Home Written work Wastewater research graduate to pursue career at Biodesign Institute

Wastewater research graduate to pursue career at Biodesign Institute

May 3, 2022

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable Spring 2022 graduates.

If someone gave Jasmine Nguyen $40 million to solve a problem, she would invest the money to create a scholarship fund that supports learning for generations to come.

Jasmine Nguyen
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“I would strive to ensure that every student in Arizona has the opportunity to pursue higher education or an education in general by funding school supplies and necessities,” said Nguyen, a first-generation student who obtained his baccalaureate in biochemistry. from Arizona State University.

“As someone who relied on scholarships to go to school, I would like to give back to the community in this way,” said Nguyen, who received seven scholarships during his time at ASU, including the board of Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Emerging Leaders Scholarship, which recognizes top juniors and seniors in the college.

As part of Barrett, The Honors College, Nguyen conducted her thesis work through the Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering. Her project explored the use of wastewater to determine the prevalence of diabetes in a community. After working on her dissertation for over a year, she considers it her proudest achievement of her academic career. It allowed her to apply everything she learned in her classes and the time spent in the Biodesign lab and see the real results of her hard work.

Originally from Arizona, she plans to take a year off after graduation to travel, gain new experiences and visit family and friends. Eventually, she would like to pursue her graduate studies and pursue a career in the healthcare field as a physician assistant.

Question: What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study biochemistry?

To respond: My “aha” moment was when I came home after finishing my freshman year at ASU and sat down and thought, “if I want to change majors, now is the time. to do so”, but it occurred to me that I could not see myself in any field of study other than the one in which I was. I was excited about the years of study to come and especially about the different disciplines of chemistry and biochemistry that I was going to learn. There really was nothing else I wanted to study as much as biochemistry and I’ve stuck with it ever since.

Q: What did you learn at ASU – in class or otherwise – that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: Something I learned from being in a lab at Biodesign was that things might not work out the way we thought they would. It’s important to recognize the things that aren’t working, but it’s more important to move past them and learn from the experience. During the development of the method for my project, I encountered many obstacles, but I was able to overcome them and use what I learned to improve my project as a whole.

Q: Why did you choose Biodesign?

A: To start, I chose Biodesign to gain more research experience in a lab. I had heard about various projects from my professors that got me interested in research. With my time there, I highly respect and would be happy to meet anyone at Biodesign because everyone works so hard there. It’s great to be in an environment where people are passionate about what they do and excited about teaching others their field.

Q: Which teacher taught you the most important lesson at ASU?

A: One of my freshman chemistry teachers pushed us to do the hard work the first time to navigate the second time. The idea was to take good notes the first time, so that revising would be easier and quicker to learn. However, I think this lesson can be applied to all parts of life. Get it right the first time, so you don’t have to worry about mistakes or extra work the second time around.

Q: Where was your favorite place on campus, whether to study, meet friends or just think about life?

A: By far my favorite place on campus has been Noble Library, especially the third floor tables near the stairs. My friends and I have always met at this exact location if we have late night study plans or just want to hang out with each other and catch up on our days. It’s been our designated meeting place for four years and nothing beats it.

Q: What is the best advice you would give to those still in school?

A: Have the dedication to achieve your goals. It’s hard to see the end goal and it’s easy to give up, but achieving what you’ve been striving for will be worth it. Also, get out of your comfort zone to try things. When you’re in college, especially at ASU, there are plenty of opportunities to explore new interests, but it’s up to you to commit to learning new things. With new experiences, you learn your likes and dislikes and can improve. I, for one, took a Saturday piano class at ASU and can now play a full line of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” without fail, and I’m proud of it.

Written by Marketing Assistant Anna Hague.