The Pittsburgh Foundation

Meet Pittsburgh Foundation scholar Jan Yang University of Pittsburgh student receives medical scholarship.

Jan Yang. University of Pittsburgh scholar. Image by Joshua Franzos.

Cameron Monteith is an intern at The Pittsburgh Foundation in the Communications department. He is expected to graduate Carnegie Mellon University in May 2023 with bachelor’s degrees in creative writing and film and media studies.

For some students, academic experience and innovation often comes into conflict with financial pressures. The Dr. John Knox Hall, Jr. Scholarship Fund, created by The Pittsburgh Foundation in remembrance of the psychology professor and lecturer at the university, seeks to alleviate issues of tuition for undergraduate students at the University of Pittsburgh. The Foundation spoke to Jan Yang, a 2020 recipient of the Dr. John Knox Hall, Jr. Scholarship, about how the scholarship is helping achieve her academic goals. Yang is a spring 2020 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with bachelor’ degrees from the Department of Psychology and Department of Philosophy. 

“The award carries with it a long and important history that very few students are aware of,” says Yang. “and in receiving the award I feel glad to be a part of that history. The name behind the scholarship, as well as the associated competitive nature behind receiving the award, reassures me in my academic pursuits within the University of Pittsburgh and beyond.”

Yang has had a long and personal history with psychology, beginning in her home of the Yunnan province within China. 

“It’s a long story,” says Yang. “My family has always been interested in psychology, especially my father. As well, I personally know many individuals with psychological disorders. Unfortunately the psychological diagnostics and services back home are not as developed as they are within Pittsburgh.”

Through her studies at the University of Pittsburgh, Yang focused on the connections between clinical psychology and health philosophy. She hopes to continue his academic studies by acquiring a Ph.D. and becoming a faculty member to both teach and conduct research.

“I want to focus on the relationship between an individual's blood pressure and feelings of loneliness,” says Yand. “My ultimate goal would be to reduce cardiovascular disorders within individuals as well as loneliness. I would also be interested in analyzing stress and various body functions for women’s health, specifically in menstruation and the immune system.”

Through her studies of clinical psychology and health philosophy, Yang seeks to understand the intersections between the physical and non-physical.

“My interests focus on the different relationships between the mind and the body. Through psychology, I’m able to study both the clinical and philosophical, and see how the interactions within the mind can affect the body and vice versa.”

Yang intends to put the Dr. John Knox Hall, Jr. Scholarship, award to good use. 

“Everyone undergoes pressure through a variety of means,” says Yang. “It can be pushing boulders or mentally straining for a test. The scholarship helps in easing the financial pressures and the associated physical and mental difficulties that come with financial issues.”

The Pittsburgh Foundation annually awards $2.8 million in scholarships annually to students seeking financial assistance. Information about scholarship opportunities offered by the Foundation, and the scholarship search tool and application, can be found at our website