Student Spotlight - Nicholas Pham

Published: April 8, 2024
Nick Pham, smiling in the library

Nicholas Pham, is a second-year student at CU Denver, majoring in political science with a focus on public policy and minoring in communication. A Vietnamese American from Aurora, Nick developed an interest in politics at a young age, investing himself in the histories of previous leaders and the complexities of political systems. 

In 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak and the Black Lives Matter rallies sparked his deeper interest in political science. Witnessing events such as Elijah McClain's tragic death in his city and increased media polarization during the presidential race, Nick learned about the importance and urgency of political participation. His interests grew to include international affairs motivated by a desire to understand and address global crises such as the War on Terror and the current conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza. 

Since enrolling at CU Denver, Nick has made major academic progress, earning straight A's in his first semester, an accomplishment that filled them with fresh confidence and motivation. He has identified PSCI 4165 Islamic Politics and Culture as one of his favorite courses, where he was enlightened by Professor Bassem Hassan's experience and developed a better understanding of Middle Eastern politics.  

Nick's education is not limited to the classroom. He is actively involved in the community as a volunteer at Casa De Paz, a secretary for recently released immigrants from incarceration. Through this experience, Nick had an impactful interaction with a Kyrgz asylum seeker whose distressing journey had a lasting influence. This interaction solidified his dedication to working for underprivileged populations and motivated his desire to make positive change. 

Nick displays not only academic excellence but also civic duty and social action. His journey in political science is greater than his own personal development, it is about using his knowledge and experience to make society more just and equal.