As the rainy winter months end, we are ready to shed the gloom and embrace the happiness of summer. But what else impacts happiness besides weather? In this Think and Drink, UW Tacoma Writing Studies professor Annie Nguyen will discuss a theme of many of her writing courses, the pursuit of happiness and how it is shaped in America. Learn about and engage in different Eastern and Western approaches and philosophies on happiness and why it matters. Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama as the daughter of refugees, Annie Nguyen’s exposure to racism, justice, and poverty in the Deep South cultivated her passion for social justice - and likely, her notions of escapism as happiness. After graduating The George Washington University, she completed a Fulbright in Vietnam and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction at the University of Montana. She served as an Assistant Professor of English at the Community of College in Baltimore County for eight years, where, under an NEH grant, she began to research Eastern and Western philosophies related to societal norms and happiness. In 2016, she joined the Writing Studies faculty at the University of Washington-Tacoma, with the Pursuit of Happiness as the theme for her research and writing class. Grit City Think & Drink brings scholars and experts from various disciplines face-to-face with the general public. The evening begins with a presentation or lecture which leads to a moderated discussion with the audience. Sponsored by UW Tacoma’s School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and The Swiss Restaurant & Pub, Grit City Think & Drink is free to the public and open to all ages.