Kelly Nguyen is a refugee from Vietnam and a first-generation high school and college graduate. She is slated to be the first woman to graduate from the doctoral program in ancient history at Brown University in May 2021. She received her BA in classics and archaeology with honors and highest distinction from Stanford University in 2012.
Her interdisciplinary research and teaching engage classical studies in a comparative manner to explore imperialism, forced displacement and race and ethnicity. Her dissertation is the first major study to examine the history of Greco-Roman classical reception within Vietnamese contexts.
Nguyen co-founded the Asian and Asian American Classical Caucus, a professional organization dedicated to increasing diversity within the field of classics, and has served as the inaugural coordinator of its international mentorship program. She also has served as the chair of the board of directors for the Center for Southeast Asians, a non-profit serving the refugee and immigrant populations of Rhode Island, and has consulted on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.