Yan Wang Memorial Scholarship Fund

I can’t state strongly enough how important IPEI is to the students of the Ithaca schools. IPEI is behind so much that enriches and excites the daily experiences of so many students throughout the district.

— ICSD Teacher
  • 2017 Recipient of Yan Wang ’05 Memorial Scholarship
    Elliot Richards

    Yan Wang graduated from Ithaca High School in 2005 and MIT with two Bachelor’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Management Sciences in 2009. He was an outstanding student in IHS and MIT, a recipient of Borg Warner National Merit Scholarship and many other awards and honors. His academic interests had always been geared towards STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) since his starting at DeWitt Middle School where he participated the school’s Technology Student club and represented his school and New York State in New York and National Technology Student Association Competitions.

    Yan was one of the most active and devoted members of the IHS Code Red Robotics team in his entire four year high school time, the vice president of the team in his junior year, and the president in the senior year leading his team to won the FIRST Finger Lakes Regional Championship and advanced to the FIRST National Competition. Robotics started to be just an outlet for his STEM interests, but later Yan had gained great experiences in cooperation and leadership that revealed another layer of what STEM could offer.

    screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-18-33-37Yan always worked hard encouraging enthusiasm for and participation in STEM through his efforts at Ithaca High School and in the community. After class in his junior year in the high school, Yan helped to design and build the Galaxy Golf, a science and math themed mini-golf course at Ithaca Sciencenter, which can be seen when you go by the Sciencenter from the Ithaca’s Rt 13 and has been enjoyed by many young visitors over the last decade. And at the same time period, he created a robotics and CAD workshop for middle school students in a room he found in the Sciencenter that had not been in use, but contained eight computers and many LEGO Mindstorms kits. He recruited volunteers from his FIRST Robotics Team to work with him to teach the course and used it as a way to both educate younger students and get them interested in learning more about STEM in school.

    Yan believed in the importance of recognizing merit and served as a role model of excellence to those around him as a high school student and beyond in college and in his profession. Yan was, above all, a loving and dedicated person who was much loved by his family, friends, fellow students and teachers, whose life was tragically cut short. Coping with this terrible loss and celebrating his accomplishments in academic and non-academic pursuits beginning with his education in the Ithaca City School District, Yan’s friends and family have set up the Yan Wang Memorial Scholarship Fund with Ithaca High School as the beneficiary.

    Through Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI) and in memory of Yan, the fund will encourage excellence and STEM education for Ithaca High School students by making annual Yan Wang Scholarship Awards from the fund income.  Students participating in the Ithaca High School Code Red Robotics Team with high academic achievement, outstanding leadership, and special contributions to the school and community will be eligible first. More awards will be made to a broader body of students pursuing STEM later if the fund grows.

    Additional donations and gifts to the Fund are greatly appreciated and may be made at any time by any person through IPEI that manages the Fund with gifts donated to it and make annual Yan Wang Memorial Scholarship Awards. IPEI is an IRS recognized tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with its mission to facilitate community connections and support for students and teachers of the Ithaca City School District through engagement, collaboration, gifts, and grants.

    screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-18-34-09Beyond STEM, Yan had participated in his school’s newspaper and student government since his Freshman year, and he enjoyed playing violin and also had a great interest in the game of Tiddlywinks. Yan was a master of Tiddlywinks and the Co-Captain of the IHS Tiddlywinks Club. He started winking when he was a student in his mathematics class at the high school. His first tournament was in the 2003 North American Tiddlywinks Association (NATwA) Pairs, which he won with partner Bob Henninge leading them to represent NATwA to challenge for the World Pairs championship against Geoff Myers and Matthew Rose at the 2005 celebrations of CUTwC’s 50th anniversary in Cambridge, England in January, 2005.