Family of Princeton University graduate student who died in a car crash with her sister will set up foundation in their names

Cassidy Yang (l) and sister Angel Yang (r).

Cassidy Yang, a graduate student at Princeton University who was studying quantitative and computational biology, died in a car crash with her sister, Angel Yang, as they were driving from New York to Naperville, Ill. to visit their parents for the holidays. The sisters died on Dec. 5 in a crash in Ohio.

A graduate of the California Institute of Technology, Cassidy was scheduled to finish her doctorate at Princeton next May. The 26-year-old had spent the past few months working with scientists at Princeton to answer questions from the public about COVID-19.

Family friends Christine Zhang and Jiyong Zhao set up a GoFundMe to pay for the sisters’ funerals. In less than 24 hours, the campaign raised $100,000. More than $250,000 has been donated to the fund as of Dec. 17.

Angel and Cassidy’s father, Zhongjin Yang, a physicist who worked at Argonne National Laboratory, plans to use the money to establish the Angel and Cassidy Foundation. The foundation will fund education opportunities for girls and young women in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

Cassidy was passionate about encouraging women to pursue STEM careers, and was the outreach coordinator for the Graduate Women in Science and Engineering group at Princeton.