Junjie Zeng ’13

July 10, 2023

Junjie “Jacky” Zeng graduated from St. Johnsbury Academy in 2013. Starting as a sophomore boarding student from China, Jacky felt he adapted to life in Vermont fairly easily. He said, “SJA has a large number of international and boarding students, so we were able to form a small community together in the dorms. The exposure to a mix of cultures from across the world is definitely unique and exceptional. You don’t feel the same in college.”


Coming all the way from Guangdong, China to St. Johnsbury, Vermont, Jacky said, “The top-tier facilities at SJA were definitely big attractions to me, including the Alumni Gym, the Morse Center for the Arts, and the Mayo Center. St. Johnsbury is a relatively isolated place to stay which allows students to get closer to nature (I do miss the purple sunset I used to see when I looked out from my dorm room window) and focus on school work and relationships with people.” Outside of the classroom, Jacky participated in cross-country running with science faculty member, Coach Chip Langmaid ’80 and spent time in the darkroom after school working on photography projects in the Morse with visual and performing arts department chair, Rosie Lemieux Prevost ’84. His efforts and devotion paid off as Jacky was awarded the Photography Prize at the 2013 Graduation Ceremony.


After graduation, Jacky moved to Boston to attend Boston University. When asked about the transition from SJA to BU, he said it was relatively smooth thanks to being able to travel to Boston frequently as a boarding student. These trips allowed him to explore the area and have a sense of direction. He said, “The SJA trips allowed me to be familiarized with the city enough so that I felt comfortable after moving there. I love Boston and stayed there for nine years before moving to California.” Jacky studied electrical engineering as an undergraduate as well as in his PhD program, focusing on optics and photonics. He said, “I have always been a curious person, especially looking at how things work. My dream is to create something to change people’s lives. I do appreciate that I took the course “Intro to Engineering” at SJA with Dr. Elaine Parshall, (former science faculty). I enjoyed the course so much, it is a great intro to engineering/STEM for a high school student.”


Now living in San Jose, California, Jacky is working as an engineer. He said, “My current job is as a System Engineer at KLA in the semiconductor industry. I like it so far; this position requires me to solve unique engineering problems every day and they are challenging. One piece of advice Jacky has for current SJA students: “Do what you want to do, and put it into action.”


BACK TO SJA Alumni Spotlight