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James Zheng

Hello world! I'm James, I'm from northern Colorado, and I'm a current sophomore double majoring in biomedical and electrical/computer engineering, with the additional chemistry minor that comes with being pre-med. I enjoy learning about the many things that contribute to human health - be it the microscopic, cell-to-cell interactions that keep every human alive or the population-level, societal factors that cause different groups of people to have very different health outcomes. I hope that one day, I can be a part of more compassionate kind of science that effectively bridges the divide between provider, patient, and researcher.

L's Taken


"Thank you for applying but..."

  • DukeEngage Vietnam 

  • Margolis Scholars 

  • Huang Fellows 

  • Robertson Scholars Program (twice!) 

  • Teaching Assistant for EGR103, CS201 

  • Many, many MUSER projects 

  • Many, many Bass Connections Teams 

  • Chamber Music 

  • 19 of 38 colleges I applied to, including the entire Ivy League, Stanford, and MIT


Things I thought I'd finish but never did

  • Arya Roy's physics final 

  • The first pasta dish I ordered from Il Forno 

  • Youth civic engagement nonprofit 

  • A second major in economics


Everyday L's of life

  • Getting stuck on a relatively light bench press w/o a spotter 

  • Staining my white khaki shorts with fish malabar from Tandoor 

  • Passing out during chem lecture and getting called out for it during after class office hours 

  • Spilling all kinds of reagents all over my hands in orgo lab 

  • Obtaining 0% yield after redoing a chemistry lab twice 

  • Breaking two thermometers within the span of ten minutes (ah, the glories of orgo lab) 

  • Forgetting a line mid-sentence during a live performance

On the Bright Side


Memories I made when I wasn't working/studying

  • Discussing ways to mitigate "Poseidon's kiss" at 1:00 AM in the Randolph Common Room 

  • Celebrating aging with my friends (birthdays) 

  • Playing keyboard for "Cabaret" freshman fall 

  • Learning how to get ruffled up by my big brother for my role in "As You Like It" 

  • Winning, for the very first time, a SuperSmash Bros match (any Byleth mains out there?)


Things I've learned that will still matter in 10 years

  • We take a lot for granted 

  • Cherish the present 

  • A good mentor can go a long way 

  • Vulnerability is how we connect


TV shows, movies, and books I've enjoyed

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender (not the live action, of course) 

  • Game of Thrones (before they ruined Dany) 

  • It's a Wonderful life 

  • Crazy Rich Asians 

  • Just Mercy (haven't watched the movie yet, but the book is great)


Things I'm proud of that you won't see on my resume

  • My VSCO page 

  • Picking Duke to win the NCAA tournament in 2015, before even knowing where Duke was 

  • Always maintaining an open mind 

  • Knocking doors for (and high-fiving) the 1st openly gay governor in the US 

  • Making it to Wilson at 8am every M/W/F this entire semester


Unconventional skills


Quirk that makes me who I am

  • Walking on my toes (gotta get those calf raises in somehow)


Small joys in my life

  • Making someone else laugh/smile 

  • Meeting someone new & hearing their story 

  • Seeing friends that I haven't seen in awhile

  • E-Ball ticketing (and seeing so many familiar faces) 

  • "Equivalency, Hit It"


Obstacles I have overcome


Thing I've done that pushed me out of my comfort zone

  • Write an op-ed in my local newspaper


Failures that seemed like the end of the world back then but don't matter in hindsight


Leaps of Faith


Life events that have made me stronger


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