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Vietnamese Student Named UMass Boston JFK Award Winner
Date:5/13/2010

Winner Is also Recipient of Prestigious Biomedical Research Fellowship

Boston, MA (Vocus) May 12, 2010 -- University of Massachusetts Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley today announced that Thao Xuan Do, a Vietnamese immigrant whose goal is to devote her life to fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2010 John F. Kennedy Award for Academic Excellence.

Do, a 26-year-old chemistry major from Norwood, immigrated to America from Vietnam in 2004 with her mother, unable to speak any English. Now, just six years later, she will address a crowd of thousands of fellow graduates, families, and friends gathered at UMass Boston’s 42nd Commencement Ceremony on June 4 as she accepts the highest UMass Boston award an undergraduate can receive.

“When choosing the winner of the John F. Kennedy Award, we look at not only academics and service, but students’ overall contributions as ‘citizens’ of this university and of the world,” said Chancellor J. Keith Motley. “That is why I’m so pleased to honor Thao with this award: While her achievements so far have been impressive and many, she looks at this as just the beginning. It is her dreams that are truly inspiring.”

Do had been in America for just two years when she began her undergraduate degree at UMass Boston in 2006, still unsure of what she would be able to accomplish in her new home. She credits her time at UMass Boston with helping her to build a strong foundation and challenging her to strive for success, no matter what the circumstances.

“One of my first professors told me that in order to learn something, you need to step out of your comfort zone,” Do said. “I had thought coming to Am
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Source: PRWeb
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