TOP 30: Jacqueline Tran

Jacqueline Tran
Major: Biological Sciences
Year: 4
Age: 22
Hometown: Anaheim
In One Word: Dynamic

Jacqueline Tran is devoted to helping others, whether it’s through a position in housing building relationships with her residents, or at the UCI Medical Center researching new ways to help patients.

Jacqueline hopes to apply to dental school and become a dentist. Once she becomes a dentist, she plans to open her own dental office and build a business. She plans to travel to a third world country to provide free healthcare to those in need or are underprivileged. Once she’s settled, she plans to become a Non-Profit Organizer / Director to plan benefits and fundraising events for non-profit organizations. And once she’s retired she plans to open a little hole in the wall bakery, and compete on cupcake wars… and win!

Andrew Don describes Jacki’s extensive accomplishments by saying she has been “involved in all aspects of UCI and the community. She has been a Community Assistant….a SPOP staffer…a University discussion Teaching Assistant… and she dedicates her life to mentoring and aiding others….in addition, she devotes her time to researching new neurorehabilitation techniques to help stroke patients….”

KS: Tell us about yourself.

JT: I’m from Anaheim, California (the home of the happiest place on earth, Disneyland! Woot woot!). Although I don’t look it, I am of full Vietnamese descent. I have two older sisters, who are my like my best friends, so I’m the youngest in my family. Growing up in a single parent home, I definitely learned responsibility at a young age and grew up fast. Money has always been tight in my family so I worked my butt off in high school and now am on a full ride scholarship to UCI. I’m a firm believer in retail therapy to cure sadness and stress. In my spare time, I love love LOVE baking! I love challenging myself to bake new things and come up with new creations. They don’t always work out but if at first you don’t succeed…GET UP AND TRY AGAIN!

KS: What have you accomplished here on campus, and what do you hope to accomplish?

JT: I think the greatest thing I have accomplished on campus is involving myself with so many aspects that UCI offers and being able to surround myself with so many amazing individuals. I’m the type of person that loves trying everything and anything. And I definitely did that with organizations on campus! And I believe, or well I hope through these involvements I have affected my fellow peers in a positive light.

Being a SPOP Staffer, I definitely strived to help ease the transition into college for incoming students and to help them believe in their full potential. I strived to help them realize that UCI was an amazing school and helped them see the opportunities available for them, from organizations, internships, to jobs.

Being a Community Assistant (CA) for Vista Del Campo, I learned what it means to fully have responsibility over others. I built relationships with my residents, which allowed them to trust me with their problems, and especially their safety. I constantly encouraged my residents to get involved within the community and campus. They called me when they were stressed, worried, or just outright scared about something happening in our community. I always strived to be their mentor, protector, and most importantly their friend.

Also being a part the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women I have really learned the true meaning of sisterhood. I constantly challenge my sisters to reach out to new leadership positions, jobs, internships, etc. I have learned and grown so much from each and everyone of them. They have had such a positive impact on my life and I hope I have done the same for them.

Outside from my peers, every week I dedicate my time to doing research at the UCI Medical Center as well as the Medical Campus. I work to find therapy techniques for stroke patients who have been affected by a chronic disability. Every year I also help plan the Annual Stroke Awareness Conference, bringing resources, such as hospitals, schools, clinics, etc, to patients who have been affected by stroke and their families. With this, I am allowed to see and work with patients weekly.

I feel blessed to have had met so many different people at UCI and to have had the opportunity to be actively involved in so many aspects.

Although my time at UCI is ending, I do hope that out of the amazing people I have met, that I have positively affected people in one form another, whether it was advice or just a friendly hug or smile when someone was having a bad day. I hope that those people will go on to positively affect and influence other people and the chain will continue. That is the legacy that I hope to leave, one of growth.

KS: How have you been involved with the Asian Pacific Islander community?

JT: I have been involved in APSA and I have volunteered at health fairs in Garden Grove and Westminster for the underprivileged Asian pacific islander community.

KS: Who or what has been the most influential to you?

JT: Everyone in my life! My friends who have taught me what it means to truly live. My mother has taught me what it means to truly love other people (her kids) unconditionally. My sisters taught me that hard work pays off and are the perfect examples of how I can succeed. My dad taught me humility. And last but not least, my grandma. She came to America on a boat and raised 3 kids by herself, as well as all her grandchildren. She is still by far the kindest, compassionate, person I know. If that isn’t  the definition of perseverance and strength I don’t know what is. Everyday, I strive to be just as patient, kind, and strong as she was. Never give up, that is the most the important thing I have ever learned from her.

KS: What are you most passionate about?

JT: Helping people! I am a very compassionate and empathetic person. I’m the type of person that cannot walk by a homeless person without giving him a dollar. It breaks my heart to see anyone suffering or in pain. The one thing in life that I do hope to accomplish is to be able to help others. I want to be able to brighten someone’s day. to make someone’s life easier. That’s why I eventually want to end up in the non-profit organization, industry. That’s why I always walk around with a smile on my face because a smile can go a long way!

KS: If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would you choose and why?

JT: BUFFETS. Does that count as one food? Or is that cheating the system? I guess if I had to choose…. Prime Rib with Mashed Potatoes, Corn, and Au Jus.. why? Because look how amazing that sounds!! NOMNOMNOM!

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    Asian Pacific-Islander Heritage Month (APIHM) is hosted by the Asian Pacific Student Association at UCI and features various programs, workshops, and events that celebrate the APIA culture and address pertinent issues in the APIA community.

    Please refer to the tabs above for more details regarding each event.

  • Contact Us

    Any inquiries regarding Asian Pacific-Islander Heritage Month can be directed to Programming Coordinators, Siamrath (Sam) Boonsakul and Alison Tominaga, at

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