Thaithao Nguyen

Undergraduate Student in History
2018 Alumni Scholarship Recipient

headshot of 2018 Alumni Scholarship recipient Thao Nguyen

Thaithao Nguyen is an extraordinary scholar who has persevered through extremely tough obstacles. Nguyen was a top cadet candidate in the CSUDH Army ROTC – on the way to Chaplaincy - until that dream was dashed by an AROTC doctrine which stated that Thaithao was ineligible to advance due to identifying as transgender. While this placed an impediment in any plans for officership, Nguyen rediscovered a love for history and began to map a roadway to become a professional historian. Thaithao quickly rose to the top of the class, partaking in university service positions to underline the LGTBQIA2+ community, and was accepted into the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program in 2017. Nguyen has earned praise for consistently producing high-quality work – as well as for an innate determination to succeed. Nguyen's ongoing McNair research proposal was carried out in the summer of 2018; a history of first-generation Vietnamese women in Little Saigon, California from 1980-1990.

Upon receiving the scholarship, Nguyen said, "As the recipient of the 2018 Alumni Scholarship, I am deeply honored to have the support of the CSUDH Alumni Committee. The award will help me financially during this coming Fall semester as I finish my senior year and complete graduate school applications."