Migmar Wangchuk, left, the Metropolitan State University ‘Outstanding Student’ in the College of Health, Community and Professional Studies, School of Nursing, with Metro State President Sue K. Hammersmith. (Contributed photo)
ST. PAUL (Dec. 31, 2012) — A Tibetan refugee has been selected one of the fall 2012 outstanding students at Metropolitan State University.
Migmar Wangchuk, chosen outstanding undergraduate student in the College of Health, Community and Professional Studies, School of Nursing, was one of 1,214 students receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Metropolitan State’s 91st commencement exercises on Dec. 18 at Saint Paul RiverCentre’s Roy Wilkin’s Auditorium.
“I’m honored and happy,” said Wangchuk, Columbia Heights. “There are many other students who are deserving of the same recognition, so I would like to congratulate them as well.”
Wangchuk, 37, arrived in the United States in 2004 after having spent 29 years at Bylakuppe, a Tibetan refugee settlement in Mysore, India. After China invaded Tibet in 1959, his parents fled their homeland on foot, enduring mountainous terrain, precarious river crossings, bitter-cold temperatures, fierce winds and scarce food en route to India. At the refugee camp, Wangchuk mentored children and built desks for them and raised funds for fellow refugees.
In Minnesota, Wangchuk continued his community service. He assessed and prioritized the needs of homeless individuals and families and guided them to service providers for Project Homeless Connect, Minneapolis. Wangchuk has performed blood pressure screenings of Minnesota State Fair visitors for the Red Cross of Minnesota. And he has previously volunteered for the Brain Injury Association of Minnesota and YWCA, Minneapolis.
In Metropolitan State’s nursing program, Wangchuk was also involved in community service, participating in community outreach programs and community clinics. He received three Metropolitan State University Foundation scholarships while attending the university, including the Reatha Clark King and Kopp Presidential scholarships.
Wangchuk considered his biggest life challenge to be tending to his legally-blind mother and balancing his obligations and interests while attending Metropolitan State full time. His biggest accomplishment was “Getting my college degree while also making a contribution to the community. My education will further help me to contribute to society.”
Wangchuk, a registered nurse and a certified public health nurse, is currently weighing job offers in nursing. Eventually, he hopes to obtain a master’s degree and work as a psychiatric nurse.