Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Last modified: Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Rhodes Scholar Kathleen Tran wins fellowship for 'New Americans'


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University alumna Kathleen Tran, who in 2002 became the 14th IU student and second woman from IU to be named a Rhodes Scholar, has been named as one of 30 winners of the 2005 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. She will receive up to a $20,000 stipend plus half-tuition for as many as two years of graduate study at any institution of higher learning in the United States.

Now in their eighth year, the Soros fellowships are among the most highly recognized and sought-after awards for graduate study in the United States. This year's competition included nearly 1,000 applicants who are naturalized citizens, children of naturalized citizens or resident aliens. They represented 141 countries of national origin and came from 360 colleges and universities.

Tran's father and mother came to the United States from Vietnam in 1964 and 1972, respectively, and now work at IU Bloomington. Tran recently completed a master's degree in medical anthropology and is currently a candidate for a master's degree in comparative social policy at Oxford University, where she is a Rhodes Scholar. In 2003, she earned a bachelor's degree with a triple major (music, biochemistry and biology) from IU Bloomington, where she was Phi Beta Kappa and a Wells Scholar.

Tran was born in Fayetteville, Ark., and moved to Bloomington when she was 5 months old. She began taking classes at IU at age 11, studying piano with Luba Edlina-Dubinski of the IU School of Music. She has given a number of benefit piano performances at Oxford to raise money for the education and development of children with autism.

While at IU, Tran was spokesperson for the Vietnamese Student Association and competed on the tae kwon do team. She also worked as a volunteer at the dialysis center at Bloomington Hospital.

Since being named a Rhodes Scholar, Tran has made her first visits to India, Japan, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. During a recent visit to Nanjing, China, she wrote that the Soros Fellowship is "meaningful in that it reflects my status as a New American. I'm very proud of my Vietnamese heritage, which has always been a very big part of me. The people who receive the Soros are all essentially new to this country, and many have overcome terrible struggles to come to the U.S. Reading their bios is a vivid reminder for me of what America is all about; it is very telling that 'foreigners' can come into this country and achieve so much."

Tran is looking forward to returning to the United States. She will enroll at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in August as a Twenty-First Century Merit Scholar, and she hopes to someday become a physician.

Read more about Tran in the news release "IU Student Named Rhodes Scholar" at