Portland Community College Foundation Scholarship recipient Tuong Hoang can add "national scholar" to her academic résumé.
The Coca-Cola Foundation and Phi Theta Kappa (honor society for two-year colleges) announced she is among a select few from around the country recognized by the foundation for her academic work. Hoang was named one of 50 community college students from the United States and American Samoa who are 2015 New Century Scholars.
The New Century Scholars Program received more than 1,700 nominations from about 1,000 community colleges for selection. The scholars are picked by a consortium that includes the Coca-Cola Foundation, PTK, and the American Association of Community Colleges.
Hoang is an international student from Vietnam who lives in Beaverton with a host family. The Rock Creek Campus student, who came to Portland in 2012, has been studying at the Beaverton campus for the past three years after starting in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program. She is now earning credits in the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program and works as a student leader, serving as a club coordinator and director of programming. Hoang, who volunteers for the campus’ International Student Club, is hoping to transfer to either Oregon State or Portland State universities.
The announcement was perfect timing for Hoang.
"It was a great way to celebrate my birthday," said Hoang, who has a 3.88 grade-point average and is on the college’s Dean and President’s Lists as well as the All-Oregon Academic Team 2015. "I’m really excited. I love PCC."
Hoang said the mechanical engineering field is perfect for her love of problem-solving and dreams of developing a company where people can order products off the internet that they can print out on their home 3D printers. She also wants to serve the community by mentoring women of color in the engineering field. In 2014, Hoang was the activity coordinator for the Rock Creek Campus Harvest Festival, assisting the college’s +STEAM Club to inspire children and women to enter the science and math fields. She also organized the Rock Creek MLK Food Drive, collecting 2,000 pounds of food for the campus cantina to assist hungry, in-need students.
"One of my goals is to continue my community engagement," Hoang said. "I would love to mentor new international students, or women and minority groups who want to be in the engineering field. I want to give them support to show that they can do it."