P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Evelyn Wong, 2024

MD/PhD, Stanford University

Evelyn Wong is the child of Teochew-Vietnamese refugees.

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MD/PhD in Biophysics at Stanford University

Evelyn Wong was born in East Los Angeles, California to Teochew-Vietnamese refugees. Her parents are from District 11, Saigon, Vietnam, and escaped to a Thai refugee camp before seeking asylum in the United States. Evelyn’s earliest memories include exploring the factory where her mother worked, sleepy goodbye hugs from her dad before he left for the bakery at the crack of dawn and cultivating her family’s dragon fruit and guava trees. Her parents’ unbreakable work ethic, combined with their unconditional love and humility, instilled in Evelyn a deep appreciation for all that they had while staying grounded in cultural roots. In high school, this work ethic translated into her early morning cross country practices and late-night basketball games as a tri-sport varsity athlete. The words of her coach Manuel “Q” Quintero, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” traveled with her across the United States as she navigated the world of higher education as a first-generation, low-income college student. 

Evelyn graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University, where she studied neuroscience and Spanish literature. As an undergraduate, she received the Herchel Smith Fellowship for her thesis project at the MIT McGovern Institute, developing a next-generation protein sequencing platform. Beyond academics, she spent her time mentoring Boston refugee youth and working in free clinics serving undocumented and recently incarcerated individuals. In 2020, she founded CovEducation, a nonprofit dedicated to bridging the academic achievement gap and led to her being recognized by the Clinton Foundation for her work on educational equity. With the Marshall Scholarship, Evelyn earned an MPhil from the Division of Medicine at University College London, where she optimized existing neurotechnologies to understand cortical brain function.   

Currently, Evelyn is an MD/PhD student and Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford University. She is developing flexible electrodes to record neural signals from deep, hard-to-reach structures in the mammalian brain. She serves as a co-director of the Stanford Asylum Collaborative, providing medical and psychological evaluations to support individuals seeking asylum in the United States. Evelyn aspires to pursue a career as a physician-neuroengineer, working at the intersection of asylee health and neurotechnology to tackle technical and structural barriers to neuropsychiatric care.  

  • MD | Stanford University 2031
  • PhD Biophysics | Stanford University 2031
  • MPhil Division of Medicine (Neuroscience) | University College London 2023
  • BA Neuroscience, Romance Languages & Literature (Spanish) | Harvard University 2021
  • Knight-Hennessy Scholarship
  • Marshall Scholarship
Related Articles

Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships Announce 2024 Class of Distinguished New Americans

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans received more than 2,300 applications for the 2024 Fellowships.

Read More
transform="translate(188.000000, 15.000000)"