Portrait of Vincent Do
Vincent Do

Vincent Do

Student Speaker

Vincent Do, a Vietnamese-American, is a computer science major who will be attending UC San Diego. The son of two South Vietnamese immigrants, Do was fascinated by technology despite having limited access to devices (a 2006 Toshiba Satellite laptop and an old Samsung phone with a pullout keyboard). Despite his technology limitations, Do found joy in playing 3D chess on the laptop. He credits it with sparking his curiosity about the mechanics behind the machine.

As he grew older, his intrigue in technology deepened as the world experienced rapid technology development. He was constantly exploring and questioning the inner workings of the Samsung 6 phone and his mother's HP laptop. As he began to build a computer during the summer of 2022, his questions began to be answered. It was at this time that Do started taking classes at Moreno Valley College.

With the finished computer in hand, he had a powerful means of getting his work completed and the opportunity to game with friends. Additionally, he had a newfound respect and passion for the infinite possibilities and intrigue possible through computer science.

His ability to master technology did little for Do as he grappled with bridging his identity. Do said the linguistic barriers he faced — constantly translating between English and Vietnamese for my parents — fueled a sense of conflict. He wondered if he was "American enough" or "Vietnamese enough." His conflict sparked a journey of self-discovery as he sought to reconcile his heritage and identity.

In his research, he discovered authors and poets such as Viet Thanh Nguyen, Ocean Vuong and Nguyen Phan Que Mai. It was thanks to these individuals that Do truly began to understand the power of self-reflection and acceptance. With this understanding, he developed empathy for other students who felt lost between two worlds.

He said, “Like many others I found comfort in education and encouraged an intercultural conversation between our very diverse communities.”

This understanding ignited a flame in him that would become his deep passion for writing and poetry. It is through writing and poetry that he has come to terms with his own identity, and, in turn, can have an intercultural conversation. Each pen stroke for Do provides a reminder of his own agency and influence, empowering him to leave his mark on the world through his words.

Portrait of Amanda Riggle
Amanda Riggle, Ph.D.

Amanda Riggle, Ph.D.

Faculty Speaker

Amanda Riggle, Ph.D., is a former low-income and first-generation community college student. She started her educational path at Fullerton College and earned a PhD in English from UC Riverside in the summer of 2023. Riggle has been highly involved with community and educational opportunities from the start. From community college student to receiving a doctorate, she participated in the McNair Scholar’s Program; taught English in China and Taiwan; was editor-in-chief of the Pomona Valley Review; judged student research presentations at Cal Poly Pomona’s Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities Symposium; translated early modern Spanish texts with the UCLA Diversifying the Classics group; and was a member of the John A. Lesser Shakespeare High School Invitational.

Outside her academic career, which includes teaching English at Moreno Valley College, Riggle is involved in community organizing and cooks over 200 meals a month for the unhoused and those in need in Riverside, Moreno Valley, and surrounding communities.



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