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Division of Student Affairs

Involved student receives Undergraduate Rising Star Award

Department: Division of Student Affairs

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Washington State University student Nam Nguyen has been awarded the NASPA Region V Undergraduate Rising Star Award.

The international business and marketing student received the award this month during the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) Western Regional Conference in Sacramento, California.

Nguyen’s NASPA Undergraduate Fellow mentor and director of the Gender/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center (GIESORC), Matthew Jeffries, said he couldn’t think of a more deserving student to nominate for the award.

“Nam is the most involved, committed, and productive student that I have ever known,” Jeffries said.

Pamela Duran, associate director of WSU’s International Student Center, is equally impressed with Nguyen.

“Nam is one of the most curious, hardworking, smart and determined students I have ever known,” she wrote in her letter of support.

When looking at Nguyen’s vast array of accomplishments and experiences as a student at WSU, Jeffries believes he has the most robust resume of any undergraduate student he has met.

In addition to being a NASPA Undergraduate Fellow, Nguyen is a Carsen College of Business Fellow, Ronald E. McNair Scholar, an Honors student, a member of the President’s Commission for Gender/Expression and Sexual Orientation, a member of the Office of Student Conduct’s Academic Integrity Hearing Board, and recently interned with the Pride Foundation in Seattle.

As the first WSU student to study abroad on all seven continents, he is also assisting with the creation of WSU’s first LGBTQ+ focused study abroad program.

“Nam embodies this award as a strong, smart, compassionate, and passionate advocate, particularly for the needs of students, especially those who may be marginalized because of their race/ethnicity, geographic location, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity,” said Gunner Scott, Pride Foundation director of programs.

NASPA is one of the nation’s leading associations for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. It provides professional development, advocacy, and research for 15,000 members in all 50 states and 25 countries.

Among a long list of award criteria, recipients of the Undergraduate Rising Star Award must have demonstrated service to others, outstanding leadership skills, and made a significant contribution to their institution by planning a program or activity that benefits students.

NASPA Region V encompasses the states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah; and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia.

Others supporting Nguyen’s nomination include Chad Gotch, assistant professor in Educational Psychology; Christine Oakley, director of Global Learning, and Mayra Villegas, an advisor in WSU’s Global Learning Program.



Written by Steve Nakata