Media Manager: Bella Kiessel
Press Release: July 2023

California State University, Northridge’s (CSUN) Autonomy Research Center for STEAHM (ARCS) student spotlight series invited Vicky Truong to share her experience as an ARCS associate. In an interview conducted by ARCS’ SPOT robot dog, Truong discloses how working in congruence with NASA has allowed her to achieve her lifelong dreams, as well as kick start her career in computer science.

In pursuit of the “American Dream”, Truong credits her dad for her successful college career. As a first generation college student, and first generation Asian American with parents who immigrated from Vietnam, Truong was continually encouraged by her dad to strive towards her educational goals.

Truong’s love for NASA and space began at a young age. It started with her fascination for the moon and how it seemingly followed her wherever she went. Like the moon, her passion for space has followed her all the way through her academic career at CSUN where she studies computer science as a graduate student as well as her work for ARCS.

Truong’s association with ARCS has both helped her academically, as well as her future career goals. Her work on compiler design in ARCS with Dr. Kyle Dewey is integrated with her graduate thesis. It’s also allowed her to make connections with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, landing her a summer internship. She hopes to continue to foster her knowledge in computer science within her internship in order to grow in her career.

“It’s very life changing, I love ARCS”, said Vicky Truong.

Working in a male dominated industry, Truong often finds herself as the only woman in the room. Despite feeling secluded at times, she doesn’t let her differences discourage her from following her passions. She urges other young women in STEAHM to not let gendered isolation in both the classroom and workforce dissuade them from doing what they love.

Part of what Truong loves about ARCS is how community and collaboration based it is with other students in different majors and fields. It’s allowed her to step outside her computer science bubble and integrate with people of different backgrounds because of all the research opportunities ARCS offers in a variety of areas of study.

When asked what Truong’s life goal is, she answered clearly and concisely; to make an impact on the world. She hopes to do this through her research with NASA to both unify and aid in societal progression.