Duyen Tran ’10

Duyen Tran

Los Angeles, California

Career: Healthcare community organizer
Fellowship: Institute for International Public Policy (IIPP)
Major: Politics and international relations

Duyen Tran received a dream of an award as a sophomore at Scripps when the IIPP gave her a five-year fellowship with specially designed education and training experiences critical for a future in international affairs.

Tran took her fellowship along a different career path.

“I wanted to better understand the grassroots approach to public policy and policy advocacy because that’s how I think public policy should be exercised—from a bottom-up trajectory,” said Tran.

After graduating from Scripps, Tran worked for the UCLA Occupational Health Internship Program, where she partnered with the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative. She organized nail salon workers in Southern California to prevent and advocate against chemical exposure and workplace hazards in the salons as part of the broader strategy to provide labor protections and justice for immigrant workers. This workforce is composed of predominately Southeast Asian women of reproductive age who are exposed to toxic chemicals on a daily basis. There is little government regulation of toxic chemicals and limited research on the long-term safety and health impact of chemical exposure on workers, according to Tran. There are also cultural and linguistic barriers in safety information for much of the female workforce.

Tran became an organizer for The California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative and is currently attending UCLA for a master of public health degree, the last component of her fellowship.

Her goal is to support community-based leadership development and behavioral change through community-led research methods—in particular those that measure health impacts of chemical exposure among nail salon workers.

Fun fact: Tran lives in Koreatown, Los Angeles, and loves “its diversity, its history in labor organizing, and the interesting interplay of power” between developers and residents.

Institute for International Public Policy—IIPP fellows participate in a prestigious and unique five-year, multi-part program. It includes a combination of short seven-week summer global policy institutes; a study abroad opportunity that focuses on global public policy, service and research; and a master’s degree program in international affairs that provides up to $15,000 in matching funds to fellows.


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