American Sociological Association

ASA Footnotes

A publication of the American Sociological AssociationASA News & Events
December 2016

Emerald Nguyen Is the Newest ASA Congressional Fellow

Emerald Nguyen

Emerald Nguyen

The American Sociological association has named Emerald Nguyen as the 2016-2017 ASA Congressional Fellow. Nguyen recently received her PhD in sociology from the University of California-Davis. Her research focused on immigrants and their children’s experiences of living in extended families. Prior to beginning her graduate studies, Emerald worked for the Department of Justice in DC, where she focused on health care. Prior to being awarded the ASA Congressional Fellowship, she received the 2015 ASA Minority Fellowship Award (Cohort 42).

“During the Congressional fellowship year, I am eager to get hands-on experience turning research into actionable policy insights,” said Nguyen in her fellowship application. “I am trained as a mixed-methodologist, analyzing data from U.S. and international censuses while engaging in qualitative fieldwork and conducting in-depth interviews with Asian and Latino immigrants. I hope to utilize these skills as a congressional staffer.”

During her fellowship year on Capitol Hill, Nguyen was originally going apply her experience and expertise in the office of Representative Mike Honda (D-CA). Because Honda lost the election, Nguyen was forced  to find a new placement. This certainly brought a new reality to working on Capitol Hill.

“Unfortunately Congressman Mike Honda lost his reelection forcing me to quickly find a new placement,” said Nguyen. “But I’ve since placed with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand where I’ll be working on healthcare and immigration issues.”

Not new to public affairs work, Nguyen has written a policy brief for the Center for Poverty Research and policy-relevant research articles for journals. Nguyen sees policy-relevant work as a natural fit with the discipline. “Sociologists are fundamentally concerned with the causes and implications of social inequality and social change, and are well positioned to address these issues currently being debated in Washington.”