Rider University’s Jade Bing ’13 of Metuchen, N.J., received the Overcoming Challenges Award from the Women Chemists Committee of the American Chemical Society. The competitive award is given to one female undergraduate student, who has overcome hardship to achieve success in chemistry, annually. Bing, a Biochemistry major, gave a speech at a recent National American Chemical Society Meeting to accept the award.
At the age of 7, Bing was diagnosed with Guillain–Barré syndrome, a disorder that occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks part of the nervous system. As a result, she experienced prolonged paralysis in her legs and arms for most of her childhood, but with determination and years of physical therapy, Bing exceeded her doctor’s and her own expectations when she secured a spot on Rider’s Division I Field Hockey team during her freshman year at Rider. Bing encountered yet another roadblock, however, when her family’s Metuchen, N.J., home was destroyed in a fire during her first semester at Rider. Without insurance, and a mother who is disabled and unable to work, Bing had to forgo her athletic career in order to work full-time as a retail manager, while continuing to go to school full-time.
Despite these setbacks, Bing has taken advantage of opportunities offered by The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, the staff of the Student Support Services at Rider and her faculty mentors, in order to pursue her dream of becoming a medicinal chemist. After taking an organic chemistry class with Dr. Danielle Jacobs, assistant professor of Chemistry, Bing began independent research in Jacobs’ lab during her junior year.