Anna Chiu of Portland has been chosen to be the student commencement speaker at the University of Southern Maine’s 134th commencement ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, May 10 in the Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland.
Chiu will receive a B.S. in health science with a minor in biology. She attended Portland High School, and upon her high school graduation, she traveled to Africa, where she lived in an animal sanctuary for six months.
When she was eight years old, Chiu’s younger brother suffered a tragic accident, which left him with a learning disability and paralysis on the left side of his body. As a result, Chiu has always has a passion for neuroscience and mental health, with her interest in these fields growing during her time as a student at USM. She loves reading and studying about the brain and she hopes to work with a team of neuroscientists to develop better treatments for diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Chiu has been a dedicated member of the Free Press staff, where she was the sports editor and the paper’s health and fitness columnist. She also was active in Multicultural Student Affairs and was a student leader at the Sullivan Recreation and Fitness Complex on USM’s Portland campus.
After graduating Anna plans to take a year off and travel the world. She looks forward to visiting China for the first time to explore her family history before attending graduate school.
Each year, a committee of faculty, staff, and students chooses the USM student commencement speaker through a competitive process.