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Undergraduate Student

Dacthien "Paul" Ngo

Senior, Wildlife Science and Biological Sciences


I grew up in Vienna in Northern Virginia, where I have essentially spent my whole life, aside from an annual cruise to the Bahamas and my current residence in Blacksburg. I spent every day walking to and from school, which meant that every day was a new adventure to explore my neighborhood. I loved taking different ways home because it gave me a chance to enjoy a change of scenery. Even when I was not walking home, I loved being outside. I especially loved the stray animals that lived in the area.

My early affinity for wild animals eventually led me to pursue a dual degree in wildlife science and biological sciences. At one point or another during my freshman year, I majored in biochemistry, chemistry, philosophy, creative writing, and psychology, but I grew disenchanted with all of it. I was essentially major-less until a friend introduced me to wildlife sciences, and I grew enamored with it. After I graduate, I plan on pursuing dual masters in landscape architecture and environmental policy and planning through the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech.

In addition to devoting time to academics, I am very involved in my community. I volunteer for homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and animal shelters, and provide tutoring for younger students. Another hobby of mine is music. I have been principal B-flat and E-flat clarinet in the bands at Virginia Tech, participate in clarinet choirs, and play for my church. I am not just a book-and-arts kind of guy; I also enjoy playing sports, especially volleyball, because nothing beats an ace serve, except for maybe spiking for the winning point!

This past summer, I worked with a wildlife conservation organization called Defenders of Wildlife, where I grew more excited about pursuing a career in the environmental field. I met some amazing people and even a Hokie! I compiled research and wrote a literature review on analyzing the costs and benefits of conservation practices on agricultural farms in California, which I hope will be published one day.

Honors and Awards

  • Dean’s List, fall 2008-present
  • Member, University Honors Program, 2008-present
  • Principal B-flat clarinetist, spring and fall 2010
  • Principal E-flat clarinetist, spring 2010 and spring 2011

25th Anniversary

Celebrating 25 Years

    1992 through 2017, 25 years

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