Goodwill ambassador

From the moment she arrived on campus, Linh Nguyen immersed herself in all things UTA. Her "get involved" mantra culminated in her election as the school's first Ms. UTA of Vietnamese heritage.

Linh Nguyen

Linh Nguyen firmly believes that the college experience is what you make of it. She decided to make hers something big.

After graduating from Bryan Adams High School in Dallas, she tried out for and made the UTA cheerleading squad as a freshman.

Later, a friend told her about the UTA Ambassadors program. Ambassadors represent the University at campus and community functions and serve as hosts in welcoming visitors to UTA. They also work to educate classmates and to encourage a sense of community on campus. The program sounded good to Nguyen, so she entered the Ambassadors election and won.

Then she won again, gaining the title she holds today—Ms. UTA.

"People are always saying, 'Get involved,' " she said. "But I know why that's important. Everybody goes to school and goes to class, but to take it a step further, to join an organization and work with people every day outside of class, that's what makes the whole college experience. Involvement changes everything."

Specifically, Nguyen's involvement changes things. She waves from the back of a convertible in Arlington's Fourth of July parade and welcomes politicians to campus. She answers questions at Preview Days and Ask Me Days and organizes the Campus Kahuna Program. Here, there and everywhere, Nguyen works to build and promote UTA.

Student Development Specialist Jamie Williams, who works with the Ambassadors, calls Nguyen "a very organized, responsible student leader who really cares about UTA."

"Her commitment to the students and to her goals is truly noteworthy," Williams added.

A biology/pre-med senior, Nguyen understands that campus involvement means tremendous time and effort. Her major also requires both of those scarce commodities.

"Medicine, it's just one of those things for me," said Nguyen, the oldest daughter of Vietnamese immigrants. "Lots of kids say, 'I want to be a doctor when I grow up,' but most of them eventually grow out of it. I never did. It feels natural for me."

When she graduates in May, Nguyen will become the first member of her family to earn a four-year college degree.

"The pre-med program here is very strong," she noted. "You're not constantly fighting to get the professors' attention. They know you, and that's good when it comes time to get those letters of recommendation. Plus, the Health Professions Advisory Committee is a great help. They're the ones who practice with us and prep us for the interviews."

Filling out the endless medical school applications has gone smoothly for Nguyen, probably thanks to long practice with scholarship forms. She hopes her success with scholarships translates into success with the medical school admissions boards as well.

Nguyen's major scholarship award came from the Tenet Healthcare Foundation, part of a California-based corporation that owns and operates 111 hospitals and facilities in 17 states. "I was really surprised to get that one," she said. "It's not a local scholarship. But, a friend handed me the application and I thought, 'Why not?' "

Indeed. Nguyen came to UTA, in part, because of the pre-med program's reputation. Now she calls her choice "one of the best decisions I ever made-UTA has been a great place for me."

Looks like Linh Nguyen has been great for UTA, too.


shim shim shim shim shim shim shim
Magazine Home |  Archives |  Alumni Association  |  UTA Home  
Copyright © 2002 UTA Magazine. All rights reserved.