California State University San MarcosTrustee Emerita Claudia H. Hampton Scholar
Kayla Nguyen is a Vietnamese American first-generation
college student who was raised in
a single-parent, low-income household. Her
mother’s rheumatoid arthritis—a disease that
has no known cure—inspired her to major in
biotechnology at CSU San Marcos.
Kayla’s internship with the Bridges to Stem
Cell Research Program through the California
Institute for Regenerative Medicine sparked her
passion for research and patient advocacy. As
an ambassador for Americans for Cures and a
companion volunteer for Alzheimer’s San Diego,
she has learned how to empathize with and
advocate for patients who have various diseases
and illnesses. Her interest in teaching motivated
her to become a learning assistant in physics for
undergraduate biological science majors and,
previously, for middle school students through
the CSU San Marcos Center for Research and
Engagement in STEM Education.
Kayla plans to pursue a doctorate in
neuroscience or immunology after completing
her undergraduate degree.