• Grace Yang

Member Spotlight: Grace Yang

Name: Grace Yang
Member Since: 2013
Membership Level: Under 40
Chapter: East Coast
Job Title: Intellectual Property Attorney at Troutman Sanders LLP


Tell me how you first got involved with the Caltech Associates and why supporting Caltech is important to you.

I first got involved with the Associates in 2013 through Denise Nelson Nash, who was the Assistant Vice President for Campus and Community Relations at the time. She invited me to a Caltech Associates event featuring David Baltimore. I accepted her invitation and had a wonderful time listening to his presentation and meeting other members of the Associates. I've been a member ever since.

Caltech provides a small, tight-knit community that enables the students to have meaningful relationships with their peers and the professors, and I benefited from this environment. As an undergraduate, I had the good fortune of meeting Professor Harry Gray and being a SURF student in his lab. The knowledge and support I received and continue to receive from him are immeasurable. I want other students to have a similar experience, which is why I support Caltech.


What role does the East Coast Chapter play within the Caltech Associates, and what motivated you to get involved?

Given the relatively small alumni population, I believe the Associates helps to broaden the Caltech network and inform those outside the alumni community of its ever-growing accomplishments and goals. The East Coast Chapter plays a crucial role in establishing and maintaining strong relationships with Caltech supporters located on the East Coast. It bridges the long distance between Pasadena and New York to provide a forum for its members to share experiences while strengthening and extending our networks. I joined the Associates because it gave me the opportunity to meet others, both alumni and non-alumni, who also support Caltech, its mission, and its goals.   


What do you wish other people knew about the Caltech Associates or Caltech? Or what do you enjoy most about being part of the Caltech Associates?

Thanks in part to the TV show The Big Bang Theory, many people know that Caltech is a science-focused school. What they don't know is that Caltech provides students with avenues to explore other areas, like music, theater, and athletics.  


Outside of your involvement with the Caltech Associates' East Coast Chapter, what do you do?

With regard to Caltech, I am also involved with the Alumni Association as a mentor and a New York volunteer representative. I serve as a mentor for Fordham Law School's Minority Mentorship Program, as well. Also, I'm a member of several bar associations. My involvement in these organizations is strongly supported by my firm, Troutman Sanders. In my spare time, I like to box, kite-surf, and spend time with my family.


What might we be surprised to know about you?

I was on the Caltech women's volleyball team for four years and served as its captain for three years.


Do you have a favorite Caltech memory, story, or moment?

One of my favorite moments was learning how to play broomball. For those who are not familiar with this game, it is like hockey without the skates, and instead of a hockey stick, you use a broom with duct-taped bristles to slap a duct-taped whiffle ball around an ice-skating rink. I remember thinking it was one of the most ridiculous yet fun things I've ever done.