Cindy Nguyen

Class Year: 
RAY Fellow, Corporate Partnerships
Ocean Conservancy
Washington, D.C.

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Cindy is a first-generation Vietnamese American. She graduated from Rice University with a B.A. in Studio Art and Psychology. As a studio art major, Cindy specialized in drawing, painting, and mixed media collages. For her Senior Thesis Exhibition, Cindy's artworks and projects revolved around concerns of plastic pollution, endangered species, and ocean conservation. Through her artwork, she highlights the tension and beauty of the constant destruction and reconstruction of the natural environment. 

While at Rice, she was deeply involved with the Rice Vietnamese Student Association, where she led educational workshops for high school students of minority backgrounds. Through the Alternative Spring Break program, Cindy participated on environmental advocacy service trips and eventually co-led a trip to Sacramento, CA about water inequality issues. It was after taking this project that she decided to pursue work in the environmental field. After realizing that she was one of few Asian Americans working in places like an art gallery or a conservation wildlife center, it became increasingly important for Cindy to promote the representation of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders in all fields. She became involved with OCA: Asian Pacific American Advocates as a community volunteer, intern, and student board member. All of her experiences have led her to develop skills in art, education, and administration in addressing environmental and educational inequalities in communities. 

Cindy hopes that through her work she can empower individuals and communities to organize for social justice. In her down time, she enjoys exploring the art scene, reading and listening to music, and recharging in nearby parks, green spaces, and beaches.