International student dies following brain aneurysm

by Jessica Howard

Cheong

An international exchange student studying at the Owen Graduate School of Management was remembered last week as an excellent student and "a delightful young woman" after her death from a brain aneurysm.

Sut Man (Pastina) Cheong, 26, died Oct. 25, four days after being stricken while shopping with friends at a local mall. She was unresponsive upon her arrival at the Vanderbilt University Hospital, where she was placed on life support. She never regained consciousness.

A native of Macau, China, Cheong was spending the fall semester at Owen as part of an exchange program with the International University of Japan.

"We are all deeply saddened by Pastina's passing," said William G. Christie, dean of the Owen Graduate School of Management. "She made a tremendous impact on all who met her, and we are grateful for the opportunity to have shared even a small fraction of her life. Consistent with her wonderful, caring spirit, her family agreed to donate her organs so that others would have a chance at a better life."

Cheong's mother, aunt and boyfriend traveled for nearly 24 hours from Macau. They were met at the airport Oct. 23 by Christie, two Owen administrators and Catonese-speaking students. The Office of Housing and Residential Education, the Medical Center, and the Office of International Student and Scholars Services helped arrange the family's travel to the United States and provided assistance upon their arrival, including providing an interpreter.

"I continue to be inspired by the acts of charity and compassion by the faculty, staff and students at Owen, and the University at large," said Christie. "I am very proud to be a part of such a caring community."

Cheong arrived at Vanderbilt in August to study business administration at Owen. She was one of two students participating in the exchange program with IUJ, where she was pursuing her MBA in international management. Cheong received her undergraduate degree in business administration at the University of Macua, and spent a year as an exchange student studying Japanese culture and business management in Okinawa International University.

"She was a remarkable student," said Kelly Christie, director of academic programs and student services at Owen. "She excelled in all of her courses, and worked well in groups. She was a delightful young woman."

Cheong's remains were cremated in Nashville in accordance with family wishes, and returned to China with her family over the weekend.

As of press time, plans were under way for a memorial service at Vanderbilt.


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