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National Scholarships and Fellowships

San Diego State University Health Science Sophomore Kelly Nguyen Awarded the NIH-Undergraduate Scholarship

By T. Nieto, J. Savalla

In July, 2015, The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded Health Science (Public Health) sophomore Kelly Nguyen one of eleven prestigious Undergraduate Scholarship Program (USP) Awards. The USP recognizes students committed to research careers in biomedical, behavioral, and social science health­related research. Nguyen’s freshman credentials as a scholar distinguished herself among over 200 national applicants. Each UGSP recipient will receive up to $20,000 for tuition, educational and living expenses.


In addition to the financial support, the award includes an internship and employment at one of the 27 institutes at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. Next summer, Nguyen will participate in a 10 ­week summer laboratory experience at an NIH laboratory. After earning her B.S. in Public Health, Nguyen will work full­-time for one year at the NIH.


Nguyen chose a career in public health after reflecting upon the health disparities in her hometown of Oakland, California. According to Nguyen, she sees liquor stores on almost every corner, which signifies a community’s lack of access to healthy foods. In addition, freeways run through the neighborhood and its pollution cause adverse health effects. As a NIH Undergraduate Scholar, Nguyen’s goal is to help people of low-income communities live longer and healthier lives. After completing her Bachelor of Science in Public Health, Nguyen will earn a graduate degree in Public Health and aspires for a Community Health career in minority health and health disparities.


At Montezuma Mesa, Nguyen leads Gates to Success, a student organization that promotes First Generation students’ success through academic support, mentorship, leadership development, and professional networks. To achieve its goals, Gates to Success facilitates student engagement in high ­impact activities such as internships, undergraduate research, study abroad, leadership and service opportunities.


In addition to Gates to Success, Nguyen is an active leader across campus, including serving as a Teaching Assistant for the Freshmen Leadership Connection and mentoring freshmen in the Southern California region from the Bay Area. Fall 2015, she will begin her participation in the Weber Honors College as well as SDSU's Rotaract.


For more information:

SDSU National Scholarships & Fellowships

National Institutes of Health Undergraduate Scholarship Program

The National Institutes of Health

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

SDSU Health Science

Weber Honors College

Kelly Nguyen, Health Science Major


Kelly Nguyen


Read about Kelly in Newscenter!

National Scholarships and Fellowships

Michelle Lopez, Assistant Dean
Division of Undergraduate Studies
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive, 
San Diego, CA 92182-1623
Phone: (619) 594-2871
Fax: (619) 594-7934