In memory of Jengyee Liang, 1983-2008

By Shirley Rivera
Wednesday February 18, 2009 - 06:51:00 PM

Jengyee Liang, UC Berkeley alumna, died on Nov. 10, 2008, near her hometown of Huntington Beach. The daughter of Mr. Tom Y. Liang and Mrs. Jan C. Liang, Jengyee was born in Fountain Valley on Feb. 18, 1983 and grew up in Huntington Beach with her parents and her two older brothers, Albert J. Liang and Ben J. Liang. Family and close friends surrounded her when she passed after her three-year struggle with lupus.  

During her 25 years, her accomplishments and actions touched many lives.  

Growing up in southern California, Jengyee attended Montessori Greenhouse, Mesa View Middle School and Marina High. After graduating from Marina High, she attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research. She graduated with honors in 2005.  

While at Cal, many came to know Jengyee as energetic and purposeful. When asked about her numerous campus activities, Jengyee explained, "If you are an officer, it forces you to become involved." Therefore, to know Jengyee was to know that she was involved.  

And if not an officer, she also was known to volunteer for various events that supported personal growth and development. Often, she inspired and motivated others to do so, as well. Numerous are the organizations in which she actively participated, the awards that recognized her talents and character, and the activities that she enjoyed pursuing.  

Jengyee served as an ASUC senator, elected to the 20-member Senate from a pool of more than 100 candidates. Throughout her college years, she served as president of or held active positions in several clubs and organizations, which included the Institute of Industrial Engineers, Golden Key Honor Society, Society of Women Engineers, and Prytanean Women’s Society. Her campus achievements included receiving the highest honors by national and international offices for three societies for which she served as president and securing additional funds for the Engineers’ Joint Council amid campus-wide budget cuts. In her senior year, she joined the University Students Cooperative Association (USCA) and took residence at Hoyt Hall.  

Jengyee’s recognitions and awards included being the only North American recipient in her senior year for the Institute of Industrial Engineers Student Award of Excellence, being a Bechtel Scholar as a result of receiving the Bechtel Engineering Scholarship for the most outstanding sophomore or junior in engineering, and receiving an Alpha Pi Mu (Industrial Engineering Honor Society) National Award of Excellence among many other awards during her last two years at Cal.  

Throughout her student life, Jengyee also actively sought out opportunities to participate in various competitions. In her junior year, she was a finalist for E-business Case Competition, sponsored by Cisco Systems and Deloitte Consulting. During her last year at Cal, she represented the university in Denmark at an international competition, sponsored by the Copenhagen Business School.  

Many of her summers at Cal were spent as an intern for several Fortune 100 companies—UPS, Merck, and SBC. From her experience, at the age of 23 she authored “Hello Real World: A Student’s Approach to Great Internships, Co-ops, and Entry-Level Positions, 2006.” Acknowledged by students, career counselors, human resources professionals, hiring managers and peers, Jengyee continued to share her experience not only one-on-one with peers but also through publications, blogging, speaking engagements, and talk radio.  

After graduating from Cal, Jengyee relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio, to take a position with Proctor & Gamble. Her time in Ohio was short-lived. When she was diagnosed with lupus, Jengyee returned to Huntington Beach to be with family, seek treatment and continue to further engage in efforts supporting the personal and professional development of college students and recent college graduates.  

Beyond Jengyee’s college activities and accomplishments, her family and friends remember her cheerful optimism, kindness, charm, generosity and distinctive laughter, among many other things. She enjoyed writing, swimming, hiking, traveling, community service, board games, reading, music, and dancing, watching Oprah shows and Luyu Shows (China’s Oprah-counterpart).  

All are welcome to celebrate Jengyee’s life during a memorial service that will be held on Sunday, Feb. 22, from 12–4 p.m., at the Clark Kerr Garden Room located at 2601 Warring St. in Berkeley. Immediately following the memorial service, attendees are invited to celebrate Jengyee’s birthday at a dinner at Long Life Vegi House located in Berkeley at 2129 University Ave. 

Please send an e-mail to michelle.s.davis@gmail.com so that we can make arrangements for your attendance.  

A memorial fund, Jengyee for a Better World Fund (www.jengyeeforever.org), has been established for those who also may choose to remember and honor her efforts to better the world. The fund has three major goals—fight diseases and improve health care systems, preserve the planet, and develop people. It is through her experience of the complexities of the health care and health insurance system, the limited research for treating lupus, an understanding of the benefit of a supportive community and a love of the environment that this fund hopes to serve others with a shared purpose.  

Whether through the memorial service, memorial fund, or other means that honor and acknowledge Jengyee’s life, the Liang family extends their appreciation and warmth to all who allowed Jengyee an opportunity to share a part of their life and to all who touched their daughter’s life.