Nationally-known journalist to speak at commencement

Betty Nguyen, an award-winning journalist and CBS News anchor, is scheduled to speak to the 2012 graduating class at UNA’s commencement ceremony Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. in Flowers Hall.

Nguyen said via email that she is very excited about speaking to UNA graduates, but she has not yet decided on a topic to speak on during the commencement.

She said she does want to inspire graduates to find the true meaning of success and to not be afraid of taking risks.

She said she wants to encourage the graduates to enjoy the journey: both the highest of highs and the seemingly unbearable lows, for this will help them understand who they really are.

She covered events such as the 2012 presidential election, the death of Osama Bin Laden and the Royal Wedding, she said in her biography. Some of her coverage has even received highly-sought awards.

Her reports on Hurricane Katrina earned her a George Foster Peabody Award. She also received an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for her coverage of the 2006 tsunami in South Asia.

“As for my journey it’s been remarkable,” she said.

Nguyen was born in Saigon, Vietnam, as the country was falling to communism at the end of the Vietnam War. She and her family fled to America and had to endure a series of refugee camps before making their home in Texas. It is in Texas that Nguyen said she learned the meaning of freedom and opportunity.

“It’s a lesson I carried with me as I entered the highly competitive business of television news,” she said via email.

Nguyen graduated magna cum laude from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. In 2008, she earned the Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award.

All of the noteworthy parts of Nguyen’s career did not come easily to her.

Nguyen said via email that she has worked very hard throughout her career. She has traveled across the globe to give a voice to the less fortunate and expose issues that affect everyone.

“It’s a great honor and privilege to have a hand in recording history,” she said via email.

She said via email that sometimes she stops and wonders how in the world a child born of war in a far off foreign country could be so lucky?

“It just goes to show that anything really is possible in America,” she said via email. “All you need is a passion and the courage, determination and faith, to see it through.”