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Dr. Han Chuan Ong, associate professor of Biology for King University, along with
his Ecology of Plants students and members of the Alpha Phi Omega, King’s chapter
of the national coeducational service fraternity, served as course marshals for the
inaugural Bristol Half Half race on April 13.
The Bristol Half Half provided participants the opportunity to join the fight against
cancer with the American Cancer Society. Runners had the unique opportunity to run
in one city through two states for one great cause – fighting cancer.
Many of Dr. Ong’s students have either taken or will take a course in genetics during
fall term. “I like to have a social justice component in my classes, whereby not
only are students learning about things in class, but they are doing something relevant
in their community,” said Ong. “Many of the race participants are either cancer survivors
or know someone who has fought cancer. Our students served not only as course marshals
throughout the race but also cheered on the participants. Going through cancer therapy
can be likened to running a marathon; the last few miles are often the most difficult.”
The marathon course was 13.1 miles in length, beginning at Virginia High School, winding
back and forth from Virginia to Tennessee throughout the city of Bristol. Runners
crossed the finish line at the historic Stone Castle at Tennessee High School.
“A significant part of genetics is studying the biology of cancer and how cancer happens,”
said Ong. “It can be easy to lose the human component when studying the minute details
behind cancer or other diseases. It is important for students to bear in mind these
diseases are happening to real people. One way for students to maintain a balance
between the science and the human component is to participate in events like the American
Cancer Society’s Bristol Half Half marathon. The goal is to see the face of cancer,
to understand the human factor, not just learn the theoretical science behind it.
The science you learn truly impacts people around you. This race ties in well with
our genetics courses and King’s focus on global citizenship.”
To learn more about the American Cancer Society, visit www.cancer.org.
King University is a Presbyterian, master’s-level comprehensive university. Founded
in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors and pre-professional
degrees and concentration in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health
sciences, pharmacy, digital media, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are
offered in business administration, education, and nursing. For more information visit
www.king.edu, call 800.362.0014, or email email@example.com.