Today, I finished my MS degree. Though it might not seem like anything for many people, it is very much the end of a chapter for my life. Below is an excerpt from my thesis, because I honestly could not have done it alone. This one goes out to you.
Though words could never express the thanks that is deserved, my deepest gratitude goes to Dr. Anthony Cheung for teaching me how to think like a scientist, and more importantly, giving me the chance I needed to demonstrate my potential. Even though he is a retired professor, he still managed to find the time to share his stories and wisdom with me, much like a father to a son. It is an absolute honor to be his last graduate student.
The faculty and students of the Graduate Group became a large part of my family over the course of my program and have been major pillars of support for me. Thank you to my thesis committee faculty members, Dr. Su Hao Lo and Dr. Peter Barry, for their guidance and patience through my graduate program. Also, a special thanks to Dr. Charles Mohr for playing an instrumental role in leading me through my graduate studies
as my master advisor.
Thank you to my mentor and sister-in-law, Dr. Patricia To, for being a role model for me to follow. She helped me put my academic career into perspective, and provided opportunities when few would even give a second glance. To my older brother, An To, for passing along little tidbits of wisdom and advice to make sure I am doing everything I can to reach my potential. Thank you for believing in me.
Since starting my graduate program, my family has been nothing but supportive of my ambitions. I would like to give a big thank you to my mother and father for always pushing me to explore different opportunities, whether it was in healthcare, business, or technology. I never quite understood the reasoning behind their efforts until now, and I am a better person because of it. To my older sister Ann To and younger brother William To, thank you for the great adventures in life. Even at this stage, I’m still learning from both of them.
I would like to whole-heartedly thank Jennifer Chan for her patience and understanding throughout my academic career. She is a constant source of company throughout the endless hours of work through the nights.
To Helena Xu, Kayvon Ghaffari, and Jason Wakizaka – Team Mobilife, the 2010 Imagine Cup National Winners. Though we started as a very unlikely group to represent the United States, their individual expertise shined through and carried us far. More importantly, because of their passion, they inspired a nation.
Lastly, I am indebted to the cause of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Gates Millennium Fellowship for providing me with an unparalleled opportunity to pursue my educational endeavors and further explore science for the benefit of humankind.
Wilson J. To, MS