Emily Hua earns degree after moving to the U.S. alone

Jun 07, 2023
Hy Emily Hua on Newman graduation day.
Hy Emily Hua on Newman graduation day.

Hy “Emily” Hua came to the United States from Vietnam at the age of 16 — alone — to pursue her education. Leaving her family behind and moving to a country where she had to learn the English language and culture wasn’t easy, but the choice paid off.

This past May, Hua received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Newman University. Prior to her undergraduate studies, Hua attended Wichita Collegiate School. 

She noted there were a few main reasons why she chose to further her education at Newman. 

“First, it is a small, private college that focuses on not only developing personal academics but also nourishing personal faith and philosophy,” Hua said. “And I think this is why the school has such a special name — Newman. We will gradually transform ourselves into new individuals after receiving an education here.”

Hy Emily Hua
Hua, 2019 (Courtesy photo)

The other two reasons were the fact that she could establish a close relationship with her adviser, as well as the campus’s convenient location. 

Hua felt her time in Newman’s rigorous chemistry program was challenging, yet she believes it prepared her well to head into society. 

“I like the science program at Newman because I have become a better person over the years thanks to the help of my professors and friends,” she said. “Without them, I wouldn’t be able to be a better person and do things that I never thought I could do. So, thank you to all of them.”

A few professors who made a big impact on Hua include Assistant Professor of Biology Jenna Persons, Associate Professor of Chemistry Ryan Huschka and Associate Professor of Chemistry Alan Oberley.  

“I remember that when I first came to Newman, I was shy, and my English wasn’t that good,” Hua said. “But over the years, with the help of these professors, I have become better and more successful. I’m so happy that I finally can graduate with a degree that I want to go into in the future.”

Her next goal is to find a job in a science lab and eventually work as a chemist, particularly focused on cosmetic products. She also hopes to give back to her family, who’ve supported her every step of the way. 

I think following your dreams is something that requires a lot of courage and a lot of help, not just from us, but from the people who love us.

Hy “Emily” Hua

“I would hope that I can reciprocate what my parents have sacrificed and how they have loved me unconditionally during my journey in the United States,” she said. “Without their support, I could not pursue my education smoothly.”

Hua’s advice for current Newman students comes from lived experience. 

“Work hard, be yourself and follow your dreams,” she said. “I think following your dreams is something that requires a lot of courage and a lot of help, not just from us, but from the people who love us.” 

For Hua, she found those people at Newman. 

“Even though Newman is a small school, through the things we learn, I believe we can transform society,” she said. 

Earn a chemistry degree at Newman University

Most Newman chemistry and biochemistry majors advance to medical school, graduate school, or obtain employment in the chemical industry.