Thuy NguyenThuy Nguyen, Class of 2015

Hometown: Phoenixville, Pa.
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Graduation Plans: Medical School

“My ultimate goal is to open a free medical clinic in my hometown of Trang Bang, Vietnam. I want to give back to the community that has supported me in my childhood, and I believe I can do it by trying to improve their health care system. If we start the task of revising and advancing the health care system now, it can take root and spread. I believe that dreams start small before they can sprout wings and take flight.”

Current Work and Research Project:

Nguyen works in the research lab under the guidance of Dr. Rebecca Lyczak in the Biology Department on the embryonic development of C. elegans and observing C. elegans phenotypically for the identification of mutations and genotypically to see how the initial C. elegans embryo cell develops into a full functioning being, using what proteins and how these proteins help determine cell polarity.

Plans to promote the common good:

Nguyen hopes to bring health care as well as medical information to developing and underprivileged nations. She envisions being part of organizations such as Doctors without Borders. “I not only want to speak of the medical findings, but also perform them in service of the public or as I would call it “talk the talk, walk the walk,” she says.

Most interesting leadership experience so far:

As a child living in Vietnam, Nguyen was voted class president as well as group leader. Class presidents became the teacher when the teacher was not present and lead the morning exercises. It was a position of authority and of power for those who were in grade school vying to be the best. “The class was large and teachers were extremely strict,” says Nguyen. “It was a class for only the privileged children of doctors and engineers, and my mother worked hard on her laborer salary to be able to put me in such a class.”