Morristown, N.J. (June 13, 2016) – Trang Tran grew up in Hanoi, Vietnam, and attended a foreign language high school where she was educated in English as well as her native language. Her mother is an accountant, her father is a human resources professional, and she has a 13-year-old brother. Her family loved music and every Sunday morning was considered family time during which they would listen to music and enjoy each other's company. This closeness was what she wanted to find when she came to the U.S. to study.
A typical teenager, Trang wanted adventure and looked into studying in the United States.
"I wanted my freedom, as well as new challenges," she explains. "I also wanted to perfect my English and to learn about the U.S working culture. Applying to CSE was a good decision."
She enrolled in the College of Saint Elizabeth for a number of reasons. As an international student, she received a scholarship. She also had a friend attending CSE.
"This is a lovely place; everyone is welcoming and helpful," Trang recalls. "The director of international affairs who was picking me up from JFK airport waited six hours for my flight to come in!"
Once on campus, she discovered the women's leadership programs that encouraged women's empowerment.
"This helped me so much in graduate school, as well as in my personal life. It gave me confidence to be myself unapologetically."
Trang double majored in art and communication and received her B.A. in 2012 with highest honors.
As a city dweller, Trang also appreciated the full splendor of the campus during each season.
"It was so natural and beautiful here," she explains. "It was different from what I had known and I enjoyed all of it!"
As much as she loved the environs, she enjoyed her professors even more.
"I did not know the extent of my potential, but my professors did," she said. "They saw me better than I saw myself and I was able to do more things than I had anticipated. They encouraged me to continue my education in graduate school."
From CSE, she moved to Pratt Institute in Manhattan. She earned her M.F.A. in communications design in 2015. Trang is now working full-time for Homemade, also in Manhattan, a platform for qualified independent cooks to sell their homemade food to customers in their neighborhoods. There she leads the design department, overseeing projects from branding to interactive phone and web apps.
"I am currently working on redesigning the Homemade brand with focus on empowerment and sense of community," she said.
She currently lives in Bloomfield, N.J.
"I am thankful that CSE gave me the opportunity to attend," Trang said. "I not only learned about my craft, but I learned about myself. This will always be a special place in my heart."