Dr. Tracy Nguyen is passionate about STEM diversity. She works really hard to help girls and kids in underrepresented communities learn more about STEM. Dr. Nguyen is an optometrist. Optometrists are eye doctors. She might not be an engineer, but she is passionate about advocating for girls in engineering, including her own kids. In fact, her daughter Madalyn is a SWENexter and is on an award-winning FIRST Robotics team.
Her goals align with SWE’s mission: to increase the number of women entering STEM fields. She helps to close the gender gap by helping girls pursue STEM careers. Dr. Nguyen helped found the SWENext Club at the high school her daughter attends, and she is now a SWE Counselor for two high schools. Dr. Nguyen is also working to start multiple clubs locally. Her efforts are not limited to local clubs; she is also founding clubs globally in Paraguay and Libya.
Dr. Nguyen knows that sometimes STEM can be scary because it might be new for a lot of people. Not everyone thinks they are good at it. Lots of people believe that STEM is only for boys. But that isn’t true. STEM is for everybody. Dr. Nguyen gives her students that extra push to get them out of their comfort zones. Many of them find that they actually really like STEM. It’s grown-ups and role models like Dr. Nguyen who help them find out their true potential.
Dr. Nguyen plans outreach events like the Girl in STEM Inspiration Day. This event won the DesignLab Grand Prize at WE19 and Virtual STEM Career Series 2020. It helped over 700 attendees worldwide. She also volunteers on her daughter’s FIRST Robotics Team Spyder. She helps the team with their business and outreach. In addition to SWENext and FIRST, Dr. Nguyen is a Girl Scout Gold Award project advisor. She is all about STEM, service and helping other people.
The hard work that Dr. Nguyen has done has helped multiple students receive nationally recognized awards for WE Local 2021 and NCWIT Aspiration in Computing 2021. For her hard work, Dr. Nguyen has been recognized in her organizations and at conferences. She has been nominated or has won awards for the following:
- Nominated for FIRST’s 2020 Woodie Flowers Award, a prestigious award for mentors
- Recognized as the WE Local 2021 SWE Engaged Advocate
- NCWIT 2021 Aspiration in Computing Educator Award Honorable Mention
Dr. Tracy Nguyen doesn’t do all of this for the recognition. She really does care. But being awarded for being a loving person is always a perk. How do the adults in your life push you and help you achieve your goals? How would you like to thank and celebrate them?
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