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McNair Scholar 2011Ngoc D. Nguyen

Ngoc D. Nguyen is a senior at the University of Minnesota, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Spanish Studies. Her research interests broadly include ethnic minority studies, racial discrimination, and racial disparities at work, particularly in motivation and leadership development. Ms. Nguyen aspires to attain a Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology.

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My dream is to receive a Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. With the doctorate degree, I would like to investigate and find ways to improve motivation, training, and leadership development for ethnic minorities, to help lessen the gap in racial disparities in the work place.

Research project

"Go back to where you came from": Blatant Foreigner Discrimination

Abstract: This study examined at blatant foreigner discriminatory comments as a manifestation of xenophobia. In particular, we explored group differences in the unique experience of having been told by someone, “Go back to where you came from,” its correlation with psychological distress, and race and nativity as moderators. The data was collected from 449 incoming first year, Asian American and African American students at a large, Midwestern university. Approximately 19% of participants reported having experienced blatant foreigner discrimination. A three-way ANOVA (discrimination x race x nativity) was conducted and found a significant three-way interaction. Separate two-way ANOVAs (discrimination x nativity) by race were conducted and found a significant interaction for Asian Americans. More specifically, results from an independent-sample t-tests revealed that the positive relationship between blatant foreigner discrimination and psychological distress was greatest for immigrant Asian Americans. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Dr. Richard M. Lee is currently an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Lee earned a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from Boston College and received a Ph.D. in Psychology (Counseling) from Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Lee’s research interest is primarily focused on the role of race, ethnicity, and migration in the development, well-being and mental health of ethnic minorities, particularly Asian Americans. More specifically, his research has looked at cultural impact of displacement on acculturation and enculturation, ethnic identity development, discrimination and racism, parent-child conflicts, and international adoption. Presently, Dr. Lee has two active labs running: one on international adoption studies and one on culture and prevention.