Photo by Mike Lovett

Brandon Tran ’18


Brandeis Inside Out: Brandon Tran

Get the inside skinny on what it means to be Brandeisian from students themselves.

Houston native Brandon Tran ’18 is a member of the Southeast Asia Club, South Asian Students Association and the Waltham Group, among others.  

What do you nerd out about? Why?

As a first-generation college student, I am passionate about education. Every first-generation college and low-income student deserves the same educational opportunities as their affluent, suburban counterpart. I also nerd out about religious studies and science. Religion, because I’m curious how different religions are related to each other, how they are practiced and how they have shaped who we are. Science, because it is ever changing and the key to understanding the world we live in.

What brought you to Brandeis?

I come from a predominantly Hispanic community in Houston. I never dreamed I would spend the next four years of my life in a different city, let alone a different state. I was in an enrichment program that pushed me to apply to more than 20 universities across the nation. Brandeis accepted me and invited me to join other students for CommUNITY and Admitted Students Day. I tagged along and made the decision to come to Brandeis while I was here on campus for the weekend. The student body, the strong science program, and the generous scholarships and grants were only some of the factors that made me say, “Yes!” to Brandeis.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome as a student here?

I have always shied away from speaking with people of “higher power” and status. But, at Brandeis, professors urge you to email them, come to their office and ask them questions. I have become a more outspoken person, with greater confidence speaking to professors, deans, and others in prominent positions.

Where’s your favorite place on campus?

My favorite place is one many people tend to stay away from: the Dungeon. It’s in the library, down many stairs and through double doors that require a lot of strength to open. It is well lit and a great place to concentrate and study.

How would you characterize students at Brandeis?

Students here are willing to support one another educationally and emotionally. Students are always willing to lend a hand, and even though Brandeis has a prestigious reputation, students aren’t cutthroat. Students at Brandeis not only help each other on campus, they help others through community service. It’s too simple to just describe students at Brandeis as smart and charitable — they are so much more.

Brandon Tran ’18 is the Richman Saivetz Family Scholar