2016-2017 Luce Scholar

Science Education Center National Taiwan Normal University

For his Luce year in Taiwan, Nathan Truong will work with the Science Education Center at National Taiwan Normal University. Long known for its contribution in research and development in science education, the Science Education Center was established in 1974 as a think tank for Taiwan’s Ministry of Education. The Center hosts experienced researchers of science and of science education who advise the Ministry of Education on planning and strategy, and carries out research projects funded by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan.

Born to Vietnamese refugees and raised in ethnically and racially diverse southwest Houston, Nathan is fascinated by the effects of upbringing on life outcomes and particularly interested in the role of education in overcoming poverty. His enthusiastic teachers at urban and suburban Houston public schools kindled his lifelong interest in science and inspired him to pursue a degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Rice University. As a research assistant at Rice, he developed a diagnostic assay to detect diabetes for resource-poor settings. At the Baylor College of Medicine, he researched the genetic underpinnings of Rett Syndrome, a debilitating neurological disorder. He interned for the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs at the National Science Foundation, where he authored Congressional reports and public media that analyzed the return on investment for basic science research. Motivated by the community service of his mentors, Nathan tutored low-income Houston youth in science and advised his fellow college classmates as a Peer Academic Advisor. Most recently, he was an Instructor of Physics and AP Statistics and a Teach for America Corps Member at YES Prep Public Schools, where he led efforts to expand STEM resources for his campus and formed partnerships with established Rice University and MIT STEM enrichment programs. He enjoys drawing and watching thought-provoking movies, and especially looks forward to seeing his first cohort of students graduate YES Prep as the founding class of 2016.