Student Spotlight: Michael Pham
What is your major?
Where are you from?
What is your tribal affiliation?
Tell us about your academic/career goals or why you chose your career path?
I am still deciding between academic research and becoming a professor at a moderately sized university/college when I one day receive my Ph.D. What we pass on for the future generations of scholars and learners is just as important as any research. I’m not immortal so the torch ought to be handed down somehow.
What is your favorite spot on campus and why?
At the moment due to murky weather, my favorite spot is my desk in the grad student office because that’s where my snacks live.
What advice do you have for incoming students?
Take things head on to the best of your abilities no matter how slow it gets. Don’t overload yourself just to get anything over with—it is best to let information simmer and ingrain. Things take time and constant effort; burning out makes allocating time and staying motivated difficult to do.
What three traits define you?
Reliability, honesty, and generosity
How do you define success?
My definition of success is rather open-ended at the moment. I normally see success as accomplishing something with unwavering effort. To define success as accomplishing something right on our expectations is rather unreasonable since things don’t always go our way. It’s good to have some expectations but don’t worry too much if things turn out much differently.
What are you doing right now to help propel you toward continued academic or career success? (i.e. projects, research, poster, writing papers, internship, service hours, volunteering, post-doc, fellowship, work, conferences, etc.)
Thus far, being a first year Ph.D student, lab projects and training are what I think will contribute most to my future career success. Also, the search for the right mentor is the most beneficial to my academic and life development.
What would you name the autobiography of your life?
“Smiles that go on for Miles”
When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?
In my free time, especially while running a gel or PCR, I enjoy doodling nature and people that walk by. I occasionally just walk down to the garden in between PBS and Nursing to get some fresh air.
What does it mean to you to be a WSU Cougar?
To be a WSU Cougar is to keep our minds open to everything that comes our way and doing the best for the communities we come to meet. WSU Cougars wouldn’t be a worldwide phenomenon if we weren’t as dedicated and amiable.
What or who has made the most meaningful impacts/differences in helping you succeed? (i.e. family, certain experiences, culture, mentorship etc.)
I think having my family root me on gives me the motivation to continue in the pharmaceutical sciences. It’s a tough journey ahead but having the support from my elders, younger cousins, and friends makes the path more pleasant to walk on.