir the Lawrentians. Furthermore, I am very active as a student leader. I was the house academic representative and a strong contestant for school positions.

2012 Tristate CACS Young Chemist Award

Amanda Lee

Andy Xu

Kevin Pu


Andy Xu is a senior at Montgomery High School who has both an outstanding academic record and excellent extra-curricular background. Andy has taken multiple AP courses and has received the AP Scholar award and is a National Merit Finalist. Andy has participated in several internships related to the area of chemistry throughout his high school career. Andy is also an active member of his high school music program, and is a member of the marching band, jazz band and concert band. He has also contributed to the community through his volunteer work which includes annual participation in the CACS Annual Symposium.

Kevin Pu is currently a senior at John P Stevens High School. He is a member of the National Honors Society and the Honor Roll every marking period. He is heavily involved in athletics, music, and volunteering. Kevin is a varsity runner for the John P Stevens High School Cross Country, Winter Track, and Spring Track teams. He ran in the Groups race in cross country, a feat that only the 5 fastest schools in the North Jersey Region qualify to run in. In music, Kevin was accepted to CJMEA Regions Orchestra and NJMEA All-State Orchestra for every year that he could audition. He was accepted to the All-National Orchestra as an Alternate, and was the first violist in the history of his school to be accepted to All-Eastern Orchestra, an orchestra consisting of the best high school musicians on the east coast. Kevin is also heavily involved in volunteering at a local nursing home. Kevin founded and performs with a quartet at the nursing home every week for the residents. He also organizes and runs various events at the nursing home to entertain the residents.

Boning Zhao

Simeng Song

Boning Zhao is currently a senior at Highland Park High School. During the summer of 2011, Boning interned at the Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research at the Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy. During his eight weeks at the laboratory, Boning helped research the effect of various compounds on the growth of cancer cells. In addition to his rigorous academic course schedule, Boning is an active participant in various extra-curricular activities as well (including Science Bowl, Science leagues, Model United Nations, and DECA). Boning passed the ABRSM grade 8 violin exam and won various medals from DECA competitions. Boning displays his academic excellence through not only his academic record, but also his leadership as captain of the Highland Park Frisbee team and musicality across various orchestras, both in and out of school.

Simon Song is currently a senior at Montgomery High School. His most important extracurricular activity is his involvement with FIRST Team 1403 Cougar Robotics, where he has been the programming captain for the past two years. Not only has he attended the National Championships twice since his freshman year, under his guidance the team has won several regional awards and has appeared on a CNN documentary by Soledad O'Brien. Furthermore, Simon also has a research position at Princeton University in the Atomic Physics Department, and has expanded his knowledge of LABView from robotics to a professional laboratory setting. He has been recognized as National AP Scholar by the end of his junior year and a National Merit Finalist his senior. Outside of academics, Simon is a member of the school’s cross country team, Asian Heritage Club, and Academic Club.


2011 Tristate CACS Young Chemist Award

Raymond Hu

Linda Zhen

Mitchell Ng

Raymond Hu, a senior at Montgomery High School, has a very impressive academic record. He has won multiple honors and awards, including the Sophomore Outstanding Achievement Award in Math, AP Scholar with Distinction, and the school nomination for the New Jersey Governor’s School of Engineering. He has also participated in many prestigious summer endeavors ranging from the Carnegie Mellon AP/EA program in Pittsburgh to the University of Surrey research internship in United Kingdom. Outside of the world of academia, Raymond is also an accomplished musician who has participated in the NJAJE Region II Jazz Band, an active member of his musical community as the music director of the community service group Young Musicians for Volunteer Action, and a respected leader in his school’s marching band, jazz band, and wind ensemble.

Linda Zhen is currently a senior at Conestoga High School. As an active member of her school's music department, she has achieved multiple leadership positions including student conductor, choir librarian, and color guard captain. Her efforts towards the various musical ensembles have earned her recognition from her teachers and peers, as well as two awards for service and leadership. In addition to her work in the music department, Linda is also a member of her school's National Honor Society, where members are selected based on their academic excellence, upstanding character, and service to their communities. After high school, Linda plans to continue her studies at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mitchell Ng is a senior at Montgomery High School. Taking the most rigorous course load in his school which currently includes two classes at Princeton University, he has a strong academic record. He participated in a wide range of research internships in subjects ranging from molecular biology to atomic physics to finance and has independently published in several journals. A National AP Scholar by the end of junior year and pending National Merit Finalist, he has won a wide range of academic and service awards and is a Coca-Cola Semi-finalist. From being president/captain of several organizations including the MHS Asian Heritage Club to being an ambulance riding member of the Princeton EMS and being an All-Academic American First Team varsity sabre fencer, among many other things, he leads his peers in a wide range of extracurricular activities. Accepted into Princeton University Class of 2016 via early action, he intends to major in chemistry or chemical/biological engineering.

2010 Tristate CACS Young Chemist Award

Tri-State Chinese American Chemical Society awards Young Chemist Awards every year to outstanding high school students to cultivate their interests in Chemistry and Science in general among Chinese-American youth in the greater tri-state area. This year, the CACS Young Chemist Awards go to Richard Dong, Richard Zhang, Hanley Ong, Tracy Wang, Jonathan Yao. The five will receive their awards that include a certificate and a cash prize at the upcoming CACS Chinese New Year Party on Saturday, Feb 29, 2011.

Richard Dong, currently a senior at Montgomery High School of New Jersey, His interest to chemistry started in his freshman year. He has started taking AP courses since his sophomore year, scoring 5 for AP Chemistry. He has been a straight A student since entering high school. His extra curriculum achievements include the regional engineering inspiration award at NJ Robotics Competition and 1st place in Somerset County Academica League.

Richard Zhang, currently a senior at Montgomery High School, has a very impressive academic record. Richard is Sr. Captain of the Montgomery Science Olympiad Team and won many individual and team medals in the central regional and New Jersey state academic competitions. He has taken many AP courses. He scored a perfect 800 in SAT II in chemistry, Math and Physics. His other extra curriculum activities included Varsity Golf.

Hanley Ong is a junior at Montgomery High School. Hanley has started taking AP courses. Hanley won the Grade Outstanding Achievement Award in Science, an award to the best students (1# out of 425 students) taking chemistry courses, and many individual and team medals in the central regional and New Jersey state academic competitions. Hanley is the founder and president of Tutoring and Coaching for Charity.

Tracy Wang, currently a senior at Watchung Hills Regional High School, has a very impressive academic record. She intends to pursue a double-major in chemistry and business management or economics in college. She has received many awards such as National Merit Commendation, AP Scholar with Honor Award, National Honor Society, and National English Honor Society, and won individual and team medals in the regional and New Jersey state academic competitions. Her other extra curriculum achievements include the Winner of 3rd Annual Young Artist Music Competition (Piano) of American-Asian Fine Arts Association (recital at Carnegie Hall), and Royal Academy of Music (UK) (teaching beginners at Mila Music School).

Jonathan Yao is a senior at Princeton High School. During eight weeks in the summer of 2009, Jonathan worked with Prof. Charles Dismukes at the Chemistry Dept of Princeton Univ. The research is about increasing fermentation rates of the cyanobacteria synechocystis Sp. 6803 strand. Jonathan scored a perfect 800 in SAT II in Chemistry, and Math. In the summer of 2010, Jonathan jointed a three-students research group at Rutgers.


2009 Tristate CACS Young Chemist Award

This year, the CACS Young Chemist Awards go to Andrew Wu from Pennsylvania, Dennis Xuan and David Zhao from New Jersey. The three will receive their awards that include a certificate and a cash prize at the upcoming CACS Chinese New Year Party on Saturday, January 30, 2010. (Read more)

Andrew Wu, a senior at Hatboro-Horsham High School of Pennsylvania. Dennis Xuan, a senior at Watchung Hills Regional High School. David Zhao is a junior at Montgomery High School.

2008 Tristate CACS Young Chemist Award

2007 Tristate CACS Young Chemist Award

2006 Tristate CACS Young Chemist Award

Tristate CACS is proudly announcing that the recipients of the 2006 Tristate CACS Young Chemists Awards are:
  • Charles Lei from Holmdel High School at Holmdel, NJ
  • Andy Liu from Manalapan High School at Manalapan, NJ
  • Maria Xia from J. P. Stevens High School at Edison, NJ

    Congratulations to Charles, Andy, and Maria on their awards and excellence in chemistry.

    2004 CACS Young Chemist Awardee:

    Miss Yuefeng (Minnie) Cui
    Montgomery High School

    Miss Nicole (Ningran) Li
    University of Pennsylvania

    Mr. Sean Li
    Somerville High School

    Mr. David Lin
    Plainsboro-West Windsor High School

    2003 CACS Young Chemist Awardees:

  • Jenny Liu, Manalapan High School, Junior
  • Albert Cheng, Montgomery High School
  • Zhach Sun, Bridgewater-Raritan High School
  • Joyce Cheng, Ridgewood High School, Ridgewood
  • James Tsai, Watchung Hill Regional High School
  • Stacey Ng, Bridgewater-Raritan High School

    CACS-Community Service Award

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