Vian Nguyen is a 2021 UCI graduate who majored in Comparative Literature and minored in Asian American Studies. As an undergraduate, she worked at UCI Libraries as a Student Assistant for the Orange County & Southeast Asian Archives, Special Collections and Archives, and External Relations. She interned for Transforming Knowledge, Transforming Libraries, where she taught students about oral histories and learned about community archiving practices. She was a part of UCI Women’s Rowing, the Humanities Center’s Stories from the Sea Project, Viet Stories Oral History Exhibition, ASUCI’s Sustainability Commission, the Humanities Honors Program, and Model United Nations. As a UROP Fellow, she and her team, “EcoSpuddies” taught lessons to Montessori School students about environmental issues and solutions to understand the impact of environmental education on intergenerational learning within families. Nguyen aspires to share her love for storytelling, teaching, and sustainability in the field of education.
1) If we ask one of your friends to describe you, what would they say?
If one of my friends were to describe me, they would say I am very attentive to people and their feelings, caring, and creative. Some of my friends would describe me as a go-getter who kind and full of ideas!
2) What life events or personal mentorships, if any, directed you to the field of study you have chosen for your future endeavors?
Every teacher I’ve had in my life has taught me the value of being an educator who is kind, steadfast and firm in their values and morals. My parents and grandparents have taught me the values of being compassionate,creative, and determined to always find solutions to any complex problem. There are so many reasons why I have pursued a master’s degree in Education. Sometimes, I think that the answer lies deep in my roots. My grandpa was a Literature and English teacher in Vietnam, who continued to teach even when it risked him losing his life. He was imprisoned for a few years away from his family as they fled as refugees to America during the Vietnam War. Hearing this story as a young girl instilled within me a vision of Education that was rooted in courage, bravery, compassion and care for others.
3) Did you ever seek information and advice from the SOP advising team? If so, what type of advice were you seeking and what was your experience with them?
The SOP advising team played a huge role in building my confidence to even apply to the programs I applied to. Through SOP, I worked on my applications for Soros, Gates Cambridge, and Fulbright ETA. My main advisor was Brendan, and he constantly supported me with every meeting and suggestion. I really appreciated that he was patient and supportive, while really being honest and encouraging. Additionally, my interview practice for Fulbright was impactful for me not just for the sake of the application itself, but it also helped build my confidence in myself so much. Everyone at the SOP office is so kind, encouraging, and inspiring and I am so thankful for all their genuine help and care throughout this process.
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