UNAVSA host two experts on higher education (Mike Hoa Nguyen, a PhD student, and Dr. Dolly Nguyen, a professor) who discuss the role Vietnamese Americans play in higher education, barriers to educational attainment, and how the SFFA v. Harvard lawsuit will impact our communities.
UNAVSA wants to educate our community on systemic barriers to educational equity, the role of data and categorization in education, factors in educational attainment and disparities, and explaining the relevance of affirmative action and holistic admissions to our communities through a summary of SFFA v. Harvard. We hope this sparks increased dialogue about pertinent sociopolitical issues within the education and policy sectors, especially around controversial issues like affirmative action and holistic admissions.
Dr. Bach Mai Dolly Nguyen is an assistant professor of education at Lewis & Clark College. Her research examines how categorization reveals, maintains, and mitigates inequality in education, with particular attention to racial and organizational classifications. In combination, these areas of research have manifested in studies on minority serving institutions, ethnic stratification, and organizational behavior. Her work has been published in American Educational Research Journal, Review of Research in Education, and Review of Higher Education. Dolly’s current projects are supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Spencer Foundation.
Mr. Mike Hoa Nguyen is a PhD Candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles’ (UCLA)Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. His research examines the benefits and consequences of public policy instruments in expanding or constraining the academic operations of colleges and universities, with a specific focus on federal diversity initiatives. This agenda falls into two policy strands: (1) how the federal Minority Serving Institution (MSI)program serves as a vehicle for academic institutions to enhance student success by advancing the political agendas of communities of color and (2) the influence of the judicial branch, as a policy-making body, in regulating the role of racial diversity at colleges and university.
Prior to UCLA, Mike served a senior staff member in the United States Congress, where his policy portfolio included a number of key issues, such as postsecondary education and the judiciary. Before federal service, Mike was a program associate at De Anza College, where he mentored students, developed new curriculum, and taught. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley. This fall, Mike will begin his appointment as Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education.
Originally from Northeast Ohio, Luke Kertcher is a fourth year student at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is studying international relations with a minor in Asian American studies and a graduate certification in global human rights. Luke serves as a Civic Engagement Committee member for UNAVSA, the external vice president of the Penn Vietnamese Students’ Association, and co-chair for the Penn Asian American Studies Undergraduate Advisory Board. Luke plans to pursue a career in education and public policy advocacy.
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