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Dat Tran
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Dat Tran

Graduation year: 2018

Majors: Applied mathematics, chemistry

Activities: Pi Mu Epsilon (mathematics), Phi Beta Kappa, Learning Commons tutor

Internships: Summer internship at Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine; operational research with Dr. Andrew Sward; PIC Math research with Dr. Stacey Rodman; Beling Scholar with Dr. Thomas Bengtson

Post-grad plans: Attend Baylor College of Medicine for Ph.D. program in quantitative and computational biomedical science

Why Augustana?

I chose Augustana because it was very generous with scholarships and financial assistance. I could afford my education and be with my significant other. 

Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?

I had no idea who I wanted to be or what major I wanted to pursue when I arrived. However, I wanted to be more responsible, mature and intellectual, and I think, in that sense, I am. 

Who helped you get to where you are now?

There are many people who helped me along the way, including professors from both the mathematics and chemistry departments. Dr. Kurt Christoffel and Dr. Jon Clauss were two role models that I learned a lot from. Dr. Diane Mueller was a great source of advice and support. Dr. Andrew Sward helped me in my research and pursuit of higher education. I also want to thank Dr. Heidi Storl for creating such a wonderful research experience at Texas Medical Center and Mrs. Ella Fly for being such a delightful person. 

Peak experience?

My peak experience here was to play video games with one of my professors. It was a great experience overall to build not only an intellectual relationship but also a personal connection. I think it is nice to have something that reminds me once in a while that professors are still just humans with feelings and hobbies in spite of their intimidating intellectual capacities.

What surprised you?

I learned that I actually like science and mathematics, which were things that I despised when I was in high school. Fast forward four years, and I am about to pursue a Ph.D. in quantitative and computational biomedical science.

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice for my Texas Medical Center internship in summer 2017.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss tea time with Dr. Bengtson the most.

Advice for the Class of 2022?

Challenge yourself mentally and physically. College is like a workout. You don't stop when you do ok. But spend time for yourself, find a hobby, pursue an interest. Life is too short to be too serious.

"Dat has collaborated on research projects in mathematics, computer science, biology and chemistry, and will continue to be an outstanding scholar. His passion and enthusiasm for learning has made him a valued member of any team he is working with, and he will be missed by many at Augustana."  

– Dr. Andrew Sward, assistant professor, mathematics

More Than I Imagined

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