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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Bridgewater Educator Thanh Nguyen Advocates for At-Risk Students

Political Science and Computer Science BA, 1990

Political Science and Computer Science BA, 1990

Now designing curriculums for Information Age learners at Bridgewater State University as a tenured professor, Dr. Thanh Nguyen began her studies in pedagogy at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
After outstanding undergraduate success, she went on to get her doctorate at Harvard University, and has been involved in a long list of education initiatives including the Urban Educator Corps Partnership Institute and the Technology in Education Committee at UMass Boston’s Graduate College of Education. 
Dr. Nguyen encourages teachers to design curriculums for the Internet age, when communication across continents can be almost instantaneous. Her profile on the Bridgewater website says, “Teachers need to redefine the requirements and skills for the global community and its marketplace in the twenty-first century.”
In her Facebook profile she writes, “My interest is to design curriculum that will empower learners to take ownership of their own learning, and take what they learn to empower others.” 
Q: Why did you decide go to UMass Boston? 
A: It’s the only public affordable four year university in Boston. 
Q: Were you involved in any clubs or student activities? 
A: [I was a] Student Senator, the Chair of Academic and Administrative Affairs Committee of Student Senate, Director of the Asian Center, and Adviser for the Vietnamese Students Association.
Q: What was your favorite class or activity that you did at UMass Boston? 
A: My favorite classes were in Political Science, and my favorite activities were in the Student Senate and in the Asian Center. 
Q: Do you remember any of your professors or fellow students?
A: Many of them such as Professor Watanabe [and] Professor Kathy Hartfort. In fact, she looked me up and connected on LinkedIn.
Q: What are the most important things you learned at UMass Boston?
A: To fight for your rights as citizens. With Professor Kiang’s advocating for Southeast Asian refugees and his Oral history project, we learned to speak up and to demand for services for students with English as a Second Language.
Q: Any thoughts on how the campus has changed since you graduated? 
A: I came back [a] couple years ago, and the campus looks amazing with the new Student Center. I wish we had this then. 
Q: What’s one thing that you did at UMass that you couldn’t have done somewhere else? 
A: Students could mobilize other students to demand administrators to change their policies and to provide support for students. 
Q: Where did you spend most of your time on campus? 
A: Wheatley Hall. 
Q: What was your path from UMass Boston to what you are doing now? 
A: I went on [to] earn my master’s and doctoral degrees from [the] Harvard Graduate School of Education, and was the Commencement Speaker there in 2000. I’m now a tenured full-professor at Bridgewater State University. 
Q: What are you doing now that you’re particularly passionate about? 
A: I continue to train my student-teachers to stand up for social justice and to advocate for their at-risk students. 
Q: Do you have any 50th Anniversary wishes for UMass Boston? 
A: We have many great professors and administrators who listen, care, and support their students. For its 50th anniversary, let’s keep up with this tradition.

About the Contributor
Caleb Nelson served as the following positions for The Mass Media the following years: Editor-in-Chief: Fall 2010; 2010-2011; Fall 2011 News Editor: Spring 2009; 2009-2010