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 firmly believes that the college
experience is what you make of it. She decided to make hers something
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
"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
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
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
Looks like Linh Nguyen has been great for UTA,