Friends of Yuan-Chun Wang, a School of Public Health (SPH) student who died in a Christmas Eve car accident in Alabama, have been remembering her life and contributions to the Taiwanese community over the past few days.
According to state troopers, Wang was driving through Alabama on her way to New Orleans with a friend--Wen Ling Hsiu, 25, of Athens, Ga.--when she lost control of her friend's car and struck a tree off the side of Interstate 10. She was 25.
At a memorial service over winter break attended by more than 200 people, friends read work by some of Wang's favorite poets, including Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian poet who won the 1913 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Stephen S. Chou, a graduate student in the department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and a friend of Wang's, said many at the memorial were surprised to hear some of Wang's own poetic compositions. Friends found the work on her personal computer as they organized her belongings.
"Writing poetry must have been very private to her," he said.
Friends said Wang, who was on track to receive her doctorate in 2002, wanted to return to Taiwan to research and teach after getting her Ph.D.
While she was away from her homeland, Wang was a visible leader in the Taiwanese community.
Friends in the Harvard Republic of China Student Club (HROCSC), where Wang served as a vice president, said they were impressed by Wang's efforts to recruit friends for club events.
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