Gifted musician and engineering student pursues both of his passions

“Engineering is a very challenging school, but Andrew has always been like that-always challenging himself,” said Marianne Shen, the delighted mother of Andrew Shen, a musical prodigy and a first-year engineering student at Rutgers University. While Shen credits his parents for their guidance and direction to help him pursue his musical goals, he also recognizes them for their avid interest in his scientific endeavors. Victor Shen, proud father and professional choir director, recognized Andrew’s talent as early as age 2 when he was enrolled in a children’s program at the Westminster Conservatory in Princeton. Shen’s motivation along with the guidance of his family and the Stretto Youth Chamber Orchestra director, Sherri Anderson, a big influence in his musical career, helped him tour from Chicago in 2003 to Europe in 2005 and 2007. During his high school years, in addition to performing both as a violin soloist and student conductor in the Princeton-based Stretto Youth Chamber Orchestra, Shen was accepted into the Waksman Student Scholars Program, a competitive program designed for high school students who engage in research projects which are constructed by the Waksman Institute of Microbiology. Furthermore, during the summer of 2008, Shen took part in an internship program with the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy through which he caught a glimpse of the challenges and endless possibilities that science offered him. However, Shen does not see a separation between his love for music and his love for science. Instead, he described it to be interconnected, where one can only benefit the other. While Shen received offers of admission from several well-renowned schools such as the University of Southern California, University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins and University, he decided to attend Rutgers University in hopes of it being the only place that fulfilled his desire to stay close enough to family but also offer extensive opportunities in both the sciences and musical fields. Shen, a motivated young man and role model to the engineering community, is confident that he will find new opportunities at a university that he describes to be “the best of both worlds.” CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

By Sayuri Khandavilli