President’s Council Scholarship Recipient
My name is Kenny Nguyen and I am a junior at Purdue University from Hilliard, Ohio. I am a Presidential Scholar and Honors College student majoring in Neurobiology & Physiology with a minor in Psychology. I came to Purdue as an out-of-state student for its unique biology program. Split into eight sub-majors, it allows me to focus my education on the biology specializations of my interest.
I plan to pursue a career in the medical field and/or conduct biomedical research as a professor. To explore my career interests, I am a Teaching Assistant for the Biology Resource Seminar and have been involved in undergraduate research in the lab of Dr. Peter Hollenbeck since my freshman year. My research focuses on analyzing mitochondrial degeneration in Drosophila neurons and its implications in Parkinson's disease. This past year, my lab and I published our findings in the Journal of Purdue Undergraduate Research and the Journal of Neuroscience. I presented my project at the Purdue Undergraduate Research and Poster Symposium of 2016 and was awarded First Place.
For the summer of 2015, I was selected as a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) intern and received the William H. Phillips Undergraduate Research Grant from the Department of Biological Sciences. This past summer, I interned at the Porter Neuroscience Research Center of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) quantifying axonal transport and presynaptic capture of mitochondria along neuronal actin, and their impact on neurodegeneration.
At Purdue, I am the Executive Director (ED) of Programming for Purdue Student Government. As ED, I supervise my directors and oversee the internal and external affairs of PSG. I am also involved with the Purdue Honors College, where I am an Honors Ambassador and a representative on the Honors Leadership Council. Through these roles, I am granted the opportunity to meet with prospective Honors College students and advise our dean on the future direction of the Honors College.
Through my interest in philanthropy, I volunteer at the Hanna Community Center and at IU Health Arnett Hospital in the Emergency Department. And for the past two years, I have been a cellist in the Cerveny Piano Trio through Purdue Chamber Ensembles. During my time at Purdue, I have grown immensely and met many individuals through my fellowships. I have no doubt that these experiences and friendships will last a lifetime and remain valuable to me as I progress through my career.