December 04, 2020
Jacey Tran and Bekah Rouh
Midway through the spring 2020 semester, Kutztown University, like everywhere else, had to transition to online learning and send all of its resident students home, due to the coronavirus pandemic. In this uncertain time, students were unsure about what the rest of the semester would look like. Most headed home to start online learning, but KU had some students who could not return home due to limited travel.
Huong "Jacey" Tran, a Biochemistry major at KU, was a sophomore at the time. Being from Vietnam made her situation different from most. Due to traveling regulations, she was unable to go home like most of her classmates. She had been living in the Honors Hall and KU helped her move to Golden Bear Village South with other students for the remainder of the semester. The housing office would often check in on students and conduct virtual events for them to attend keeping them communicating and busy.
“I'm grateful for the extra help for students who remained on campus,” said Jacey.
When summer break started, Jacey planned on living on campus until the next academic year started. She got a call from Bekah Roux, a friend she used to live with in the Honors Hall during her freshman year. Bekah was checking up on Jacey, knowing she was still living on campus, and asked her if she would want to live with her in New York for the summer. Jacey gladly accepted and the two became best friends.
“I wanted to help her because she's my friend. I knew she needed a place to stay and that if the roles were reversed, she'd do the same for me.” Bekah said.
Jacey and Bekah learned a lot from each other during their time together. Jacey taught Bekah about Vietnamese culture, how to cook native dishes, and some of the language. Bekah taught Jacey how to swim, make s’mores, and how to play MANY card games. They bonded over their love for similar music and long car rides together.
“It was really cool seeing someone who was so similar to me but grew up in a completely different part of the world,” Bekah said.
Jacey and Bekah are honors students at KU and are very involved with campus life. Jacey is working for housing this school year as a Community Assistant and continuing as a Biochemistry major. She plans to graduate in 2022. Bekah is a senior majoring in Environmental Science and Anthropology. She is also the captain of the Women’s Rugby team. She will graduate in May 2021. They are both enjoying being back on campus, spending time with their friends, and continuing their friendship.
By Michael Rubinstein '21, Web Content Writer
Jacey Tran (left) and Bekah Roux