ΦKΦ Member Spotlight

Jamie Chapman
Jul 27, 2022

Yufei "David" Zhu's childhood took him across the world – from China to Canada and finally landing in the San Francisco Bay Area at age nine. He grew up in Fremont, California, before heading to Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he earned a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering.

David is now continuing his studies as a full-time, second-year Ph.D. student at University of California Davis where he was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi. During his spare time, David volunteers at a local food bank and organizes groups of fellow graduate students with the Biomedical Engineering Student Association Health.

David considers himself a scholar-athlete having grown up playing competitive tennis and joining the varsity team at Washington University. He still coaches tennis on the weekends and has added running to the mix having completed two marathons in his early twenties.

Let's get to know David!

Why did you accept the invitation to join Phi Kappa Phi?
As an undergraduate student, I was just shy of the cutoff for joining a highly prestigious honor society like Phi Kappa Phi. To be invited as a graduate student makes me feel as though I have finally achieved what was once elusive. 

Have you ever had a nickname? What is it?
My close friends call me DZhu. Pronounced “dee-zoo”.

What are your hobbies?
I try my best to run regularly, play tennis, and draw. I plan to take a painting class at some point in graduate school and hope to become an architect aficionado when I’m old and wise.

If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
Man at Work

What have you learned from the biggest struggle in your life?
I learned that life can be unpredictable and so it’s important to keep an open mind, try to stay optimistic, and steadily push toward a better future.

What celebrity would you like to meet?
Venus Williams

Who was your favorite teacher in school, and why?
I came to the United States and started learning English in third grade. I remember that year I scored in the tenth to twentieth percentile on the reading comprehension sections of the annual standardized exam. Despite that, my teacher, Mrs. Wright, was very supportive and told me that I was going to be “great one day”. I never forgot that.

What song would you say best sums you up?
Gymnopédie No. 1 by Erik Satie

What motivates you to work hard?
Envisioning the ideal life that I want to live.

What is your favorite thing about your career?
The purpose of biomedical engineering is to promote human health through technology. I think that’s a pretty cool cause to dedicate one’s career to.

To learn more about David and connect, visit his profile within our online member community, here.

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