Student Spotlight: Hieu Tran '17 on Mindfulness & Meditation
Jess Ensley ‘17: What do you do at the library?
Hieu Tran ‘17: I work at the library circulation area. I usually work on shelving and getting paging slips. I get to meet a lot students and professors there. One of the best things to see is the reaction of someone coming to pick up a book that they requested and waited a week or two to receive.
Jess: What’s your favorite thing about working at the library?
Hieu: My favorite thing about working at the library is working with the staff. They are kind and very fun to work with. Often times, I get into really meaningful conversations with the supervisors who are wise and very generous.
Jess: Who’s your favorite professor and why?
Hieu: My favorite professor is … I cannot choose just one. All of the professors I have had at Denison have been absolutely stellar. Whenever I sign up for classes I am just excited to learn what they are offering. Denison professors are so enthusiastic and passionate about their subjects. It creates amazing discussions in class.
Jess: What are you planning on doing after graduation?
Hieu: I am planning to have a career as a data analyst. Further down the road I want to model and analyze the human's consciousness in the realms of spirituality. I came across the study of mindfulness during the summer of my sophomore year at Denison. I was checking out a book called “Tao Te Ching” by Lao Tzu. I thought it sounded interesting and decided to read more about it. Soon enough, I started practicing Taoist meditation and going to the Open House for the group meditation session. During my junior year, I changed a lot as a person, in a positive way. The change was so significant that I decided to write a proposal for a summer research project on the topic of mindfulness and the success of college students. Unfortunately, I could not get the funding, but I continue to grow my knowledge on the subject. I want to build my career toward explaining and analyzing the possibility of human consciousness through mindfulness practices.
Jess: What extracurricular activities are you involved in on campus?
Hieu: I am the Cabinet President of Denison Community Association. I have worked with DCA since my first year at Denison. I really enjoy giving to the community that has given me the chance to learn and grow as a person. In DCA cabinet, our main goal is to provide fellow students with the opportunity to indulge in service projects and to give back to the wonderful community that we have here at Denison.
Jess: What other hobbies do you have?
Hieu: I enjoy training in mindfulness meditation and martial arts. When I was abroad, I was already deep in the practices of meditation. I studied at a university in France and one of the extra-curricular activities that stood out to me was French Boxing. I have never fought and I tend to shy away from high-risk sports, but I thought it would be a great way to understand myself more and to learn how my body moves. I joined the club and never looked back. My first session, we did some distance work on the foot and then we went straight into sparring. The more I sparred the more I understood myself, my weaknesses, my strengths, my fears, and my sparks of courage. On top of that, the atmosphere was filled with positive energy and respect for each other. I look at martial arts as the most beautiful art one can indulge in. You can use it to understand yourself and create strong relationships with others.
Jess: Do you have any advice for first year students?
Hieu: Take advantage of trying out different courses that you never think you would like and remember to practice gratitude in being here.
Jess: What’s something you haven’t done at Denison yet that you’d still like to do?
Hieu: I’d like to invite all my professors to walk the labyrinth with me down in The Open House. Walking the labyrinth has been one of the most profound experiences that I have found here at Denison. Therefore, my hope is that people learn more about it and I encourage them to walk it alone and with a group of people.