Back-to-School-Month Feature, Cody Nguyen, NOVA Esports Student

August 5, 2022

Cody Nguyen is excited to come back to NOVA to continue to compete for the Nighthawks Esports team! A stellar cybersecurity student, Cody is a “legacy student” with many family members who have attended NOVA.

When he is not working or working hard at school, he is always training by playing games on his PC. Like Cody, many of the NOVA Esports Rocket League and Valorant teams are continuing a run of dominance in state-wide championships. These Esports Nighthawks have recently won NJCAAE National Championships. The students on the team work hard in competition as well as in the classroom by contributing to a team GPA of 3.0.

Recently, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin congratulated NOVA Esports on winning the Rocket League and Valorant National Junior College Athletic Association Championship. “NOVA Student-Athletes work tirelessly to continue to achieve success. We are so very proud we can offer our Student-Athletes a memory of a lifetime (and something stellar they can put on their resume!). They deserve a large amount of respect, admiration, and recognition,” said CJ Jackson, director of recreation and wellness at NOVA. This recognition from the Governor of Virginia is an excellent way to provide them with proof of just how significant their accomplishments are.

“This distinguished achievement demonstrates the dedication and commitment to excellence of the Esports team, coaches, the Athletic Department and President Kress,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin.

Cody tells us a bit about himself and his background:

My family and I have lived in Virginia most of our lives. I am half Chinese and half Vietnamese, and I have been playing video games since I was 8 years old. Playing video games is something I really enjoy doing.

I generally play for fun, and because I saw the opportunity to play for NOVA, I decided to try out. When I started playing, I didn’t think I was that good and my coach said otherwise. I took a leap of faith, and it has been a pretty good choice. I am enjoying it.

When I am not working, I am pretty much on my PC all the time. I only play League and Valor for NOVA. The League team is really good here. I play for both teams on the varsity level. It has been a really awesome experience.

I love that what I do and no matter how far away from people I am, through playing video games, we stay connected. I thought it was pretty cool that Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin and his team thought to thank the Nighthawk Esports team on our national level of competition.

I am proud of my team and everyone who competed. I felt that we should’ve won last year. But when we won the championship this year, it was really exciting for all of us.

I want to give a big shoutout to Jon O’ Neil, my valor coach, and coach Jordan Whittaker. They have always pushed me to do my best. Jordan has always given me awesome experiences. They both have made college easier for me. I want to thank all of my teammates too. Especially my League teammates, they are people you can count on.

What brought you to NOVA?

My aunts all went to NOVA before they transferred about ten or so years ago. One aunt started at NOVA, went on to Mason and then pursued a career at the Department of Homeland Security. Also, my sister also goes to NOVA now.

What are you studying or what do you plan to study at NOVA?

I am studying computer science here at NOVA. I am going into my second year this upcoming fall. Originally, I wanted to get into video game design and make interesting games for people to play, but I realized it is a lot of work. I switched my major to computer science/cybersecurity because I find that it’s interesting to be able to protect yourself against online attacks. It is exciting to come back and learn some new things.

Tell Us About Your Experience at NOVA; i.e., professors you’ve liked and friends you’ve met 😊

Professor Kimberly Whitehouse (AN-IT) made learning fun. She taught the courses the well, and it made it easier to learn the assignments.

What would you tell a student coming to NOVA?

NOVA’s popular among my family, and it’s a super affordable option. People should always consider it.

Where do you see yourself after NOVA or what career pursuits are you exploring?

I am looking to transfer to the Virginia Commonwealth University in a year. When I transfer there, I will continue to study computer science.

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