Student success spotlight: Truong ‘Max’ Duong

This week’s Student Success and Persistence highlight comes from Truong “Max” Duong.

Max — a junior majoring in music education with a concentration in piano and a resident assistant at Shocker Hall — came to Wichita State from Hanoi, Vietnam after earning his Associate of Keyboard Performance from the Military University of Culture and Arts. Max is also a cultural ambassador at the Office of International Education, treasurer for the American Choral Director Association chapter at WSU and a teacher assistant at Juniper Arts Academy.

Max promotes more diversity training in education, as he believes future educators will have to navigate increasingly more diverse classrooms. He has found other faculty and staff members who have similar beliefs who have pushed him to succeed, one of whom is Andréa Banke, assistant professor in the School of Music.

“The two biggest things I learned from Professor Banke are passion and empathy. She has an endless passion for music and education, and this is reflected evidently in her lessons. Furthermore, Professor Banke’s above-and-beyond educational assistance, such as extended office hours and advocacy for women’s rights and the LGBT community, show her aspiration to provide appropriate help to all students in her classroom.”

Banke appreciates Max’s capacity and enthusiasm in the classroom and in the field of music, as she also sees the future of the field growing more diverse.

“Of all the many wonderful attributes that come to mind when describing Max, the foremost is his intellectual curiosity. Max frequently arrives to class early, and stays late, to ask questions about content, further study or — my favorite — musical applications that he’s found during the week on his own. Whether it be K-pop, movie soundtracks or Mozart, Max incorporates and applies our learning to his musical life. More importantly, he approaches his studies with me with such joy and rigor. Our field is rich, diverse and evolving rapidly, and Max is a perfect example of this evolution. He will be a force in any classroom as an educator to the next generation of young musicians.”

Do you know of a faculty or staff member who promotes student success, or a student who has been helped by a faculty or staff member, that should be highlighted in WSU Today? Email your ideas to Caelin Bragg, newsletter editor with the Office of Strategic Communications, at