New Student President Values Connection and Opportunity

Tim Nguyen finds inspiration in faculty and fellow students alike

Our ongoing story starts with people from around the world, converging here at UMKC. Get to know our people and you’ll know what UMKC is all about.

Tim Nguyen
Hometown: Lee’s Summit, MO
High School: Lee’s Summit West High School
Academic program: Biology B.S (Pre-Dental) and Chemistry B.A
Anticipated graduation year: May 2022 

Why did you choose UMKC?

I chose UMKC because it became my home away from home. The people I have met at UMKC and in Kansas City are some of the most impactful individuals who have helped me achieve my academic and professional endeavors.

Why did you choose your field of study?

I chose to study and work towards a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Chemistry to prepare me for dental school with a business minor.

What are the benefits of the program?

One benefit of the program is that everybody knows everybody else as a biology and/or chemistry major. You are able to form a close community with others. There will be nobody else that will be as supportive towards your success than some of the people you will meet during your time at UMKC.

How has your college program inspired you?

My college program has inspired me to learn from faculty, advisors and upperclassmen who are wiser, smarter and more hard working than me so I can continue to grow. I see them as mentors and role models and I want to embrace and embody their good qualities.

"There will be nobody else that will be as supportive towards your success than some of the people you will meet during your time at UMKC."

Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?

I have learned I can do anything, but I cannot do everything. Motivation comes and goes sometimes, but passion lasts forever. I’ve learned to grow comfortable in the uncomfortable. My mentality is to live life giving 110% day in and day out.

Are you a first-generation college student? If so, what does that mean to you?

No, my parents were born in Vietnam, but had some college here in America. My mom went to a small college and my dad had some community college and then transferred. I am the first in my family and extended family to be born in the United States and to go to college.

I have nothing but respect for my parents as they left Vietnam by boat to come to America, escaping the Communists there. I want to make the most of my life here as I would not have the life and opportunities here if my parents never risked their lives leaving Vietnam.

Who do you admire most at UMKC?

I met Joseph Allen during Biology Bootcamp my freshman year and have never heard anything negative said about him during my time at UMKC. He is approachable - a role model - and I view him as a one of many mentors. His humility and his presence radiate with others. He was an individual that everybody knew, and he never had to introduce himself in a room.

"I seize opportunities that I can learn from."

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received from a professor?

“Be on time and ready to play.”

What extracurricular activities are you involved in at UMKC?

This fall semester I’ll serve as president for the UMKC Student Government Association. I will be an assistant coordinator for Academic Support and Mentoring Supplemental Instruction in the fall as well as leading the Biology Honors Discussion Group, which I’ve led for the past two years.

I’ve led Biology 108 with Dr. Benevides for three semesters, general chemistry my second semester of college, Organic Chemistry as a TA for Dr. Kilway this past fall and spring semester.

I will be working with Residential Life, and I also enjoyed putting in time with intramurals, such as soccer and volleyball when I started college at UMKC.

 

Do you have any scholarships? What do they mean to you?

The UMKC Trustees’ Scholarship has given me the blessing to expose myself to all the opportunities UMKC has to offer and the networking connections of individuals in the community wanting to see me succeed.

Receiving this monetary scholarship has tremendously reduced the financial burden for my family, giving me peace of mind. It will allow me to continue to pursue my professional and academic aspirations, and I am truly grateful. This generous financial support has given me more time to really serve students at UMKC through being able to be as involved I can.

“During these internships, I learned, “If you see it, you can be it.”

Have you had an internship/job shadow? What did you learn during your internship? 

After my freshman year I was a Bluford Scholar in the Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute (BHLI.)  After my sophomore year, I spent a week with a program piloted by BHLI and partnered with the Stowers Institute right across from UMKC. During these internships, I learned, “If you see it, you can be it.” This summer, I will be doing Phase 2 of the program.

What do you hope to take from your experiences at UMKC into your professional career?

I hope to take lessons which will prepare me to embrace all the setbacks that I may encounter and obstacles I must confront. I truly feel that UMKC has given me the culture and energy to give 110% in every task in front of me. I want to maximize what I’m given to be a difference maker, a catalyst for change and someone for my community, not just in it for what my professional career may have in store for me.

What is one word that best describes you and why?

Intentional. I seize opportunities that I can learn from. These invaluable opportunities may be labor-intensive, hard, rare and sometimes definitely not easy. However, all of them are worth it. I love to listen to others and be open minded so I can lead better and become better. Some of the best ideas have come from listening to other students’ voices that helped me make an idea reality.


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