Hometown: Yorktown, Virginia
Major: Interdisciplinary Studies
Yenna is a senior from Yorktown, Virginia. She was born in Seoul, South Korea, and moved to the US when she was one year old. During her time at Tufts, she designed her own interdisciplinary studies major that explores the disciplines of biomedical sciences, public health, and entrepreneurship. Through her major, she has gained a great appreciation for understanding the world through various lenses. Her passions and interests lie within the field of healthcare, and she is fascinated by how different sectors can collaborate to create innovative, life-changing solutions for alleviating barriers and other issues.
With her interdisciplinary interests, Yenna has pursued a wide range of opportunities outside of her academics. During her first year at Tufts, she conducted research at the Jacob Lab at Tufts Medical School where she explored circuit connections and neuronal subtypes that underlie phenotypes of cognitive disabilities. During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, she pursued a summer research internship through the Tufts Institute of Global Leadership, investigating the mental health impacts of the pandemic on individuals with disabilities. This summer project transitioned into an independent study during her sophomore year, and she studied the impacts of social isolation on mental health during the pandemic and treatment countermeasures inspired by prolonged human space exploration. In addition, Yenna was selected as a Tufts Tisch Summer Fellow at a Boston-based non-profit organization, Asian Women for Health. She also continued her research endeavors as a research intern at the Yang Lab at Tufts Medical School. In her junior year, with her growing interest in entrepreneurship, she landed a product marketing internship at Orbita, a Boston-based startup, working on digital front-door artificial intelligence solutions for the healthcare sector.
Yenna has also held numerous roles within the Tufts community. Yenna served as a Classroom Operating Officer for the course “Entrepreneurial Leadership” taught by Professor Beth McCarthy. She was also selected by the Experimental College to teach a course called “But What About the Mouth?” for incoming first-year students about oral healthcare in the US healthcare system. Additionally, she has served as a resident assistant for the past two years, providing support and mentorship for first-year students in both academic and social settings.
Currently, Yenna is bringing her experiences and interests together through her Interdisciplinary Studies Honors Thesis where she is studying the use of AI-based virtual chatbots to alleviate dental phobia and fear. She was also selected as a semi-finalist for the Fulbright grant for an independent research study in Australia. Upon graduation, she will pursue a DMD at Tufts School of Dental Medicine. She hopes to continue her interdisciplinary endeavors to bring innovation to oral care and make a positive impact in the field.