2020 Senior Alumni Award Winners

Congratulations to both of these outstanding women in receiving the Senior Alumni Award!

            Min Sun                               Erin Saybolt


The Senior Alumni Awards

Min Son ’20

Min Son is a truly remarkable student, the kind whose academic excellence makes you wonder how she has time for anything else. But Min’s high GPA is just the tip of the iceberg of her diligence and success.

In helping nominate Min for this award, Talia Argondezzi, director of the writing and speaking program here at Ursinus, put it this way: “[Min’s] unusual promise manifests in her ability to turn her passions into concrete action.” Talia is exactly right. Min makes it her job to dream big and then make her dreams a reality.

A biology major with a minor in applied ethics, Min dreams of one day becoming a dental surgeon and starting a nonprofit through which dentists will volunteer in underserved immigrant communities. It’s a lofty goal, one toward which Min has already taken enormous steps. For example, she has attended multiple medical and leadership conferences across the country and has accumulated over 100 hours of experience as a dental assistant in three different practices. With the competition to get into dental school as cutthroat as it is, most students are content to keep their heads down and get as far ahead as possible, with little thought for their classmates’ success. But not Min. In 2017, she founded the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS) with the goal of providing assistance to her fellow students in the form of free MCAT practice exams, application workshops, and events with the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Not satisfied with simply assisting others to get into medical school, Min then created an educational outreach program in which she and the members of MAPS taught students in underprivileged communities about public health.

On campus, Min is active in nearly every selective, prestigious student position Ursinus has: she is a Writing Fellow, tutoring peers in writing and speaking; a UCARE Service Fellow, engaging the campus with volunteer opportunities; a CSCG Fellow, studying the intersections between science and the public interest; and a Melrose Fellow. She’s worked as an organic chemistry tutor, appeared on the Dean’s List four years in a row, and won the Steinbright Scholarship, the W. W. Smith Scholarship, and the Biology/Biochemistry Department Faculty Award. And the list just keeps going.

But Min is so much more than her list of accomplishments. As Talia describes her, Min is “someone you trust to complete a project thoughtfully and thoroughly; brimming with enthusiasm and joy, quick to share her distinctive, contagious laugh, she is someone you simply want around.” Min shares this enthusiasm in countless ways. An immigrant and recently naturalized citizen, Min is eager to help other students feel welcome. For example, she has served as a volunteer for Ursinus’s English as a Second Language Program, and in 2018 she performed in Ursinus’s Diversity Monologues, sharing her experiences with ethnicity and identity. As founder and president of the Heart and Seoul Korean Culture Club and a leader in the Japan Club, Min has spread her love of Japanese and Korean cultures around campus, both empowering and educating her fellow students in the process.

Most recently, Min won third place in the 2020 Richard T. Schellhase Ethics Essay contest for her essay “Fill the Gap: Assessing moral permissibility of rejections in dental practices, and promoting pro bono dental work through a non-profit organization.” This paper was the culmination of her 2019 Summer Fellows project in which she spent considerable time reading and thinking about whether dentists have ethical obligations to provide pro bono care. Min did really superb work on this topic, going on present at a professional dentistry conference in New York in December 2019—a conference that rarely accepts undergraduate work.

In everything she has done the past four years, both on and off campus, Min has proven her intelligence, her thoughtfulness, her persistence, her passion, and her genuine care for those around her. For all she has accomplished for herself and done for her college and community, we happily present her with the 2020 Senior Alumni Award.

Erin Saybolt ’20