by Amber McLaughlin
The University of La Verne’s newest assistant professor of psychology, Ngoc Bui, said she is enjoying teaching full-time, and is thrilled to be a part of a friendly, supportive faculty.
Before teaching at ULV, Bui worked hard to get to the place she is now.
She received her bachelor’s from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and a master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to do social psychology, research and teach psychology.
Most recently, Bui worked full-time at the Metropolitan Community College for about one year in Omaha, Neb.
Prior to that, she worked part-time at the College of St. Mary in Omaha.
Bui became most interested in classes, such as “Introduction to Psychology,” when she was a graduate assistant teacher at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for two and a half years.
“I’m getting to know quite a number of students,” Bui said. I would eventually like to know everyone, but for now I am doing my best learning names.”
Although she is somewhat shy, she said it is exciting to be a part of a cohesive campus in a small community, since it allows her to feel at home.
“I enjoy getting to know people. The position is perfect for me because it matches my interests and skills,” she said.
Valerie Jordan, professor of psychology and chair of the doctorate program, was part of the search committee for a new faculty member.
“I was delighted that she accepted our offer. She is a very collegial professor, and brings many interesting teaching and research experience that will enrich our department,” Jordan said.
Currently, Bui teaches three courses for undergraduate students in the basics of psychology.
“I hope to be an inspiration to students that are undecided on a major, or want to learn more about the field of psychology,” she said. “I want to share my knowledge with others.”
Rhona Madrid, a junior at ULV, is a psychology major and has Bui as her professor for personality, theory and research class.
“I really like Dr. Bui’s style of teaching,” Madrid said. “We’re encouraged to copy notes off the overhead while she’s lecturing, which makes it easy to understand the material.”
Madrid is the president of Psi Chi (psychology honor society ) and works with Bui, since she is the advisor of the club.
“Dr. Bui is always very helpful and willing to be there for the students, as well as helping the club be more active this year,” Madrid said.
Bui was born in Vietnam and moved to California when she was two years old.
She now lives in the San Gabriel Valley with her husband of almost two years, Kent Truong.
“I went to college in Nebraska to see what it was all about, but now I am glad to be back home close to family,” she said.
Her passions include traveling with her husband in the Midwest, reading, developing professional Web sites for her psychology courses and taking care of her two cats.
In 2000, Bui published, “Who are these people anyway? Variations in ethnic identity within an immigrant population, in Asian American Studies: Identity, Images, Issues Past and Present.”
It is about qualitative studies of Vietnamese adolescence in Lincoln, Neb., she said.
She interviewed students and their parents to describe acculturation and identity formation experiences of ages ranging from children, teens and college students.
The book is edited and contains a collection of articles by professors and people in that field about their specific culture.
While finding Vietnamese identities, they are trying to discover who they really are.
Although Bui does not have time to write publications as of right now, she has other future plans.
Bui hopes, for example, to eventually teach graduate students, do some more traveling with her husband and have children.
For now, she said, she is happy keeping busy teaching at ULV.