Among the Class of 2019, Cai and Nguyen were randomly matched as roommates, but their close friendship seemed preordained. Both are passionate about social justice, education policy, civil discourse on religion and philosophy, and the website Buzzfeed. They have deep discussions over steaming hot drinks; Cai brings a Christian outlook, Nguyen, an atheistic perspective. The duo hosted “philoso-tea” sessions in their dorm room for friends enrolled in the Focus program “Humanitarian Challenges and Global Initiatives.” Their Bassett Hall room is decorated with their Arts Annex work. They go all out with DIY gifts for each other’s birthdays: Cai organized a private jazz concert, and Nguyen filled a Mason jar with mementoes of their friendship.
Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska
Campus Involvement: Asian Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Asian Student Association, and Duke Chamber Music Tunes: indie folk, punk rock, classical
Taste: A pro snacker, she keeps the room stocked with Nutella, trail mix, and Cheez-Its.
Favorite Place: the steps of Baldwin Auditorium at night and the downtown café Cocoa Cinnamon
Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Major: (potentially) political science Campus Involvement: America Reads America Counts, Asian Student Association, Partners for Success, Duke Annual Fund
Tunes: indie pop, electronic, and Spanish music
Taste: A light diner, she says one of her goals is “to eat at least breakfast every morning.”
Favorite Place: their dorm room and Cocoa Cinnamon café
INTERVIEW by Roy Auh/PHOTOGRAPH by Les Todd