October 17, 2019
  • 5:16 pm Why I’m Rooting for Dr. Cornel West
  • 5:00 pm Under Fire from the Feds, Vaping’s Future is Cloudy
  • 3:28 pm Enrollment, Part one: We’re Going to Need a Bigger Boat; Tsunami 3.0 Hits Campus, Enrollment Swells
  • 1:22 pm THE FIRST ISSUE OF THE BULLETIN IS HERE
  • 4:48 pm University Weathering a Wave of New Students
  • 9:21 pm The Bulletin’s Public Records Request Offers Springboard to Launch Gender Equity Discussion at CSUDH
  • 4:27 pm Black is the New Black: Raising the Capital on the “B” Word
  • 10:53 am Guns Up for Arrest: Student advocacy group pushes for CSU No Gun Zones–Including the Police
  • 4:09 pm Staff Editorial: Words on the First
  • 8:42 pm Carson Mayor Blasts Media, Landmark Libel Case in Keynote Address
  • 9:27 am Free Speech Week Calendar of Events Update
  • 6:02 am Food for Thought: 40% of Students are Food Insecure
  • 3:12 pm Academic Senate Rejects CSU GE Task Force & Report
  • 3:06 pm Work To Be Done
  • 5:56 pm ASI Elections: What You Need to Know
  • 8:02 pm CSUDH President Parham Announces Cancer Diagnosis
  • 9:47 am CSUDH Art Professor’s 20-Year Journey Results in First Local Showing of Film
  • 9:13 pm Free Speech or Free Hate area?
  • 9:08 pm CSUDH’s Best & Brightest Shine at Student Research Day
  • 9:05 pm Academic Senate Approves Gender Equity Task Force
  • 12:37 pm When Dr. Davis speaks, Toros Pay Close Attention
  • 3:38 pm Investing in the Future: Dr. Thomas A. Parham Reflects on the Past Eight Months and Contemplates​ the University’s Future
  • 3:24 pm Green Olive to Open By End of Feb; Starbucks Not Until Fall
  • 3:20 pm Gov. Newsom’s Proposed Budget Hailed for Extensive Funding Increases
  • 3:08 pm Out of the Classroom: Labor and Community Organizing Course Aims to Teach Students How to Organize for Social Justice
  • 2:54 pm The Other Route in Professional Sports
  • 9:02 am Hail to the New Chief, CSUDH President Thomas Parham
  • 3:36 pm Career Center Holds Major/Minor Fair
  • 5:34 pm After Unexpected Delay, Undocumented Becomes More Intimate Theatrical Production
  • 1:30 pm What to Expect When You’re Expecting New Buildings
  • 8:02 pm The Strangest Career in NFL History
  • 6:30 am Toro Actress Lights up the Edison Theatre in “Asuncion”
  • 10:20 am CSUDH Enrollment Record Means Campus Housing Demand Increases
  • 9:18 am Examining Diseased Roots
  • 7:59 am Putting the Corrido in its Proper Perspective
Story tips, concerns, questions?

By Yeymy Garcia
Lifestyle Editor

When you hear about a student who gets straight A’s, is heavily involved on campus, and wins awards, you may think that person has only a few challenges in their life. Think again. 

Sure, at last month’s Student Research Day, senior Andrew Luu, 24, a psychology major and business minor in data analytics, took home three awards with projects delving into digital metacognition, Generation Z college performance, and the future of robotics and human employment. But though he’s highly motivated, seems to have found his calling in academic research, has his sights firmly set on graduate school, it’s taken a great deal of work. 

Luu is a first-generation student and a former chemical engineer major at UC Riverside who never felt passionate about the career his parents wanted him to pursue. He struggled at UCR, choosing to leave and enroll at El Camino College where he discovered psychology. He then switched his major to psychology after transferring to CSUDH two years ago where he was introduced to the world of research. He spends most of his time researching in the psychology department’s George Marsh Applied Cognition Laboratory, which mentors promising graduate and undergraduate students.

In addition, he is the vice president of CSUDH’s chapter of Psi Chi, an international psychology honor society, a member of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, works as a supplemental instructor tutoring freshman statistics and is determined to get his doctorate to become a professor and researcher. His secret? No sleep, a ton of coffee, and a flexible schedule.

“I think to be flexible is important to a certain degree with your schedule so that you’re not stressing yourself out,” Luu said. “[Recently] I was supposed to…do work, but I was really exhausted so…I just decided you know what, let’s get a massage.”

One thing that was not on Luu’s schedule was leaving UCR. His parents, who are from Vietnam and did not get past grade school, were shocked and disappointed.

“When I was struggling, I didn’t go to them,” Luu said. “I couldn’t…I didn’t want to disappoint them. I didn’t know how to approach them, so I tried to handle it all myself. I didn’t. I dropped out.”

Though he had plans to re-apply to UCR after enrolling in El Camino College, once he discovered psychology, he decided to pursue it at CSUDH. His natural inquisitiveness caught the attention of a classmate, who asked him to join the GMAC Lab and get involved with research.  

“I think it starts off with that…I just asked questions,” Luu said. “I want to know more [and] I want to learn. I think that is what sparked a lot of my opportunities…just participate, engage.”

At first, he knew little about research but after seeing how devoted and involved professors were in their research, he said it was like being introduced to a whole new world, one where science wasn’t just lab coats and chemicals. He said he realized psychology was a science as well, but that its concepts and constructs are just harder to measure.

Getting involved with research also opened up the possibility to go to graduate school.

“I used to think that getting a Ph.D. was way out of my league,” Luu said. “That it’s too hard, it’s not for me [and] that I would not be able to do it. But as I participated in the work and was kept being pushed to do more, I realized, ‘Hey you know what, I can do this.’ I just boxed myself in for no reason.”

But now that Luu has decided to pursue graduate school, he faces his biggest hardship: money. He pays for materials, flights, registrations to conferences and grad school applications. He recently paid $400 to register for a conference, not including his plane ticket and hotel stay. He applied to 10 different grad schools with fees ranging from $60 to $100.

Luu’s parents sometimes help him, but he has two younger brothers, so he said he pays for mostly everything on his own.

He applied to the McNair Scholars Program, which covers all expenses for students who want to go to graduate school, but because he had dropped out of UCR, he wasn’t accepted. He applied again after his first SRD wins last year, but he no longer qualified because McNair wants to work with students that have two years left. Luu graduates this May.

Despite the stress of money and applying to graduate school, Luu said he has developed a “let it go” philosophy because he knows, in the end, it’ll be all be worth it.

“If you don’t get into something, it’s okay,” Luu said. “It doesn’t define you…Just move on to the next thing…and try again.”

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