Minh-An Nguyen, 21, majoring in biochemistry and chemistry, has been named a President’s Medalist – the outstanding student to complete at least three-fourths of her education at the UW. The award is given on the basis of overall academic record, including grades. She has been both a Mary Gates Leadership Scholar and a Mary Gates Research Scholar. She also was honored as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Intern in 2005-6 and as a recipient of the Hyp Dauben award for the outstanding undergraduate in the H-organic chemistry sequence in 2005.
One of her favorite experiences at the UW was going on the Honors Rome Program in 2005. “Being able to learn about art history by actually visiting the site is an amazing feeling,” she said. “It pushed me outside my comfort zone and I learned so much about myself.”
Nguyen also has served as president of Healthcare Alternative Spring Break, an organization whose mission is to send pre-health student to rural Washington to observe the disparities in healthcare that exist there. “My personal experience in rural Washington confirmed my goal to work for the underserved,” Nguyen said. “I saw many low-income patients suffering and in pain. These cases could have been effectively prevented with proper care.”
Nguyen is Vietnamese but was born in Norway. “I hope to use my Vietnamese skills and my own experiences as an immigrant to help other immigrants in the future,” she said.
She plans to attend dental school.