East salutatorian seeks a career in biomedical engineering (w/video)

Victoria East High School salutatorian Albert Chen reflects on what it has been like being at the top of his class.
  • ALBERT CHEN

  • • GPA: 104.8491

    • College: University of Texas at Austin

    • Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Chen

Albert Chen looked around the Victoria East High School library - a place where he said he spent most of his senior year studying and working on assignments.

"I spent more time in the library than I actually spent in any single class this school year," Albert said. "It's quiet, and there're lots of good resources here."

Albert, 17, will give his class salutatorian speech Saturday at Memorial Stadium, where the ceremony is scheduled.

In the fall, Albert will attend the University of Texas at Austin, where he plans to study biomedical engineering.

Albert said he's looking forward to graduation, but he knows the start of his college career means more work and responsibilities.

As an only child, Albert said he spends a lot of time alone but keeps himself entertained by playing video games, including "Halo," "Dark Souls," "League of Legends" and "Runescape."

His favorite book series are by authors Alex Rider and Rick Riordan. And he's seen every episode of "Bleach," a popular Japanese animated TV show.

In "Halo," Albert said he has earned the maximum competitive skill rating spread across 11 different game modes.

Albert said he spends three to four hours playing video games and one to two hours each night on homework.

"I do most of my work at school," he said.

David Clemens, a Victoria school district social studies teacher, taught him how to manage his reading time.

"I had to learn how not to have four to five chapters to read just a few hours before an exam," Albert said. "It was the first time I had to constantly read a textbook."

Albert is attending a three-day orientation at the University of Texas at Austin that ends Saturday, the day of graduation.

"I want to earn my master's degree and work at a research institution," Albert said. "I don't think I have the people skills to be a doctor."

Related story

East valedictorian to study petroleum engineering (w/video)