Finding Greatness: Helen Ho

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 12:00 AM
Categories: Finding Greatness | Pressroom | School of Health and Natural Sciences | Students

Macon, GA


Helen Ho, an MGA biology major, is doing some high-caliber research under the guidance of Dr. Pushpa Yadav, associate professor of biology. Ho’s goals include becoming a general dentist or an oral surgeon and opening a non-profit dental clinic to reach underserved people.

Full Name: Hung “Helen” Ho.

Age: 20.

Hometown & Residence: Warner Robins.

High School: “I graduated from Houston County High School. As a high school student, I was a swimmer with the local swim club, Warner Robins Aquanauts, and of my high school swim team. As a high school swimmer, I competed in the state championships in both the individual and team events. Additionally, I was a part of the Technology Student Association, an engineering club where I got to design projects with my hands and/or on a computer. I was also a part of the History Club where I engaged in and closely studied historical events.”

Family: “My mother is Ngoc Thach Nguyen. My father is Dieu Ho. My brother, Huy Ho, was also a student at Middle Georgia State University.”

Employment: “I am a full-time student and a nail technician assistant.”

Degree Objective: Bachelor of Science in Biology.

Class Rank: Senior.

Primary Campus: “I take most of my classes on the Macon Campus, but I have a few classes on the Cochran Campus.”

Activities: “At Middle Georgia State, I worked as a laboratory technician assistant with Mr. Foster on the Cochran Campus. I was also a student volunteer service Intern for Dr. Rigsby on the Macon Campus. I was selected to be on the student standing board as part of the Honors, Awards, and Graduation Committee in fall 2018. I am currently a math tutor in the MARC and a general private tutor for my friends.

“Outside of school, I volunteer at the Rehoboth Life Care Ministries Dental Clinic, where I set up, clean up, and sterilize hand pieces and equipment. I am also a shadowing intern at Family Dental Associates and the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Center, Inc. Additionally, I am a volunteer for the Middle Georgia Vietnamese community.”

Career Goals: “Being an immigrant from a developing country has allowed me to nurture my passion to improve dental health disparities within the states and abroad. Since I am a naturalized American, I want to be a catalyst for healthcare improvement to underserved communities, especially to Asians who are uncomfortable with Western approaches. I want to contribute my understanding of these minorities' concerns to the Americans' association of healthcare, increasing both cultural awareness and racial diversity in the field.

"Ultimately, I want to acquire a degree in dental medicine (DMD) or dental surgery (DDS) and work as a general dentist or an oral surgeon. I want to commit my life to mending facial deformities and various health issues, in addition to enhancing smiles and addressing healthcare disparities. I aim to maximize the availability of healthcare to everybody, indiscriminate of any individual's socioeconomic status or ethnicity, through opening non-profit dental clinics, continuing to volunteer, and going on missions to provide healthcare for other countries.”

She chose Middle Georgia State University because … “I knew that I wanted to be at a university that would accept as many Advanced Placement (AP) credits of mine as possible. Middle Georgia State University has accepted credits for all 7 of my AP exams. This advantage has allowed to be able to graduate earlier than the typical 4-year route for a bachelor’s degree. Furthermore, the affordability of the University will allow me to graduate debt-free.”

The greatest thing she discovered about Middle Georgia State was … “The friendliness and supportive nature of the professors. They always make me feel welcome to ask questions and they are always there to help me. One professor in particular, Dr. Yadav, has taken me in as one of her students since my second semester of college. I originally approached Dr. Yadav to have her feedback on a personal statement I had written for an internship application. Even though she did not know me then, Dr. Yadav still took me in and immediately guided me through various research internship applications. After this fateful encounter, I wanted to work with Dr. Yadav for my undergraduate research. Little did I know then that the undergraduate research would lead me to some of the best opportunities I have ever had.”

Her greatest academic experience as a Middle Georgia State student has been … “To have been able to present my undergraduate research at the Georgia Academy of Science Conference and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. My undergraduate research with Dr. Yadav is on the natural sweetener, Stevia. Stevia is in high demand for various health benefits. However, because Stevia has such low vitality rates, the goal of our research is to increase the genetic material of its cells using tissue culture technology. Increased genetic material is associated with increased cell size, which is also consistent with an increase in the plant’s reproductive and vegetative organs. Our project aims to increase biomass production of the Stevia plant in order to help meet the global demand for this sweetener.

“My undergraduate research has piqued my interest in continuing to perform research in graduate school in order to continue to contribute to science. I recently took part in the Student Educational Enrichment Program (SEEP) at the Medical College of Georgia, where I earned the highest average in health disparities class. After analyzing the leading causes of death, scrutinizing how factors such as socioeconomic status affect these health issues, and evaluating the implementations taken to improve these conditions, I have a stronger desire to continue to push the extent of my studies on healthcare sciences.

“My experiences as a Middle Georgia State student have enabled me to discover my passion to commit to conducting biomedical research and broadening my knowledge in the field of healthcare science. With the knowledge and skills I have gained in my college years, I now feel more prepared to transition into dental school and perform graduate-level research!”

To her, greatness means … “To tirelessly work toward the goals you are passionate about. In order to achieve greatness, you must push past any limit that you may have believed you possessed, to overcome the obstacles that are stopping you from reaching your ultimate goals. You will know that you have found your greatness when you become someone that a younger version of yourself can look up to.”

In five years … “After graduation, I will attend dental school, where I will get to learn the essential skills to fulfill my future goal of proactively contributing to and fostering oral healthcare at the local, state, national, and international levels. While in dental school, I will be performing biomedical research, specifically focusing on oral health. After acquiring my DMD/DDS, my interests include working as either a general dentist or an oral surgeon. While I will still be deciding on what specific career to choose, I am certain that I want to apply everything I learned in order to provide the best clinical care and service for my future patients.”