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Top Copley student has love of science
Yale College is on path toward medical school for Grace Patuwo, who will pursue neurosurgery

Grace經常參加社區活動,這是她在參加伊利杯活動中獲奬

By Kathy Antoniotti Beacon Journal staff writer

Each road Grace Patuwo has traveled, from the beach at her birthplace of Shenzhen, China, to Copley High School, where she is ranked first in her class of 240, has played a significant role in the 18-year-old's life.
The Beacon Journal Gold Star Student has taken few detours in a path leading to Yale College, where she will attend classes in the fall after graduating with a 4.164 grade-point average.
Patuwo remembers the beach of her childhood and long hikes with her parents in the mountains near her home.
''I would play on the beach all the time. I think that is where my initial love of science started,'' she said.
The journey continued when her parents, Leah and Eddy Patuwo, moved the family to the United States when Grace was 7 years old and her brother, David, was a toddler. Eddy Patuwo is a graduate of Virginia Tech and a professor of business at Kent State University.
Patuwo credits her parents with instilling her with a sense of curiosity. Copley guidance counselor Corinne Magensky and advanced placement biology teacher Connie Kosanovich inspired her quest for knowledge, she said.
With their encouragement, Patuwo is developing a curriculum she hopes will someday be adopted by Ohio schools to help students with the battle against drug addiction.
''When I was little, nobody ever told me what drugs would do to me,'' she said.
Her research caught the attention of former first lady Laura Bush and Ohio Rep. Brian Williams, D-Akron, who sent her letters of congratulations.
Linda M. Fuline, superintendent of Summit County Educational Service Center, said she met Patuwo recently when the senior was awarded the 2009 Summit County Franklin B. Walter All-Scholastic Award.
''I was extremely impressed with the passion she has to educate young children in her desire to give back to the community,'' Fuline said. Patuwo's interest in the subject began her freshman year when she entered a Brain Bee, an international neuroscience competition. Students are quizzed in general topics about the brain's anatomy, imaging waves and neurological diseases.
She surprised herself by winning the regional contest against mostly older students. She advanced to the international competition at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she learned even more about the topic at the National Institutes of Health.
''I was fascinated by how people become addicted to drugs, especially teens. A lot of people have no idea how that happens. I want to help people stop hurting themselves,'' she said.
That experience led to a nine-week science internship at the Cleveland Clinic last summer, which only fueled her desire to learn more.
''The internship was a big turning point in my life. I realized I wanted to be a doctor when I watched my first neurosurgery,'' she said.
At Yale, Patuwo will pursue double majors in cognitive science and ethics, politics and economics, which should lead to medical school and a career in neurosurgery.
''After becoming a doctor, I want to go into public health. As a private doctor, I can only help my patients. But in public health, I can help the nation,'' she said.
Vikas Turakhia, advanced placement literature teacher at Copley High School, recommended Patuwo as a Beacon Journal star student.
''She makes me want to be a better teacher,'' Turakhia said in his letter nominating Patuwo for the award.
While studies forced her to drop out of the school's tennis team, Patuwo said she still loves the competitive sport.
She also loves music — having played the French horn since she was an elementary student at Chapel Hill Christian School — and hopes to pursue a minor in music at Yale.
Patuwo is the principal horn player with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. Playing chamber music with her friends is one of her favorite pastimes, she said.
In the end, Patuwo insists it is her parents who deserve the credit for all her success.
''Without their support and guidance, I couldn't have done any of this,'' she said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 

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