Moving to a strange new place can make anyone homesick. For a
10-year-old child, however, the pangs may seem even stronger.
Even after a decade, Lingyee Wong '10Pharm.D. still recalls how
confusing it seemed when her family left Hong Kong for New York
City. “At first, all I wanted was to go back, to be with my
friends,” says Lingyee, known as Elsie to family and friends. “But
my father insisted I’d have better academic and professional
Elsie came to appreciate her parents’ emphasis on academic
opportunity. Today, she is a 20-year-old senior in St. John’s
University’s six-year Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program. Upon
completing her senior year, she will move seamlessly into two years
of graduate study.
“Fate kind of pushed me toward pharmacy,” she says. “A friend of
mine, who was a year older than me, happened to make it into the
program. She kept telling me how interesting it was, how
Her family encouraged Elsie’s interest. “They said pharmacy was
an excellent profession — a dynamic field with a good job outlook.
I consider myself a dynamic person, so I began looking for the best
pharmacy programs out there.” St. John’s seemed like a natural.
“The program is very competitive,” says Elsie. “Everyone talked
about its excellent reputation.” A campus visit convinced her to
apply. “I thought it was beautiful — grass, trees, great residence halls — right here in the
This past year, Elsie benefited from the access St. John’s
offers to prime pharmacy internships. “I obtained an internship at
the Mt. Sinai Medical Center through St. John’s,” she says. “There
was a pharmacy career day on campus, and the recruiter I spoke with
just happened to be Mt. Sinai’s Assistant Director of
Pharmacy is demanding — “you have to study every night” — but
Elsie makes time for the University’s ample student activities. As
a Student Ambassador, she gives campus tours to prospective
students and their parents. Recently elected secretary of the
Chinese Cultural Association, she also participates in the
Asian-Pacific Heritage Month Planning Committee and the Asian
Student Leader Round Table Discussions.
Elsie has also earned a singular honor, election to the
President’s Society which is comprised of outstanding students who
serve as University ambassadors at major events on and off
“If you want a college that gives you plenty to do, this is the
one,” Elsie says. “Students take their work seriously, but students
appreciate all the activities. When you come to St. John’s, you can
count on never being bored.”