HCC Honors College graduate receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Apr 11, 2016


Not many students can say that in the span of less than a decade they went from facing a language barrier to receiving one of the most prestigious academic fellowships in the engineering field. Mihn Tan Nguyen can.

Mihn, who is originally from Vietnam, became a Houston Community College (HCC) Honors College student in 2009. Math and science came easy; it was his proficiency in English that posed a significant obstacle.

“Minh recorded most of his professor’s lectures and listened to them over and over to understand the content," said Cheryl Peters, Ph.D., executive director, HCC Honors and Weekend College. “He aggressively sought tutoring and he never for a minute made excuses for his language proficiency.“

The 26-year-old HCC graduate has come a long way. He recently received the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program, which will provide a stipend of $34,00 along with a $12,000 cost of education, allowance for tuition and fees, opportunities for international research and professional development, and the ability to conduct his own research. For Mihn, the support from his peers and professors at HCC was critical for his future success.

“Houston Community College is a very good school. When I came to the United States, I did not know too much English,” he said. “My time at HCC helped me a lot because I learned about American culture, about society and at the time, I was also excelling in academics.”

Every year, from the more than 12,000 applications received, only 2000 students are chosen for this fellowship.

“I really liked my professors. They helped me and inspired me to study and be who I am. I was lucky enough to take classes with them,” Minh added.

To learn more about the HCC Honors College, visit hccs.edu/honorscollege.

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