A farmer’s son from Isabela got full scholarship from Duke University making him the first Filipino recipient of Karsh International Scholarship Program, the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) announced on Wednesday, May 26.
The PSHS extended its felicitations to Edrian Paul Liao, member of Class 2021 (Silaksarinlan) of the Philippine Science High School – Cagayan Valley Campus (PSHS-CVC) in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, for receiving admission offers from Duke University in the United States and Jacobs University in Germany.
“Edrian Paul Liao, a consistent honor student who hails from the City of Cauayan, Isabela, is now fully enrolled at Duke University, a private research university in Durham, North Carolina,” it said in a Facebook post.
Liao, one of the 11 recipients of the scholarship program, is planing to major in Mechanical Engineering and pursue a certificate in Aerospace Engineering and a minor in Computer Science.
The PSHS cited under the Karsh International Scholars Program, Liao is entitled to eight semesters of full tuition, exact housing charges, standard meal plan, and mandatory fees, including student activity, student service, student health, recreation, dining hall, mailbox, and registration fees.
He will have access to Karsh Scholarship-specific research and special project funding during both the academic year and summer, it said.
“The scholarship grant shall cover the yearly expenses amounting to US$82,000,” the PSHS said.
Created in 2010, the program is a merit-based full scholarship for international students at Duke University.
“It still feels surreal to be awarded a highly selective and prestigious scholarship. Never have I thought that a probinsyano like me would get chosen for such a scholarship,” Liao said.
Liao is expected to fly to the United States in August to join fellow international scholars.
“My father’s a farmer. All these years I have seen how difficult it is to be a Filipino farmer – typhoons, monsoons, the weather in general, and the low income they get from it. That is why as an aspiring aerospace engineer, I also want to provide farmers with the microsatellites that could potentially aid in minimizing the harsh effects of these different phenomena. At least for this issue, I could be able to help and uplift the millions of farmers in the Philippines,” he said.
Liao has also been offered admission in Bremen-based Jacobs University, a private English-speaking university, with scholarship grant for Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Physics.
Founded in 2001, Jacobs University serves more than 1,450 students from over 110 countries living in its 34-hectare residential campus.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021 placed the Jacobs University in the 251-300th spot.
Liao shared that he wanted to work for space agencies and companies like Boeing, SpaceX, and NASA, building spacecraft, satellites, and rovers “for a positive common cause.”
He also intends to be part of the newly-established Philippine Space Agency.
Liao is also the co-founder of π-oneers (read as pioneers), a non-profit organization which offers free online tutorial in math and science to high school students. The group has about 350 members all over the Philippines.
The Pisay student said for those Filipino learners who face difficulties in remote or virtual learning, he advised them to “just do what you can with resources that you have right now.”
“If something bad comes up, ask for help from your teachers and peers. They’ll surely understand you. Or maybe you can message me. I’m only one chat away if you need academic guidance,” said Liao as his advice to Filipino students facing the challenges of remote/virtual learning.”
Liao thanked the PSHS for both “rigorous and enlightening” education experience.
“I learned a lot from my stay at Pisay and will forever remember them even after my undergraduate studies. Personally, I think that without Pisay, I would not be garnering these wonderful achievements,” he said.