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Former Lone Star College-North Harris honors student’s passion and persistence pays off

With big dreams within her reach, former Lone Star College-North Harris student, Nguyen Cao made the most of her time at the college, and is now reaping the rewards. Through the help and support of her teachers, peers and mentors, Cao took advantage of the opportunities offered by the college’s honors program to achieve her goals.

While attending LSC-North Harris, Cao became very involved with different organizations on campus, including the honors program. In 2012, Cao served as the vice president of events for the Honors Student Organization (HSO). Every year, HSO hosts a seminar promoting an education-related topic for the purpose of raising awareness. Thanks to the effort of Cao and her team, they had created a very successful seminar called, “The Dream Act,” which had the biggest turnout of any other event that HSO has hosted on campus.

After getting a push to try something new, Cao applied for the opportunity to represent LSC-North Harris at the Model United Nations (Model UN) Conference. Cao was selected for two consecutive years to represent LSC-North Harris’ Model UN delegation.

“I heard about Model UN during my second semester at LSC-North Harris,” said Cao. “Dr. Cooley, my Honors project's mentor and speech professor, advised me to explore and take advantage of this invaluable opportunity, and thankfully I listened to her.”

In 2012, two papers that she authored and co-authored were awarded “Outstanding Position Papers” at the National Model United Nations Conference in New York.

“Winning an award was wonderful,” said Cao. “Yet whenever I think about it, I am more appreciative of the worthwhile process prior to winning that award and how proud I was to be given a fabulous chance to represent LSC-North Harris.”

Since then, Cao has been working as a staff member for the Model UN for three different conferences: Northwest Model United Nations-Seattle, Midwest Model United Nations-St. Louis, and National Model United Nations-New York.

“Cao is just one example of the success that our students can achieve,” said Lone Star College Honors Director Katie Caruso. “Not only do we help students transition from high school to college, but our honors program allows students to prove themselves and build incredible resumes.”

The LSC-North Harris Honors Program offers honors-specific courses, as well as the option to add an honors contract to many classes. By completing an honors project, or in-depth research, these classes let students enhance their education and showcase their potential when applying to selective universities or programs.

After graduating from LSC-North Harris with an Associate of Science with Honors Distinction, Cao received a full scholarship to University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), where she was later accepted to the Honors College. Cao is currently pursuing her honor’s bachelor’s degree in environmental science, in hopes to be an environmental geologist.

“Being a competent, professional environmental geologist is my ultimate pursuit,” said Cao. “I am amazed at the promising help an environmental geologist is able to bring to society, and I am also excited to see myself lecturing in a university, conducting field research, or proposing environmental policies in the years to come.”

Continuing the path that has contributed to her success, Cao has the distinct honor of serving as a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society, a prestigious honor society, open only to the top 15 percent of students in each graduating class.

Cao was recently selected by the Honors College at UTA for a summer undergraduate research assistantship, where she will have the opportunity to work alongside a professor of meteorology, conducting research focused on urban heat islands.

This fall, LSC-North Harris will be expanding its honors-only course offerings with classes in English, psychology, history and speech, including online and hybrid versions. Classes begin August 26 and registration is now underway.

Lone Star College-North Harris is located at 2700 W.W. Thorne Drive, one-half mile south of FM 1960 East, between Aldine-Westfield and Hardy Roads. For more information about the college, call 281.618.5400 or visit LoneStar.edu/NorthHarris.

Lone Star College System has been opening doors to a better community for 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSCS remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion. Today, with 78,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and the fastest-growing community college system in the nation. Dr. Richard Carpenter is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, five centers, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.