Shirley Wong

Shirley Wong

Dean's Scholar

College of Applied Sciences and Arts


Why did you choose your major?

I first became interested in the medical field when a family member passed away due to improper medical practices. I started off pursuing Radiology Tech at Cabrillo College. I ended up applying to the Nursing program here at San Jose State University. I chose Nursing as a major because I wanted a profession that allowed me to help and be an advocate for others. I feel that nursing is a noble and important profession.


What does receiving this particular award mean to you?

Receiving this award validates the hard work and sacrifice that I have put into my academics. I am proud of my accomplishments thus far and this recognition pushes me to continuously improve.


Who has been influential in your life and/or who has contributed to your academic success?

Many people have contributed to my academic success. My daughter is the primary motivator in my life. Being a good role model to her is important to me. My family helps me with my daughter and my finances. My friends and peers keep me sane through the stresses of schoolwork. My current clinical instructors also contribute to my success by being great role models and by guiding me through this academic journey.

As far as influences, there were nurses that made an impression on me when I was hospitalized. They provided direction, care, and comfort during an important moment in my life. I have never forgotten their actions and I would someday like to provide the same for future patients.


Did you overcome any hardships or adversities in your life that have helped shape who you are today?  And if so, could you please briefly elaborate?

One of my hardships was being a single mom. This experience has shaped me into becoming the disciplined and hardworking individual that I am today. Through the process of motherhood, I have learned how to be selfless, and that in order to provide care and value to others, I would first have to better myself. Another hardship was losing my father due to medical negligence and malpractice (not in the U.S.). This incidence has motivated me to pursue a profession where I will be an advocate for those in need of care.


What would you say to other students to encourage or inspire them to attain academic excellence?

First, discover what you are passionate about and believe in what you are pursuing. If you are genuinely interested in the subject you will be motivated to succeed academically. Second, make the most of your opportunity here at San Jose State University. Build healthy relationships with your peers and professors because this will contribute to your academic success. Be a great student but not a follower. Be curious, ask questions, and be an active participant. Do not be afraid to fail and learn from your mistakes. All your hard work and sacrifice throughout this academic process will be worth it in the end.


How do you envision yourself in 5-10 years?

In 5 to 10 years, I see myself being financially abundant and furthering my education to become a Nurse Practitioner. I am looking forward to witnessing my daughter graduate high school and going to college. I want to be a leader in my profession, and help improve healthcare, especially in less fortunate countries.


Nominated by Professor Teri Lind