Dan Duong is a junior at the University of Minnesota majoring in Mathematics with plans to go to Dental School after finishing her undergraduate degree. Born and raised in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, Dan ventured to the United States with her family after graduating high school to pursue her educational aspirations. When she’s not cramming for math and chemistry exams, Dan loves binge-watching Netflix, indulging in photography, meticulously quilling greeting cards, playing piano and volunteering. She hopes to volunteer with Operation Smile in the near future, so she can combine her love for helping people and her future career. Don’t let her shy outer shell fool you. She’s as smiley, sassy and silly as they come.
Q&A With Dan
Q: What has been the biggest challenge for you coming to the United States?
A: The biggest challenge was having to learn about U.S. culture and language. I also had to repeat high school here in order to learn the language. That presented many challenges. I’m constantly learning new things everyday, but I love it.
Q: Who’s your role model and why?
A: I look for the good qualities in everyone. The first person I look up to is my mom because she has been through a lot and has been an optimist through it all. The second person is Laurie Kaminski, she was my AP Calc teacher in high school who is also now my best friend. I admire her because of her amazing teaching ability and everything she has done for me and the other students in my high school. Whenever I needed help she was always there and accommodating.
Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
A: Be true to yourself.
Q: What is your best memory at the University of Minnesota?
A: The Convocation Ceremony during my freshman welcome week, specifically the inspirational speaker that talked to us. He taught us the little jingle: “G double O-D J-O-B, Good job, good job!” That was so much fun.
Q: What activities are you involved in on campus and how have they enhanced your experience at the U?
A: I’m in Pre-Dental Club because I like to be surrounded be people that have the same final goal as myself. I learn something new every time I go to a meeting. Being in Pre-Dental Club has connected me with new people on campus, and makes me even more excited to start Dental School.
Just For Fun
Coffee Order: Caramel macchiato
Favorite Food: Any kind of pasta
Favorite Song Right Now: Photograph by Ed Sheeran
One thing you can’t live without: My stationery set
One thing you love about yourself: Being Vietnamese
One thing you’re grateful for: My family
Celebrity Dream Date: Mathew Gray Gubler