Dereck Wang ’22 earned the distinction of salutatorian for the second highest grade point average in the Class of 2022.
Hometown: West Windsor, N.J.
Major: Biology and economics Interdepartmental; Leadership in Medicine program
Activities: Biology Club treasurer; mini-term in Tianjin, China, studying traditional Chinese medicine; research with Professor Ashok Ramasubramanian on the biomechanics of chicken embryos; economics tutor; Phi Beta Kappa; Beta Gamma Sigma (business); Omicron Delta Epsilon (economics)
Favorite class: Evolutionary Biology with Roman Yukilevich, associate professor of biological sciences. Not only was this class helpful in my understanding of other biology classes like Animal Behavior with Professor Leo Fleishman and Ecology with Professor Kathleen LoGiudice, but the concepts I learned were fascinating and relevant to current global events such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
What I will miss most: Being on a uniquely beautiful campus with amazing friends, some of whom have become like family. The feeling of walking through campus, recognizing mostly everyone you see, and saying hi to a few of them almost every time you leave your room is truly something special.
Advice for incoming students: College, if not life, is a balance. Recognize the moments in which you need to focus on your work, but also recognize the ones in which you need to take a break from studying or go out. Mental health is not talked about enough. If you are feeling down, hang out with your friends, as much as you want to isolate yourself from people—everything will get better with time as long as you receive the support you need. Finally, trust yourself. You got into this great school for a reason: your outlook before every decision is a major determinant of its outcome.
Life after Union: Albany Medical College, Class of 2026.