Vivian Nguyen is a 2021 Canada Student Merit Award winner. She achieved this award for obtaining the highest standing of her class in the fourth and final year of her degree. Here is a brief biography of the winner.
Vivian attended Simon Fraser University, where she majored in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry under the Faculty of Science and graduated with First Class Honours and Distinction.
During her second and third years of her undergraduate studies, Vivian volunteered as a Science Peer Mentor to incoming first year students. During the third year of her studies, she participated in the Science Co-operative Education programme and worked as a Co-operative Education Student at STEMCELL Technologies, where she supported the Myogenic Team in the Research and Development department in various projects involving the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into cardiomyocytes.
After her Co-operative Education semesters, she continued to work part-time at STEMCELL Technologies as a Research Student while completing her undergraduate degree. As a Research Student, she helped maintain many cell culture experiments for her fellow co‑workers on the weekends.
During her time as an undergraduate student, Vivian gained a strong appreciation for the field of Optometry and volunteered with the Third World Eye Care Society (TWECS). At TWECS, she helped sort eyeglasses on a weekly basis to prepare for future missionary trips that provided eye care to the less fortunate in third world countries.
After a year of actively volunteering for the charity, she was promoted to being one of the directors of the charity. She now attends the University of California-Berkeley School of Optometry and is set to graduate from their Doctorate of Optometry programme by 2024.