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 and teaching critically examines the benefits and consequences of racialized public policy instruments in expanding and/or constraining educational systems, with a specific focus on how these dynamics shape access, learning, opportunity, and success within and beyond schools for students of color.
Dr. Nguyen aims to better articulate how race-conscious federal policy can reach its potential, and fulfill its promise to address pervasive educational inequalities for underserved and underrepresented populations and regions within the United States. His work is supported by organizations such as The Kresge Foundation and APIA Scholars, and has been published in several outlets including Educational Researcher, the Journal of Higher Education, and the Review of Higher Education.
In addition to his academic work, Dr. Nguyen has extensive professional experience in federal government, 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 is deeply committed to applying his research to inform and advance public policy and institutional practice. In 2021, he was appointed by the Governor of Colorado to the History, Culture, Social Contributions, and Civil Government in Education Commission, and in 2020 was appointed by the Mayor of Denver to the Denver Asian American and Pacific Islander Commission. He also serves on 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 one of the lead authors of 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.
Areas of Specialization
Public Policy, Law, & Governance; Educational Access & Opportunity; Minority-Serving Institutions; Affirmative Action; Community Colleges; Race, Diversity, & Campus Climate; Civic Engagement & Politics; Equitable Funding Models for Schools; Asian American & Pacific Islanders
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