When Nhu Ngoc Pham, a senior at Tulane University, was named a Newman Civic Fellow this year, she couldn’t help but think that there were more deserving candidates.
Senior Nhu Ngoc Pham is recognized for her commitment to finding solutions to challenges facing the New Orleans community. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
Her reaction was not surprising, considering her humility and compassion. But one need only look at her accomplishments to realize that she is indeed worthy of the honor.
The Newman Civic Fellow Award is given annually by Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents dedicated to campus-based civic engagement. The award honors inspiring student leaders committed to finding solutions to challenges facing communities throughout the country.
Pham, who is majoring in public health and international development, won the award, in part, for her work with the Micah Project
, a nonprofit group that works to influence public policy and increase civic engagement. As a healthcare intern, she participated in a study that focused on improving healthcare access for low-income residents.
“They were in need of people to do surveys, and I said I’d be more than happy to do it on the weekends,” Pham says.
In addition, she conducted weekly visits with residents at St. Charles Health Care Center
, began developing an undergraduate mentoring program and provided Vietnamese translation services for various nonprofits in the New Orleans area. Now she is working on a project focusing on mental health issues in the Vietnamese community.
“I really like it, just being able to get out into the community and interact with people,” she says. “I enjoy sitting and hearing their stories.”
Pham, who also holds leadership roles in several campus organizations, is set to graduate in December but may wait until May. She will then begin studying for her master’s degree in global health systems and development at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine