Linh NguyenLeaving home can be overwhelming for a new college student, and it was no exception for Winona State University international student Linh Nguyen. But considering “leaving home” for Nguyen meant more than 24 hours of travel across nearly 8,000 miles, and almost four years in a foreign country without seeing her family once, “overwhelming” might be an understatement.

Nguyen, from Hanoi, Vietnam, first learned about Winona State through a visit with Kemale Pinar, Director of International Student and Scholar Services at WSU. After doing more research online and learning about everything Winona has to offer, Nguyen made the decision to become a Warrior.

“Having travelled extensively during my childhood, up and down the two coasts, the Midwest was the only place I hadn’t been to,” she explains.“I was excited to have an adventure here.”

Nguyen’s lifelong passion for business and technology led her to pursue a major in Data Science with minors in Finance and Statistics, and through hard work and dedication, she was named Outstanding Student in Data Science. She credits her close relationships with WSU faculty members like Tisha Hooks, Don Salyards, Chris Malone, and Silas Bergen for helping turn her passion into reality.

“I love the fact that I can get to know my professors really well due to the small class size,” says Nguyen. “They also work tirelessly outside of their classes to bring us to conferences and host competitions so we can get real-life experiences.”

During her time at WSU, Nguyen enjoyed many opportunities to get involved. She created the Data Science Association, was a founding member of the John Latsch Leadership Academy, and also served in the Finance Management Association and International Club.

“A lot of people think that being in a small town means that you’ll have fewer opportunities to network, fewer jobs, fewer events, but I’ve found that WSU really has a lot of opportunities for students,” says Nguyen. “You’ll find them as long as you look for them.”

As she graduates from Winona State and solidifies her plans to dive “even deeper in the technology and business world,” she remains forever grateful to the WSU community that embraced her and supported her in achieving her goals.

“I am very proud to be a Warrior for life!” exclaims Nguyen. “I hope to be able to come back every now and then to visit all the faculty here who have supported me, and to inspire future Warriors.”

Nguyen is scheduled to speak as part of WSU’s Fall 2018 Commencement exercises. She was selected as a representative of the Class of 2018 through a competitive process supervised by a committee of the Winona State Student Senate. Her comments will be featured as part of the 10 a.m. ceremony on Dec. 14, featuring graduates from the Colleges of Business, Education and Science & Engineering.

Read more about the achievements of our recent Winona State University alumni at:

For more information on WSU Commencement, visit:

About Winona State University
Founded in 1858, Winona State University is a comprehensive, regional public university with approximately 8,000 students on campuses in Winona and Rochester. The oldest member of the Minnesota State system, WSU offers more than 80 undergraduate, pre-professional, licensure, graduate and doctorate programs in five colleges: Business, Education, Liberal Arts, Nursing & Health Sciences, and Science & Engineering. Winona State is ranked as the second public institution in Minnesota by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges,” has been named among the “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review for 15 years in a row, and has been featured as one of America’s 100 Best College Buys for quality and value for 23 consecutive years. The University generates $447.9 Million in economic impact for the region per year. The University’s mission is to enhance the intellectual, social, cultural and economic vitality of the people and communities we serve: a community of learners improving our world. For more information, visit

The following two tabs change content below.

Rebecca Roush

Rebecca is a Public Relations major and Advertising minor graduating in 2019 from Prior Lake, MN.

Latest posts by Rebecca Roush (see all)