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2012 WKU graduate receives Princeton-in-Asia Fellowship

Mario Nguyen, a 2012 WKU graduate with a degree in public relations, has been awarded a fellowship from Princeton-in-Asia (PiA), a non-profit organization that provides transformative, service-oriented experience for individuals to serve the needs of Asia. Nguyen will work with the Hinrich Foundation in Manila, Philippines, coordinating the organization’s online presence and working with the Export Assistance Program that connects exporters with international buyers.

Mario Nguyen

Mario Nguyen

In 2012, Nguyen was awarded the Fulbright-Garcias Robles Binational Business Grant to Mexico. He is serving as the venture and fellowship coordinator for Ashoka Mexico & Central America and pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration at the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico in Mexico City.

Nguyen, originally from Dallas, decided to apply for PiA because the placements available brought together his interests in international business and migration issues as well as his family background in southeast Asia. After completion of the program, he plans to go to law school and then pursue a master’s in public administration.

Having previously worked as the research and communications coordinator at the Bowling Green Area of Commerce, he hopes that his Fulbright and PiA positions will give him a deeper understanding of development and the associated skill sets that will allow him to grow as a professional.

“Princeton in Asia will outfit me with a whole new dimension in development work which will complement my previous experiences and serve me when I am studying international immigration law,” he said. “Ultimately, I am hoping the combination of international immigration law and international development will help me reform migration on a global scale in some way.”

Dr. Melinda Grimsley-Smith, coordinator of international scholarships for the Office of Scholar Development at WKU, worked with Nguyen on his PiA application.

“At OSD, we urge students to dream big; Mario has taken this mantra to heart. It has been immensely gratifying to work with him over the last couple of years, to see him build a solid foundation of experience and set ever higher goals for himself, and to see those goals become ever more attainable with each win,” she said.

Nguyen says that working with OSD allowed him to find clarity within the application process.

“The dedicated staff at OSD wants to challenge you to be creative, to think critically, and to figure out who you are and what you want out of life,” he said.

About the Office of Scholar Development: The Office of Scholar Development is committed to helping students on all WKU campuses and in all majors and degree programs develop the vision, experience and skills to be independent, engaged scholars. OSD welcomes the opportunity to work with students interested in the Princeton-in-Asia program or other similar opportunities.

Contact: Dr. Audra Jennings, (270) 745-5043.

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