Echo Huang College of Business Scholarship For International Students
In February 2014, the Echo Huang College of Business Scholarship for International Students was established in the Winona State University Foundation as an annual scholarship. The scholarship will benefit and encourage international students who are declared pre majors or majors in the College of Business and willing to share their culture with WSU and the Winona Community.
1. Each recipient must be an undergraduate student enrolled full-time and in good standing at Winona State University (minimum of 12 credits per semester, Fall and Spring).
2. Each recipient must be an international student.
3. Each recipient must have declared a pre-major or major in the College of Business.
4. Each recipient must be a Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, or Senior.
5. Each recipient must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. However, GPA should not be considered primary criteria.
6. As part of the application process for this scholarship, the student must submit an essay describing the following:
Share your story as an international student at WSU that includes a something about your culture.
Fang Echo Huang graduated with a bachelor’s in accounting from WSU in 1995, just three years after coming along to the U.S. from Shenzhen, China to pursue further studies. She graduated summa cum laude, and was on the Dean’s list every semester. She was the recipient of the WSU College of Business scholarship, WSU Alumni scholarship, and Minnesota Governmental Accounting scholarship. Along with being active in the International Students Club and cross-cultural activities, such as introducing Chinese culture to the local community, she was also treasurer for the Malaysian American Chapter in Winona. She speaks Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, and Hakka.
After graduation, Echo started as a cost accountant at West Publishing Company, and within five years had passed her CPA and CFP exams and began her job as financial advisor for RSM McGladrey in Minneapolis. Three years later, she joined LPL Financial, where she started her own financial services business, which grew to manage more than $20 million in less than three years. She became partner of The Advocate Group, LLC located in Minnetonka, where she still works as financial advisor today delivering financial planning and investment management to many Fortune 500 executives and their families. In October 2009, Minnesota Law and Politics Magazine named Huang as a Trusted Financial Advisor. She passed Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level Two exam last year. Echo is a founding member of the China AIDS Orphan Fund, a Minnesota charity which helps orphans in China whose parent(s) died of AIDS. She has also served on the Board of Financial Planning Association-MN Chapter, and WSU Alumni Board.
Along with her hobbies of playing piano, traveling, reading and gardening, Echo is also a competitive ballroom dancer, competing in Pro-Am International Latin and International Standard Silver Level events. She has a daughter Nina and currently resides in Plymouth, MN with her husband Daniel Brown.
Echo chose to create this scholarship specific to international students because of the great challenges international students face when trying to get financial aid or loans abroad. During her studies at Winona State, she worked hard on her schoolwork, and took part-time jobs during the school year and the summer to make ends meet because she was not eligible for any need based financial aid. Echo remembers how hard it was to work minimum wage on campus at $4.25/hour and try to support herself and pay for tuition and books with no access to loans, all while making the Dean’s list every semester. She wished at the time that she could have obtained just a small student loan, but it was not available to foreign students. She was finally able to obtain three scholarships in her final year after she overcame the burden of figuring out where and how to apply. The three scholarships, totaling $1,800 in the final year, were absolutely instrumental in helping Echo finish college earlier by taking more classes during the summer. Since putting her WSU education to work in business, Echo now wants to help one student per year who can demonstrate a financial need and who has a clear goal of pursuing a higher education in business. With this scholarship, Echo is determined to change the life of one international business student per year.