Thi Nguyen

Job title: Ph.D student
Organization: University of Minnesota
Location: USA

I am pursuing a Ph.D. in Comparative and International Development Education at theUniversity of Minnesota-Twin Cities. I was born and raised in Hanoi, Vietnam but callSunnyvale, California my home.

As an emerging scholar, I study the prevailing colonial legacies of higher education internationalization. Driven by my schooling experiences as a first-generation immigrant and woman of color, I have committed my academic career to uncovering narratives of deficit, critiquing the epistemological dominance of Whiteness, and dismantling systems of oppression embedded in U.S. higher learning. My dissertation will focus on collecting and uplifting asset- and agency-based narratives among different subsets of Vietnameseinternational students in the U.S.

Another area of research that I'm actively involved in pertains to the intersection between international student mobility and climate change. I believe that discourses of campus internationalization tend to over-focus on the human-centric benefits (i.e., intercultural competencies, global networks, revenue generation), while neglecting implications of mobility privileges and how increased cross-border mobilities affect the broader ecosystems, including the livelihoods of historically marginalized communities. Through my programming work with the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, I strive everyday to become a more proactive agent in the ongoing interdisciplinary movement toward climate literacy and environmental justice, be it through managing sustainability-focused experiential learning opportunities or coaching undergraduate student leaders.

Before coming to Minneapolis, Minnesota for my Ph.D. program, I resided all over California for 10 years. I have previously served as an international student programs coordinator, a citizen diplomacy professional, and a graduate admissions counselor.