A student at the University of Connecticut died at Windham Hospital on Monday afternoon after being pulled from Mirror Lake by UConn Police, according to an email sent out by the Dean of Students, Eleanor Daugherty, on Tuesday morning.
Tianyin Shang, a fourth-semester applied mathematics major from Shanghai, China, was in critical condition when she was rescued and despite efforts to revive her, she passed away at the hospital, Daugherty said.
“Tianyin, or Skyine as she was known to her friends, was proud of her Chinese heritage, excelled in math, was a friend to many in her residential community, and a rising star on the UConn Western Equestrian Team,” Daugherty said.
The university offered support in the coming days for students who are grieving and struggling to process the magnitude of the loss.
According to the Chief Medical Examiner, Shang died by suicide.
“She will be deeply missed, and many of us are struggling to understand her death,” Daugherty said. “We will remember, we will grieve and we will seek to cherish her contributions to our lives.”
Shang was also a member of the 2019 UConn Worldfest committee, which is an event that focuses on celebrating the university’s international community and raising awareness of other cultures and traditions, according to their website.
“I am grateful to contribute to get the students connected, raise international inclusiveness, help them learn other traditions, as well as make the international students a better community,” Shang had written in her committee member biography.
Leslie Lawrence, an international advisor at International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) and UConn’s Worldfest committee chair, said Shang was a valuable and thoughtful member of the organization whose legacy will never be forgotten.
“She [Shang] was always willing to put in more time and effort,” Shang said. “She was sweet and soft-spoken, but always brought great ideas and a friendly presence to the committee.”
Rae Alexander, the director of ISSS, added that it is a tragic time for UConn’s international student population, but that all students should know people around them love them.
“We want students to know that there are so many caring individuals at UConn and university resources, and we are all here to support our international students in any way we can.”
In an email to students, UConn president Thomas Katsouleas welcomed students back for the spring semester, but acknowledged how difficult the news about Shang is to process.
“This [message] is overshadowed by a great sense of sadness. Yesterday, we learned of the death of one of our students, Tianyin Shang.” Katsouleas said. “We are all in this together, and the best we can do is support each other at times like this. Your help in being proactive and caring will make a difference.”
The Mental Health Office at Student Health and Wellness is located on the fourth floor of Arjona (337 Mansfield Road, Storrs, CT 06269) and is open during normal business hours Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After hours, weekends and holidays, call 860-486-4705 and stay on the line.
The Dean of Students office on the second floor of the Wilbur Cross Building (233 Glenbrook Road, Storrs, CT 06269) is also available to assist students in need. You can make an appointment by calling 860-486-3426 or stop in Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
24/7 Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Ashley Anglisano is the news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taylor Harton is the associate news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at email@example.com.