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UND student Michelle Nguyen wins summer economics fellowship

Michelle Nguyen, a 2017 graduate of Eden Prairie High School in Eden Prairie, Minn., has been accepted to the American Economic Association’s Summer Program at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Nguyen is a senior at the University of North Dakota who’s double-majoring in economics and political science. The two-month program at Howard University is designed to prepare promising minority students for Ph.D. programs, particularly in economics.

To attend this program, Nguyen will receive a $3,250 stipend plus a full scholarship, which is valued at $20,000.

As many as 20 percent of PhDs awarded to minorities in economics over the past 20 years have gone to graduates of this program, the program’s website reports.

“I am so proud of Michelle,” Yee Han Chu, Academic Support and Fellowship Opportunities Coordinator at UND.

“This award recognizes her achievements and potential to conduct meaningful research in economics. It will give her a wonderful opportunity to work alongside prominent professors and build a network of support. What a fantastic bridge between UND and graduate school.”

Nguyen has won a number of other scholarships at UND, including a Dream Award from Scholarship America, a $10,000-a-year renewable scholarship for her undergraduate studies. That made such a difference in her present that it’s inspiring her future: in the fall, Nguyen plans to start her graduate work by pursuing a master’s degree at Indiana University, home of the first school in the world dedicated to the study and practice of philanthropy.

“After I earned the Dream Award, I saw how philanthropy changed my entire trajectory in higher education,” Nguyen said.

“It’s been so empowering to see and experience the generosity of others: mentors, donors, sponsors, educators. It’s a feeling I will never forget.

“I felt it again with the AEASP notification,” she continued. “I am so grateful for this opportunity to pursue my dreams! I want to earn a Ph.D. in Economics to further research how we can create more sustainable economies throughout our world.

“I believe that we can all contribute to the world by leaving it in a better condition than how we found it.”