Mr. UAB: A closer look
Posted on Feb 05, 2013 in Features
On October 6 of last fall, the competition for Mr. UAB was finally over. Kevin Jiang was named one of the scholarship recipients as well as being chosen to represent the University of Alabama at Birmingham at various events.
Yet apart from being the spokesperson for the UAB National Alumni society, Kevin represents UAB in other ways, such as being a member of the UAB Ethics Bowl Team.
“I debated in high school for my school’s policy debate. I didn’t really want to join the Ethics Bowl Team during my freshman fall semester, but during the spring, I joined the Bioethics Bowl Team and we did pretty well that year.” The Bioethics Team won the National Tournament at Duke University.
Kevin said he’s been on the Ethics Bowl Team ever since because it allows him to “apply what I’ve learn in philosophy on a case by case basis.” He is a philosophy and molecular biology double major.
Kevin was born in Luoyang, China, which is part of the Henan Province. He moved to Birmingham, Alabama with his grandmother when he was three years old. “I moved straight to UAB. I actually moved into an apartment complex that was located where the Rec Center now is. Obviously, it was torn down when they wanted to build the rec center.”
When he has free time, Kevin likes to listen to classical music, especially classical piano music. He says this is probably because he has played piano since he was three and up until he was a senior in high school. Lately, Kevin has been interested in picking up the guitar.
Kevin says he gets his motivation from his parents because “when they came to the United States there was a huge language barrier but they still persevered and worked through all that trouble to provide me with the opportunities that I have now.” Because of that, he feels as if “I owe them as well as my future generations to do well in order to help them succeed and give back.”
In addition to his parents, Kevin also aspires to be more like his roommate Babi Baruani because “he got me to apply myself and get more involved in the University.”
Being a philosophy and molecular biology major is pretty stressful and Kevin says he relieves this stress by teaching fencing. He actually got involved in fencing very randomly.
“I was the lead pirate in the 6th grade play ‘Treasure Island.’ My mom and I drove around looking for a pirate costume. There was a costume store right next to the fencing place and I thought to myself ‘that would be very cool.’” Kevin fenced competitively since he was 12 years old until he was a senior in high school. Now, Kevin teaches fencing for high school and middle school students.
If Kevin wasn’t in colleg,e he says he would probably be doing construction or carpentry.
“Physical labor would be pretty rewarding because you get to see your product and say to yourself ‘I did that.’ You’re there from the beginning to the end. You earn a good feeling of accomplishment.”
Kevin says that his pathway towards medical school is also “sort of like building myself, but from a knowledge standpoint.”
He wants to be a physician to help people directly. “I can look back and think to myself that was a good and eventful life because I got to talk to people and help them instead of thinking that I did that much amount of paperwork.”
Kevin is also very involved in his fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, and was elected President of the organization this past fall. He is from Mountain Brook, AL and has one younger sister.