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UVM Theses and Dissertations

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Format:
Online
Author:
Nguyen, Duy
Dept./Program:
Department of Leadership and Developmental Sciences
Year:
2017
Degree:
MEd
Abstract:
Expressing myself in my own voice has never felt so liberating and uplifting, especially when it comes to writing in the academic world. Thanks to the Scholarly Personal Narrative (SPN) methodology of Dr. Robert Nash, I have a chance to share my voice from my perspective as a marginalized student. Neither of my parents went to college. What does this mean for me as an Asian American first-generation student? What does my background say about me, specifically as a student and generally as an individual person? What are some of the obstacles and opportunities in my journey and in my education? How do my own stories connect to others from similar backgrounds, and hopefully to others from different backgrounds as well? What do I want my readers to take away from my own learning experiences? In my thesis, I discuss my experiences as a first-generation student from my Vietnamese background. I describe in detail about my family backgrounds, some major events in my childhood, and how these changes shape who I am today. In order for me to move forward, I need to pause and rediscover my roots, my heritage, and my family’s values and learn to appreciate them. I discuss my experiences of going to high school and college in the U.S. I also explain how I experience the issues of race and social class when living in the U.S. I address some of the obstacles that I face as well as the opportunities that arise throughout my journey. What have I learned from these experiences thus far? I believe that sharing my story gives me the opportunity to connect with other students, educators, and administrators in higher education. This will allow us to acknowledge some issues that students of color have and how we can work together to address these issues. Based on my experiences, I have made some recommendations for students of color, especially Asian American first-generation college students. I also have some recommendations for educators when working with this marginalized population, specifically students from underrepresented groups and students from first-generation backgrounds.