PhD Biostatistics candidate Dawn Yang receives Edwin S.H. Leong Scholarship

November 7/2018


When Dr. Edwin Leong (MSc 1974) gave generously to the University of Toronto in 2017 to establish the Edwin S.H. Leong Scholarship, he hoped the award would “attract the best and brightest students from around the globe to U of T.”

Photo of PhD Biostatistics student Dawn Yang

Dawn Yang, PhD candidate in Biostatistics at DLSPH

Today, Dr. Leong’s vision has become a reality. Three extraordinary students have been selected to receive the 2018-19 Scholarship — which helps outstanding candidates with financial need pursue graduate studies at U of T — including Dongyang (Dawn) Yang who is pursuing a PhD in biostatistics at DLSPH.

“I’m really grateful to Dr. Leong for awarding me this scholarship,” said Yang, who plans to apply her U of T education in statistics to assist hospital physicians in offering effective treatment plans for patients. “I know Dr. Leong wants us to give back to society after graduation, and that is my goal.”

Dr. Leong personally interviewed the 2018-19 scholarship recipients. Each expressed to him their desire to use their U of T education in their lives and careers to help others. He is a proud U of T alumnus, having graduated with a master’s in computer science in 1974. Three years later, he founded and became chairman of Tai Hung Fai Enterprise Co. Ltd., a diversified property investment and development company. In 2005, he established the Tai Hung Fai Charitable Foundation, dedicated to supporting causes that promote the health and well-being of the aged and underprivileged.

The Edwin S.H. Leong Scholarship reflects Dr. Leong’s belief in the global value of U of T education. “My graduate degree gave me a solid foundation,” he said in 2017. “I give back to the University to ensure that outstanding students who are in need of support have similar opportunities.”

The 2018-19 Edwin SH Leong Graduate Scholars bring a diverse set of talents to U of T. Yang represented the University of Waterloo (her alma mater) on the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association while completing her master’s degree in biostatistics.

“I did a co-op at Princess Margaret Hospital with a professor from U of T, assisting physicians in developing appropriate treatment plans for patients,” adds Yang. “The work inspired me to pursue my PhD here.”