Dr. Mike Hoa Nguyen is assistant professor at the University of Denver's Morgridge College of Education and faculty affiliate at the Scrivner Institute of Public Policy and the Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Study of (In)Equality (IRISE). His research examines the benefits and consequences of public policy instruments in expanding or constraining the operations of colleges and universities, with a specific focus on federal diversity initiatives. This agenda falls into two policy strands: (1) how the federal Minority Serving Institution (MSI) program serves as a vehicle for academic institutions to enhance student success by advancing the political agendas of communities of color and (2) the influence of the judicial branch, as a policy-making body, in regulating the role of racial diversity at colleges and universities. Additionally, he has written extensively on race-conscious admissions, community colleges, the educational experiences of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and equity-based funding models for colleges and universities.
Dr. Nguyen aims to better articulate how federal diversity policy can reach its potential, and fulfill its promise to address pervasive educational inequalities for underrepresented populations and regions within the United States. His work has been published in several outlets including Educational Researcher and the Review of Higher Education; and he has been invited to testify before the California State Assembly’s Committee on Higher Education.
In addition to his academic work, Dr. Nguyen has extensive professional experience with federal policy, having served as a senior staff member in the United States Congress. In his nearly seven years on staff, Dr. Nguyen managed a wide-ranging portfolio and was responsible for multiple complex, long-term intergovernmental projects and initiatives focusing on postsecondary education and the judiciary. Before federal service, Dr. Nguyen was a program associate at De Anza College, where he mentored students, developed new curriculum, and lectured.
Dr. Nguyen currently serves as a Commissioner on the Denver Asian American and Pacific Islander Commission, a member of the Board of Directors for the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), and continues to volunteer and provide research consulting for education and civil rights organizations. Most recently, he was a lead author on an amicus curiae brief on behalf of 678 social scientists in SFFA v. Harvard, which was cited by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in their opinion. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley and his graduate education at the University of California, Los Angeles.
BA - University of California at Berkeley - 2005
MA - University of California at Los Angeles - 2014
PhD - University of California at Los Angeles - 2019
Department of Higher Education
Morgridge College of Education
University of Denver