Michael Ong and Kimberly Russell – Class of 1993 and 1995

mikeandkim Michael Ong, M.D., Ph.D. and Kimberly Russell, M.S. are a couple who met in the CHP, and have since pursued careers that have led them from the bridges of the Bay Area to Silicon Valley, and back to Los Angeles. Mike is an Assistant Professor at the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine, where he divides his time between doing research on health services and health economics, seeing patients, and teaching and supervising physicians in training. Kimberly is a civil engineer in the Bay Area, and is currently working on the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) extension into Silicon Valley. She was one of the designers for Bay Bridge Reconstruction in the 1990’s.

We asked Mike and Kim how the CHP has influenced their lives.

Mike: Through the CHP, I got exposed to conducting research and to careers in research much earlier than other students. I also found that the Honors Core curriculum gave me a broad enough education that when I switched my Ph.D. training from neuroscience to health economics, the transition was relatively painless, despite having majored in biological sciences.

Kim: The CHP was key in developing my critical thinking and writing skills through the Core classes and research. In my projects, it is important to convey results of technical studies and design to managers so that critical decisions can be made. Excellent verbal and written communication is essential, whether working within our design team or with management.