Helen Xia is a sophomore at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia majoring in Leadership Studies and Biochemistry. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Helen was involved with multiple organizations at her high school serving special education and underprivileged children in minority neighborhoods by providing educational opportunities. She has a passion for improving the lives of others, whether through her interest in the scientific field or providing educational opportunities.
At the University of Richmond, Helen is a Richmond Scholar, the University’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarship awarded to students who “demonstrate academic achievement, engaged leadership, strong sense of purpose, and investment in a diverse and inclusive campus community.”
On campus, Helen’s diverse passions have pushed her to be involved in a range of activities.
During her first year at the University of Richmond, Helen was elected her Class President, in which she collaborated with her College Deans and peers across campus to design and implement diversity-based community engagement and educational programs for the entire student body of 3500+ undergraduate students of the university. Through her experience in student government, Helen was able to learn about the university from a change-maker perspective, contributing to her experience this year as an University Innovation Fellow.
Helen’s interest in innovation spans, not only in community-based initiatives, but also through her passion in the sciences. She is a researcher in the Chemistry department where she conducts research focusing on increasing chemical reaction efficiencies to improve production of pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and herbicides. Her research has many important applications, and she will be presenting her research at the Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society.
She also works at the Student Health Center as a Clinical Assistant, serving the medical needs of students, and the Speech Center as a Speech Consultant, implementing effective peer counseling and assistance based in the theory and pedagogy of rhetorical communication. Her passion for education and mentorship for young students has additionally inspired her to serve as a mentor through the Scholars Latino Initiative, where she works with high-achieving Latino students to gain access to college and create a more equitable community.
She hopes to continue her passion for innovation and service to her fellow students as an University Innovation Fellow this year. Helen is very excited to begin her journey as a Fellow and make a great impact on her campus community!
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