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5 Questions with Goodnight Scholar Emanuella Tran

Close-up of Emanuella Tran - 5 Questions with Goodnight Scholar Emanuella Tran - College of Natural Resources News NC State University
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Emanuella Tran is a freshman studying environmental sciences in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at NC State. She is among the 50 students in the class of 2026 recently selected for the Goodnight Scholars Program

The Goodnight Scholars Program was founded in 2008 with support from NC State alumni Jim Goodnight ‘65 and Ann Goodnight ‘68. It provides full-tuition scholarships and student development programs designed to transform students into leaders within STEM and STEM-education fields. 

We recently spoke with Tran to learn more about her experiences in the Goodnight Scholars Program and why she chose the College of Natural Resources for her undergraduate education. Check out the Q&A below.

What does being a Goodnight Scholar mean to you? 

Being a part of the Goodnight Scholars community has truly been a great opportunity that I feel very lucky to have the privilege of experiencing. The program has provided me with the opportunity to attend one of North Carolina’s top-performing universities, a privilege that I otherwise would have struggled to obtain. Apart from the financial impact, this scholarship has introduced me to many extraordinary individuals and allowed me to become involved in NC State University in a way that most people do not get the chance to. 

How do you feel the Goodnight Scholar program will prepare you for an education and career in the STEM field? 

The Goodnight Scholars Program is specifically designed to support the young minds of future STEM leaders, so I feel that the program will prepare me very well for a career in STEM. As a female in STEM, I think that a very essential part of being successful is establishing a network, which is largely what the Goodnight Scholars Program advocates for.

Which of your accomplishments have meant the most to you?

I have always had a love for learning and a deep curiosity about the world, which is partially what drove me in high school. In all honesty, I was not one to fight to be at the top of my class or to take the most advanced classes. I just took classes that I enjoyed and was interested in, and I tried my hardest to do well in each of my courses. My proudest accomplishments in high school were graduating as my class’s salutatorian and earning the Lily C. Butler Memorium Scholarship from my school, which was established in honor of my best friend.

Why did you choose the College of Natural Resources for your undergraduate education? 

I applied to the College of Natural Resources because I want to go into a profession that allows me to make an impact on the continuously worsening state of our environment and to help the wildlife that we damage in our wake. I also want to make a lasting change in the way we view the environment as a society. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences through the College of Natural Resources is my first step toward that. 

What are your career aspirations? 

Above all, I hope to pursue a career in which I can help better the world by advocating for the needs of organisms who can not testify on their own behalf.

Tell us about something you are passionate about outside of your academic studies.

Outside of school, I am very passionate about gardening, working with animals, and music. I have always had a keen interest in music and animals, but I have definitely had to work my way up in the department of taking care of plants — and not killing them. My love for animals is largely what drove me to pursue a career in wildlife conservation, but I really decided on my academic and professional path after taking an AP environmental science class with my phenomenal high school science teacher.