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“Going to Stanford University has always been a dream of mine,” said Patricia Margaret Victoria, a Psychology major at De La Salle University (DLSU) Manila. It was a wonderful surprise when the 20-year-old was accepted in the summer program of the Ivy League school in California.
The inaugural Science, Technology and Medicine Summer Program under the Stanford Anesthesia Summer Institute selected only 30 students among approximately 1,000 applicants from across the globe, including the United States, Turkey, Hong Kong and China.
Victoria is the sole Filipino to be accepted in the program.
While such an achievement is typical of bookish and nerdy types, Victoria is much more than that. There’s a vibrant, outgoing side to her, too. An events head of DLSU’s student organizations, she’s also into the arts, particularly music.
“I’m very interested in theater. I did musical theater for five years and trained in the performing arts. I sing and was actually the Lasallian Showtime champion for three years in a row!” she said.
Victoria’s love of music contributed to her success at Stanford University’s summer program. “My research project was on how music can heal the pain and anxiety of patients. That research project got me a distinction,” explains the psychology major.
Salima Hirji, program manager of Stanford’s Science, Technology and Medicine Summer Program, praised Victoria and her work: “She received the distinction on her project because she went above and beyond what was expected. She has a bright future ahead of her.”
Coming up with an excellent research project wasn’t easy, Victoria admitted: “During the last days, I was very stressed. My mentor, Dr. Larry Chu, came up to me and said, ‘When you’re doing something, withhold doubt and withhold judgment.’ So, if you have an idea, pursue it and give all your best. At the end of the day, you did your best and that’s all that matters.”
For Victoria, the stress was well worth it. Aside from being mentored by some of Stanford University’s top professors, she was exposed to the real world of medicine through the summer program.
“The most memorable part was following doctors at Stanford Hospital, in operating rooms where I got to see how they go about their work,” she said. “They save lives, all in a day’s work. They build trust with their patients. I find it really inspiring.”
Victoria remains humble. She’s grateful to her classmates and professors at DLSU for being supportive. “One of the main things I learned from DLSU was perseverance,” she said. “In the classroom I always sit in front and I see ‘Lasallian achievers for God and country.’ This has inspired me to do well and strive for more things and reach higher goals.”
Speaking of higher goals, Victoria has a clear idea of what she likes to pursue. “Right now, my eyes are on medicine,” she said, “but I’m open to other options such as health care technology and the business of using health care as well.”
Like her research project, we can only expect something creative from this outstanding student.