Chuchu Ma Memorial Endowed Presidential Scholarship
Chuchu consistently excelled at her work through both her performance and the heart and soul with which she approached everything. She was the 2012 Valedictorian of Klein Collins High School in Spring, Texas. She was a talented musician, playing both violin and piano, and brought her love of music to the University, where she was involved in the Engineering Chamber Orchestra as a performer and a leader.
Chuchu often expressed her desire to reach out to similar academically successful women, introduce them to CS, and give them an opportunity to pursue a career. It would be her wish to encourage and support other high-achieving and community-conscious students, especially women, to work towards a degree in Computer Science at UT.
Chuchu felt as much pride in other’s accomplishments as she felt about her own. She frequently volunteered to mentor and teach in her free time. She reached out to help fellow software engineers begin their new jobs and careers. She was a person who built up and strengthened those around her. She encouraged fellow technical women to take leadership development classes. She advised students in a UT CS course for which she was the TA, and she would informally tutor anyone. Generous to a fault, she wanted to share every experience she had in life.
Chuchu was the type of friend who could be called any time whether you needed someone to explore the city with or a shoulder to cry on without judgment. She was always bringing people together. Somehow, she would throw together team hot-pot evenings with 20 people in a small apartment and 6 different utensils, meet everyone’s separate dietary needs, do it well, and do it with a smile. She organized groups to encourage reluctant exercisers, led hiking trips all over the Bay Area, and brought her friends to all sorts of orchestral performances, including her own.
And of course, Chuchu would disapprove if no one highlighted the fact that she was an absolute cat lover. She was a walking encyclopedia of the best cat forums on the internet; her Facebook page was decorated with cat photos; she spoiled her cat Twinkie; and any friends with cats would have to worry about impending cat-nappings. She had a goal to make everyone she met meow at least once.
Chuchu taught others to say “I am remarkable.” Now that she is gone, her family and loved ones hope that this endowment will continue to lift others up in their studies and in their careers in Computer Science.