Vietnam native Tin Nguyen faced many obstacles—a language barrier, financial needs and low self-confidence--when he began thinking about where to pursue an engineering degree in the United States.
A friend recommended Mesa Community College and after doing online research, Nguyen decided MCC was the college for him. He never looked back.
“I love MCC with all my heart,” said Nguyen, 29, of Mesa. “I’ve had so many good experiences there. The professors are approachable, friendly and patient. They provide quality instruction and are always available during office hours.”
Additionally, he found his participation in the Asian-Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC) and his role as student ambassador in Student Life & Leadership assisted both his academic and personal development.
APIC advisor Ken Maruyama said Nguyen was very quiet and shy at the first meeting he attended.
“I encouraged him to get involved,” Maruyama said. “He ended up serving as the student senator, vice president and president of APIC. By taking leadership roles, he made a significant contribution to organizing APIC events, activities and meetings. He has a good character and as he studied at MCC, I saw him become very active, friendly and popular among many people on campus. I admire his courage, talent and hard work. I’m very proud of his success at the college.”
While at MCC, Nguyen earned many scholarships, including a National Science Foundation (NSF) S-STEM scholarship. When the NSF site visit team came to the college, Nguyen served as a representative and shared his story to show how the scholarship supported his educational goals. Other scholarships included an Asian Pacific Islanders Association Endowment Scholarship, a Marilyn Campbell & Walt Hodges Scholarship, an Associated Students-Student Life Scholarship and a Student Involvement Scholarship.
Nguyen said he found excellent tutoring assistance at MCC in math, physical science and English. Additionally, he was a Phi Theta Kappa member and participated in service-learning projects, including Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Shop with a Cop and served as a graduation volunteer.
Nguyen graduated from MCC with an associate in science degree in December 2019 and is currently pursuing a chemical engineering degree at Arizona State University. His interest in chemistry, math and physics was apparent from a young age. Nguyen’s goal as an engineer is to help society improve the environment with renewable energy and water treatment methods.
Nguyen said he would recommend MCC to anyone pursuing a college education and he’d like to thank the many people who helped and supported him during his time at MCC.
“I’d like to express my praise to my academic advisor Hanna Nguyen, my APIC advisors Kenichi Maruyama, Zhaowen Ruan, Jescida Douangchanh and my Student Life advisors Kris Bliss, Beth Ann Wright and Erick Tanchez. I have learned many things from them and I appreciate them very much.”