Mimi Hang ’12

Growing up in Hawaii, Mimi Hang ’12 never expected to leave the islands to go college. She wanted to stay in a warm climate and, as for Mount Holyoke, she’d never heard of it. Then, as a junior, she received the Mount Holyoke Book Award. “That inspired me to research the College, and I loved what I found.”

The deciding moment, however, came after Hang had been accepted. While trying to choose from among a number of selective schools, she emailed faculty at each with a question about research opportunities for students. “I was amazed when I received a response from an MHC professor within twenty-four hours. The fact that she replied so quickly made a big impression.”

And so did the news that MHC professors receive millions of dollars in grant money from the National Science Foundation, which translates into unique research opportunities for students.

“That email convinced me to choose Mount Holyoke. And a scholarship from the College made that choice possible. I’m truly grateful from the bottom of my heart to the donor who is supporting the amazing education I am getting here.”

A chemistry and physics double major, Hang now is conducting independent research on surface-initiated ring-opening metathesis polymerization—SiROMP for short—with Wei Chen, Marilyn Dawson Sarles, M.D. Professor of Chemistry. The work, which has the potential to help countless people who are ill, matters deeply to Hang. “Our research is part of a global effort to find biocompatible materials that may play an important role in the study of AIDs, cancer, and other incurable diseases. A lot of medical supplies currently in use are limited because of issues such as protein absorption. We’re trying to find alternatives.”