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I find it inspiring that most ThanksUSA scholarship recipients report that they are passionate about their chosen field of study. When I first spoke with Nguyen Pham Seymour, I could hear this passion in her voice. Nguyen, a Marine Corps spouse, received a $3,000 LM&O Advertising/ThanksUSA Scholarship for her final year of Marketing and Psychology studies at Brigham Young University-Hawaii. Just months from graduating, Nguyen is excited to share her educational accomplishments and career goals with ThanksUSA supporters.

Nguyen Pham Seymour

Nguyen first became interested in marketing when her employer challenged staff members to improve sales during the slow season. She suggested a loyalty program and volunteered to chart customer activities during implementation. Both Nguyen and her employer were pleased to see increased demand and higher client retention while competitors continued to struggle.

From that point on, Nguyen explains, “I became interested in analyzing consumer behavior during store visits. In my spare time, I would read psychology materials to gain insight about consumer behaviors. Then, I would form new marketing campaigns to capture consumers’ attention and awareness.”

For Nguyen, majoring in both marketing and psychology has been the perfect combination. “My goal,” she says, “is to have a career where I can fully utilize my analytical and quantitative skills to help businesses and organizations identify difficulties and effectively implement solutions.”

During her time at BYU-Hawaii, Nguyen has had the opportunity to work with various organizations like Deseret International, Sothys Paris, and the Sheraton and Sofital hotels. When I asked Nguyen about her favorite marketing project, she admitted that it was nearly impossible to choose, but added, “If I must (choose), I’d have to say working with Hawaii North Shore Chamber of Commerce (NSCOC) was a great experience overall. During the 6 months of working on the project, I gained tremendous insights about the marketing research process, as well as how to manage my team effectively. The NSCOC was so impressed with the result, that they asked us to present the data at the 4th Annual Hawaii North Shore Business Expo.”

Although Nguyen and her team presented their results to high-level corporate executives and Hawaiian decision makers, she says, “The best part is that businesses of all sizes can implement the results from our study to become more effective in their marketing communication efforts.”

Though she is very talented and has the education and experience to raise the profits of a potential employer, Nguyen is hardly driven by dollar signs. Instead, the devoted Marine Corps spouse is more concerned with using her strengths to help her extended military family.

She is currently in the process of building a website devoted to post traumatic stress disorder resources. With many of our active duty and retired military members suffering from PTSD, Nguyen wants to provide victims, family members, friends, and their entire support network with the latest information. She also has plans to provide innovative marketing methods and brand management training to small and mid-size businesses operated by military members and military dependents. “As a life-time member of the national honor society Phi Kappa Phi, I hope to reach and change as many lives as possible and give back to those who serve and sacrifice for our nation,” she adds.

As the spouse of CPL Michael Blake Seymour, USMC, Nguyen understands sacrifice. “There is no amount of training that will prepare you to be a Marine’s wife. One thing I have learned is that anything can happen at any given moment and I need to be prepared when he leaves. Be it deployment, training, duty, there is no such thing as certainty when you are the wife of a Marine,” she remarks.

Corporal and Mrs. Michael Blake Seymour

Corporal and Mrs. Michael Blake Seymour

Aside from the stresses of military life, the Seymours are dealing with a personal health issue. Diagnosed with the rare Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, Blake recently underwent a complicated surgery. Nguyen was relieved to report that her husband has fully recovered, returned to work, and would eventually like to start a non-profit dedicated to WPW patients.

For now, the couple is planning for their next transition. Nguyen will graduate from BYU-Hawaii in April with degrees in both Marketing and Psychology, with a minor in Economics. She is proud to announce that she has accepted a position with Goldman Sachs and will start her new career in the summer. Before then, Nguyen and Blake plan to devote a month volunteering in Asia and the Pacific. What a great way to celebrate all that she has accomplished!

I hope that all ThanksUSA scholarship recipients will remain passionate about their chosen field. If you truly love what you’re doing, you’ll live a very happy life. On behalf of the entire ThanksUSA Team, I wish all of our supporters, scholarship recipients, and military families a very Happy New Year!

“I’d like to say “Thank You” for the generosity and thoughtfulness of the sponsors that allow ThanksUSA to accomplish its mission in supporting military personnel and their family members, who pay the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.”  — Nguyen Pham Seymour

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Don’t miss this year’s TH7 Bonus: Tennis Thanks the Troops Trivia!

Play during the 2012 U.S. Open (Aug 27-Sept 9) for your chance to win!!

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In the past two years, Army dependent Devon Cooley has received $6,000 in ThanksUSA Scholarships, sponsored by Goldman Sachs Gives and LM&O Advertising. On Friday, May 4th, Devon graduated from the Michigan State University College of Communication Arts and Sciences with High Honors and was recognized for having the highest GPA in her degree program.

Devon is looking forward to beginning her training with Teach For America in Atlanta, GA. This Fall, she will begin her journey as a Secondary English teacher in the Greater New Orleans, LA. Devon’s future plans include graduate school and traveling. Devon was featured in a Scholarship News blog earlier this Spring and you can read more about her plans and great advice to new undergrads here. The ThanksUSA team congratulates Devon on her academic accomplishments and we wish her all the best with her teaching career!

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For Army dependent Devon Cooley, “It feels like only yesterday when I walked across the stage to receive my high school diploma.” Now, only weeks away from graduating from Michigan State University, Devon is busy preparing to be a Corps Member of Teach for America in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Throughout Devon’s undergraduate studies, she has received $6,000 in ThanksUSA Scholarships including a $3,000 LM&O Advertising/ThanksUSA Scholarship for her final year. Devon will graduate from MSU with high honors, earning her B.A. in Advertising with a minor in Women’s Studies.

Devon explains that she was initially attracted to the field of advertising “because of its unique combination of psychology, creativity, and media.” Along the way, however, Devon’s minor helped shift her career focus. “I have decided to pursue a career pathway that strives to correct the pressing social issues of contemporary society. My minor has helped me strengthen my understanding of the intersectionality of the many different types of disadvantages faced by citizens across the country and throughout the world,” she says.

Recognizing inequity in education inspired Devon to apply for her position with Teach for America. She explains, “Everyone deserves the opportunities that a quality education can provide. I’m looking forward to making a difference in the classrooms as a Secondary English teacher.”

Devon also plans to pursue graduate school in the future, but has some sound advice for potential and current undergrads saying, “I recommend for all undergraduate students to dive into campus life! They need to try new things and not be afraid of a busy schedule. It is incredible how fast my college experience has gone by… I took advantage of as many opportunities for involvement as I could, which has enabled me to make the most of my time at MSU. I have met several new people, developed my resume, and discovered new interests through my participation.”

Even with her busy campus schedule, Devon appreciates the importance of making time for her family. She explains, “My father has been stationed across the country or in the Middle East for the majority of his service. Even now, the closest to my family as he has ever been, he is separated by a six or seven hour drive. I have learned to perfect the balance of time that I devote to my friends, my studies, and my relatives. This hasn’t always been easy as a college student, but it has certainly helped me mature into an adult with a healthy respect for family matters. Now, when my family is reunited, everyone understands how special it is to have one another.”

Devon’s family is surely beaming with pride as they prepare to celebrate her graduation! The ThanksUSA team is honored to have been a part of Devon’s undergraduate studies and we look forward to updates from her Teach for America experience. We remind all readers that scholarship applications for the 2012-2013 academic year are being accepted through May 15, 2012 and complete details can be found here. We close this week’s Scholarship News with some words of thanks from Devon:

The financial assistance that I have received from LM&O Advertising and ThanksUSA has been invaluable to my education. Financing college has become increasingly difficult; yet the importance of obtaining a college degree has also become increasingly important. Without the help of ThanksUSA scholarships, I would not have been able to have such an incredible experience at MSU. I am grateful to have had the privilege of achieving a minor in addition to my major and to have experienced studying abroad.

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