Jiang named Vanderbilt’s 2019 Outstanding Seniorby Jalen Blue Nov. 18, 2019, 11:12 AM
With a passion for science, business and education, Troy Jiang works to serve and empower others in a way that makes a lasting difference. Community members recognized Jiang’s impact throughout his time at Vanderbilt when he was named Outstanding Senior on Oct. 19 during the halftime program of the Homecoming football game versus Missouri.
“It’s really not about one individual, but about how outstanding we are as a community,” Jiang said. “That’s what Outstanding Senior really means to me—I’m simply a reflection, one of many outstanding individuals who are part of this outstanding community.”
Outstanding Senior is among the highest honors an undergraduate student can receive at Vanderbilt. The award recognizes a senior who exemplifies the values of the university community through their leadership, service and passion. The 2019 finalists for Outstanding Senior included Frances Burton, Vineet Desai, Sophia Lee, Cody Markel, Will Newell, Aaron Niederman, Tommy Oswalt, Gregory Ridgel and Mikaelle Williams.
Jiang credits the Vanderbilt community with helping him to feel at home on campus. “As a LGBT+ student of color from China, I could not have accomplished much alone,” Jiang said. “It is the community, people and trust at Vanderbilt that allowed me to feel comfortable and motivated to do things that I enjoy, and because of that I feel empowered,” he said. Jiang is the fifth student of color selected for the award in the past 15 years.
Originally from Jilin, China, Jiang attended high school at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville before coming to Vanderbilt to major in mathematics and communication of science and technology, with minors in computer science and business.
Jiang said he initially chose to attend the university because of its strong academics and collaborative culture. “I was looking for schools with strong programs in science, business and education, and Vanderbilt is one of the very few schools that has that. While Vanderbilt is prestigious, it is also unique in that we have a very relationship-driven community, with a perfect balance of academics and social life.”
While at Vanderbilt, Jiang has been active in numerous student organizations and leadership roles, including serving as advising vice president for the Undergraduate Honor Council, a team captain for Dance Marathon, a site leader for Alternative Spring Break, director of sponsorship and finance for VandyHacks, public relations co-chair for VUcept, community service chair of Phi Kappa Psi, the international student health initiative lead of Vanderbilt Student Government, and more. Jiang is also involved with Tedx Vanderbilt and was one of the featured speakers at the annual event held on Nov. 10 in Sarratt Cinema.
Jiang noted the many ways that university and community members have supported him on his journey to achieving his personal and professional goals.
“Vanderbilt not only helps us to achieve what we are trying to accomplish, but to expand our scope and view,” he said. “We are encouraged to be however we want to be, we are challenged, and we are provided tremendous support to achieve our goals and even go beyond them. We all thrive in different ways, and our community really encourages you to be who you are.”
After graduation, Jiang will join Bain & Company in Houston, Texas, as an associate consultant. His long-term goal is to earn an MBA and a Ph.D. and continue to pursue his passions for business and higher education while addressing global issues such as educational inequities and food insecurity.