Favorite professor: It’s a tie among Michael Poulton (IB&M), Hector Reyes-Zaga (Spanish) and Marc Ruhl (political science).
Favorite class: Global Economy taught by IB&M professor Michael Fratantuono.
How I decided my major: Business and Spanish were always strengths of mine.
How to balance athletics with academic life (co-captain of men’s tennis): Prioritize and know how long it takes to finish things.
Who I would be if I could be another person for a day: LeBron James seems to have it pretty good these days.
Who I would most like to have dinner with: Jamie Dimon.
What’s next: I’ll be working as an ultra-high-net-worth analyst in the Houston office of J.P. Morgan’s private banking division.
Advice to first-years: Get off to a strong academic start and set a precedent of success for yourself; doing very well from the start will lead to continued success, rather than having to catch up later.
Favorite professor: History professor Hilary Smith. She wants to make the classroom not just a place to study knowledge but to build an intellectual community.
Favorite writer and book: Parker Palmer and his book Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation. His words flow like a river into the inner self of the readers, telling them to listen to the voice inside themselves to discover who they are instead of letting the world define them.
Study-abroad experience: Since I’m an international student, Dickinson already is a study-abroad experience. I also took a summer program in Japan, a semester in Italy and a year in Korea.
Club involvements: Dickinson Christian Fellowship and Global Ambassadors. I met wonderful people who became my support system here at Dickinson and beyond.
Most memorable campus event: The basketball game last semester between Dickinson and another school that I don’t even remember. We won.
Advice to first-years: Don’t give yourself the pressure that you have to have everything in your life figured out before the end of college. Enjoy life, take one step at a time, figure out who you are first before what you want to do with your life.
What’s next: Return to Vietnam to work for a few years before going to graduate school.
Favorite class: English 220, because that’s when I decided to be a major.
Favorite professor: It’s a tie between English professors Dave Ball and Claire Bowen [Seiler].
Biggest challenge at Dickinson: Finding a new group of friends the first few years when I wasn’t sure who I wanted to be in college yet.
Favorite spot on campus: The benches to the left of East College.
Recent great book I read: Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex.
Favorite book: Alice in Wonderland.
Favorite movie: Brave.
Who I would most like to have dinner with: My grandfather, because I miss him.
Who I would be if I could be another person for a day: My dog (he’s got it made!).
What’s next: My new position as digital media specialist at Home Front Communications. I’ll work with clients on their social-media presence as well as develop digital content for their blogs and Web sites.
What the future holds: Happiness!
Path to Dickinson: l started off at Montgomery County Community College. I chose biology in community college because I knew that, as a Marine, the method of winning wars is often the destruction of life. After excelling in community college, I chose to transfer to Dickinson because this college was incredibly enthusiastic about accepting me. I felt that Dickinson really wanted to become a part of my success story, and thus I wanted to become a part of Dickinson’s story.
Transformative academic experience: My work with Professor Tiffany Frey of the biology department. Dr. Frey pushed me not only to be a student of biology but to become a scientist ready for the world.
Senior research project: Lovastatin Treatment Leads to Increased CD14 mRNA Levels in Murine Macrophages and Human Monocytes.
Favorite involvement: Student athletic trainer for the Red Devils.
Advice to incoming students: Fortune often favors the bold, and I know that there are other bold men and women starting off at community college who might feel daunted by the road to the top. Whether they face financial hardship or academic hardship, the top of the mountain is attainable as long as they are willing to start the journey and keep moving forward.
Who I would most like to have dinner with: Alexander III of Macedon.
What’s next: Attending the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey, Pa.
Dickinson legacy: Co-founded the Handlebar, an on-campus, student-run bicycle-repair shop, and launched the Green Bike Program.
Top talents: Can build a bike from the ground up and cook and bake from scratch, including hand-kneaded bread and English muffins.
Quirkiest hobby: Writing fan letters to food companies that produce my favorite snacks.
Best score: A box of Justin’s Nut Butters, courtesy of founder Justin Gold ’00, that included a variety not yet released to the public.
Clubs and organizations: Social Justice House, Students for Sustainable Agriculture, the Outing Club and the new Cycling Club.
Favorite trip: Sweden, where I studied during my junior year abroad.
Favorite meal: Breakfast, hands down.
Senior thesis topic: New Nordic food and its role in national identity. Nordic peoples are concerned with preserving their natural landscape and their cuisine incorporating local, fresh, in-season ingredients. This topic combined all of my interests: Sweden, sustainability and food culture.
What’s next:After a six-month internship with the Nordic Food Lab in Copenhagen, I plan to pursue an advanced degree in food studies and publish a cookbook of my own recipes.
Advice to first-years: Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
What I’ve studied: The migratory habits of lionfish in South Caicos Island and sea grasses in Queensland, Australia, and on the Chesapeake Bay.
Current research: Invasive species fascinate me. Why do some species take over a region while others decline? And how do these species affect small-island fisheries?
What’s next: College of Charleston to pursue a master’s in marine biology.
Clubs and organizations: Photography Club, Habitat for Humanity, Alpha Lambda Delta, Scroll and Key.
On pole-vaulting: That moment when you’re upside down, flying through the air, is an awesome experience. When do you get to do that? You’re free.
Favorite road trip: My friends and I rented a 12-foot-long camper van and drove to the center of New Zealand for a Lord of the Rings-themed trip.
Favorite movie: Mel Brooks’ Dead and Loving It. My sisters and I watched it all the time growing up.
Advice to first-years: Just explore. Each year, you’ll meet new people and have new experiences. If you mine those little experiences you’ll find that they really add up.
Published July 24, 2013