Pao-Sen Chi Memorial Scholarship
A conversation with Yun-Hwa Peggy Hsieh.
Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
Auburn has a very special place in my heart! I started my academic career at Auburn University and had served 10 years from an assistant professor to full professor of food science. That was the most memorable time in my life.
What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
I established the endowment of Pao-Sen Chi Memorial Scholarship in honor and memory of my deceased parents for their generosity and belief in education. My father believed strongly that education was vital to the completion of individuals and society as a whole, that it challenged old concepts and opened minds and hearts to new knowledge and experiences. He believed that the result of these changes would be a deeper understanding of morality and a better quality of life for all. Throughout their lives, I vividly remembered that my parents sacrificially and anonymously supported numerous young people of less fortune throughout their educational careers in Taiwan. This scholarship serves as a lasting tribute to the vision and legacy of my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Pao-Sen Chi.
Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
I started my academic career at AU in 1993 as an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science, College of Human Sciences. My mother passed away earlier in 1986 and my father visited my family in Auburn after his retirement from Taiwan during the winter holiday break in 1994. My father loved everything about Auburn and was so pleased that I chose to be an educator. We had such a wonderful time during his visit. Very sadly, he died from a heart attack right after this trip on January 11, 1995. Since his unexpected sudden death, his word of admonishment to me for being a devoted mother, wife, and educator has been always ringing in my ears. I determined to remember and honor my father by doing my very best for the family and on my job. Auburn became the most special and memorable place in my life where I shared the most precious days with my father before his passing; started my first job in academia; worked with wonderful students; made lifetime good colleague friends; cheered almost every Tiger game for a decade; received my first US patent; and made the first license agreement of commercializing of our research products. I left AU in 2003 for Florida State University, for a family reason to join my husband there; however, due to continuing AU research at FSU, I have kept a close working relationship with AU for all these years, resulting in joined license deals between AU and FSU. A number of AU licensed technologies are on the international market for consumer protection from food adulteration, food allergy and prion diseases. I am currently serving as a member on the Nutrition and Dietetics Advisory Board and Women’s Philanthropy Board, College of Human Sciences, Auburn University. War Eagle!
What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
I hope all scholarship recipients will receive support, encouragement, and honor as they deserve, and they will also be able to support and encourage others someday when they are ready. Passing on the spirit of giving is a blessing to many.