Ha Hyung Lee

Sunderland, Massachusetts

Academic Interests:

What were some of your favorite activities prior to arriving at University of Rochester?

My favorite activity in high school was Ultimate Frisbee. Although I was introduced to the sport this year, I felt instant attachment to it. It combines both athleticism and sportsmanship, because in addition to the running and throwing the disc, each player must be the referee to call his/her own fouls. While playing Ultimate Frisbee, I put great trust in both my teammates and the opponents to play a fair and fun game, all of which brings great camaraderie among players. UR has an Ultimate Frisbee team, so I’m excited to continue playing in college.

What was your favorite class in high school and why?

My favorite class in high school was history. Like the saying “to move forward, we must look backward,” I learned that lessons in history could be applied in the future as well. I love the fact that one historical event does not happen independently; instead, it happens by the repercussion of many other events that proceeded it.

What do you think best prepared you for life at University of Rochester?

My internship at a polymer research lab helped prepare me for life at U of R. During my time there, I learned that I am really interested in that type of research and that allowed me to foresee myself as a future engineering student.

When you applied for admission, what accomplishments did you hope would be recognized by the Admissions Office?

I hoped that the admissions office would recognize how much I tried to make myself stand out given my circumstances in a rural school setting. Unlike many students from bigger cities, the opportunities for me to take the conventional “smart” classes like the Advanced Placement or honors classes, or to participate in an internationally acclaimed science fair, were limited. Taking account of what I have around me and what my family could do, I tried my best to get good grades and help out in my community. I am really grateful that the admissions officers in Rochester saw that in me amidst the fierce competition for admission.

What challenges did you face prior to enrolling at University of Rochester?

When I received U of R’s prestigious George Eastman Young Leaders Award, I was just dumbfounded. I thought to myself, “How did I win this over other students throughout the country who show their sense of leadership in much larger communities?” I was even more surprised when I saw that I stood among very few people in the award winners breakfast hosted by the University in April to receive that recognition. I think it is great that the Admissions Office sees a student’s quality of leadership beyond the quantity of the people that student leads. They must have seen my enthusiasm to help to bring positive changes in my community.

Why did you choose the University of Rochester?

The moment that I visited the U of R, I instantly knew that I belong here. It’s a bit cliché, given how many college students say that in their testimony of their future Alma Mater, but it is very true. The university combines the beauty of the rustic scenery and the vivacity of an urban city. Furthermore, the lack of general education requirements told me that the University wants me to pursue whichever subject I feel most passionate about.

What are your future plans at UR and beyond?

I plan to participate in the University’s acclaimed undergraduate research opportunities. I believe this will open up my horizon in the field of engineering and allow me to experience engineering in the real world.