Anna Nguyen ’22 believes that if you want to have a local impact, your thinking and decision making cannot be separated from considerations around the world.
Time spent in the United States, England, and China – as well as her home country Vietnam – taught her to be a true citizen of the world. âThis is why I chose not to stay in my own country, as much I love it. I need to be able to see it from a zoom out point of view before I know what the issues are. in so many countries I see the problems from very different angles, âshe said.
âAt every turn in her life and academic career, Anna has sought to maximize complexity – to look at things through as many different lenses and from as many different angles as possible. It leaves no misconceptions unchallenged, âsaid Alice Hadler, former senior associate director of the Fries Center for Global Studies.
Now, thanks to her hard work at Wesleyan, Nguyen, a Freeman scholar majoring in Economics and the College of Social Studies, will have another opportunity to broaden her perspective. “What I learned at Wesleyan is that being open-minded doesn’t just mean opening your mind to different ideas, but also being open to people who come into your mind and see your ideas,” a- she declared.
Nguyen has been appointed Schwarzman Fellow and will head to Tsinghua University in Beijing for a one-year Masters in Global Affairs. The university is ranked first in Asia as an indispensable base for China’s political, business and technological leadership. From August 2022, she will live in Beijing for a year of study and cultural immersion.
âMy goal for the program is to orient myself a little closer to home in terms of the social, political and cultural landscape of the region. I have been far from it in recent years, âshe said.
Nguyen beat a huge chance to be invited to the program. Over 3,000 students from all over the world applied. Only 400 applicants were interviewed to be placed in a class of 150 representing 33 countries and 106 universities.
âThe Schwarzman Scholarship is an amazing opportunity to spend a year on the campus of one of China’s leading universities, living and learning with an amazing group of students from all over the world. China is a complicated and internally diverse place that will certainly be at the center of so many global issues in the years to come. And the education Anna will receive isn’t just about China – it’s a leadership-focused curriculum that applies wherever she ends up, âsaid Stephen Angle, director of the Center for Global Studies. .
The scholarship is just the most recent of Nguyen’s successes. She received the Wesleyan Memorial Prize 2021, awarded to an outstanding member of the junior class. âAnna is an amazing student. I had the pleasure of working with her as an instructor in the Modern China and Maritime East Asia course. His articles challenge the triumphant narratives of modernization and globalization. She used Chinese-language sources in her research for both classes and presented a multifaceted account of iconic historical figures in Chinese history, âsaid Ying Jia Tan, assistant professor of history.
She won the Cardinal Crest Leadership Award, given to the member of the student government who selflessly served the student body. She was elected president of the Wesleyan Student Assembly. She works with Residence Life and at the Olin Library. âAnna has an exceptional community service record. As chair of the Wesleyan Student Assembly during the COVID-19 pandemic, she ensured that the administration understood the challenges students faced during such extraordinary times, âTan said.
âHer leadership skills are perhaps even more exceptional: Last year during the worst of COVID, in her role as WSA, Anna was essentially the voice of administration to students, although she maintained the confidence of her comrades – two groups that in my experience often don’t give the impression of being properly “heard” by each other – a tribute to Anna’s diplomatic skills. The combination of enthusiasm and urgency in her community-wide emails, and the emphasis on the need for the community to come together in the shared mission of do this work, was quite remarkable, âsaid Hadler.
In short, Nguyen is someone who gets involved.
From a young age, Nguyen had been interested in what lay beyond his home in the mountains of northern Vietnam. Her upbringing was mostly ideological, and she suspected that there was more than the Communist rhetoric she had been initiated into.
Nguyen’s parents believed in education, even though they hadn’t attended college themselves. They embraced Anna’s vision for her life, supported her in her intellectual pursuits, praying for her courage and strength. “My parents gave me all the decisions I made,” she said.
Her long-term goal is to become a professor, hoping to intersect real-world experiences, like the one she will have as a Schwarzman Fellow, with her research interests.
âSometimes I have felt a sense of loneliness in my reckless courage and my idealistic ‘naive’ belief in what this world is fully capable of. After all, I am just an individual; yet my experiences at Wesleyan and the promising mission of the Schwartzman Scholars program give me the power, as John Wesley taught, to “do all the good that we can, however much we can, in any way I can. , to all the places we can, anytime we can, to all the people we can, as long as we can, âshe wrote.
Students interested in a Schwarzman scholarship or other scholarship should visit https://www.wesleyan.edu/cgs/fellowships/index.html.