School of Business honors Nguyen Pham with IAPP Westin Scholar Award

Nguyen Pham
Nguyen Pham

ATLANTA — Mercer University graduate Nguyen Pham has been named the School of Business’ 2023 International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Westin Scholar.

With the growing need for well-qualified privacy and data protection professionals, the annual Westin Scholar Awards were created by the International Association of Privacy Professionals to support students who are identified as future leaders in the field of privacy and data protection.

Mercer is a participating Westin Scholar Awards school, one of only two business schools. Pham was selected by Jordan “Jody” Blanke, Ernest L. Baskin Jr. Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Law, to receive the award in recognition of her outstanding performance in Blanke’s course “Legal and Ethical Issues Affecting Big Data.” Pham graduated in December with a Master of Science in Business Analytics.

“Nguyen was an excellent student. She excelled in every aspect of the course. It was a very strong group, and she finished at the top. She is a very worthy recipient,” Blanke said. “With so much interest and activity in privacy law now, there is a great need for privacy professionals.”

Pham is now only the fourth business student in the world to receive this award. Fred Walker, a Master of Accountancy graduate, was Mercer’s first recipient of this award in the inaugural class of 2021.

“The industry of privacy is fast growing and constantly evolving. We’ve created this award as a way to put the privacy profession at the forefront of students’ minds as they explore potential career opportunities,” said J. Trevor Hughes, IAPP president and CEO. “Congratulations, Nguyen Pham. We look forward to seeing the good work you will bring to the field of privacy.”

As a Westin scholar, Pham will receive a $1,000 cash award, two years of membership with the IAPP, three complimentary exams for IAPP certifications (CIPP, CIPM, CIPT) and unlimited access to online training for recipient’s selected IAPP certification exams.

“I am very honored to have been selected as the recipient of the 2023 IAPP Westin Scholar Award,” Pham said. “I would like to thank Professor Blanke for being an excellent professor and teaching us about the critical importance of privacy law and data protection and inspiring us to apply data protection principles in our daily lives. His guidance has given me the confidence to pursue my passion for data analytics with a commitment to ethical data practices. I am grateful for this award and excited to apply what I have learned in my future endeavors as a data analyst and a member of the IAPP community.”

Blanke has been teaching about privacy law for more than 35 years, and the School of Business has two courses pertaining to privacy: an elective course, titled “Privacy Law and Policy,” available to Master of Business Administration and Master of Accountancy students, and “Legal and Ethical Issues Affecting Big Data,” a required course in the Master of Science in Business Analytics program.

About the Westin Scholar Awards

The Westin Scholar Awards pay homage to the late Dr. Alan Westin, a foundational voice in the field of privacy and data protection. Throughout his life, Dr. Westin researched and wrote about privacy, data protection, digital identity and the future of how societies will deal with issues at the intersection of law and technology. He is the namesake for the IAPP Westin Research Center and Fellowship Program, which was founded in 2013 and serves as a pathway for future leaders in the community. For more information on the Westin Scholar Award, visit

About the School of Business

Established in 1984, Mercer’s School of Business is named for Eugene W. Stetson, a 1901 Mercer graduate and business pioneer who leveraged the first major buyout in corporate history, and his grandson Robert F. (Bob) Hatcher, a Macon businessman, longtime supporter, trustee and former board chair for the University. Over the past 80 years, Mercer has granted over 12,000 business degrees, and many of its graduates hold senior leadership positions in companies around the world. Mercer’s business school delivers career-focused business education in order to develop innovative leaders who are responsible global citizens. It holds accreditation from the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which places it among the top five percent of all top business schools worldwide. Mercer’s business school has been recognized by The Princeton Review for “Greatest Opportunity for Minority Students” and “Greatest Opportunity for Women” as well as being one of its “Best Business Schools.” In addition, it has been recognized among the “Top 15 Schools in the Nation for Marketing and Accounting.” The School offers the following programs: Atlanta (Evening and Online BBA, Full-Time (Day) MBA, Evening MBA, Online MBA, Master of Accountancy, M.S. in Business Analytics), Macon (Traditional BBA, Evening MBA, Health Care MBA, and Innovation MBA), Henry County (Evening BBA). For more information, visit

About Mercer University

Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. With approximately 9,000 students enrolled in 12 schools and colleges, on major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; medical school sites in Macon, Savannah and Columbus; and at regional academic centers in Henry and Douglas counties, Mercer is ranked among the top tier of national research universities by U.S. News & World Report. The Mercer Health Sciences Center includes the University’s School of Medicine and Colleges of Nursing, Health Professions and Pharmacy. Mercer is affiliated with five teaching hospitals – Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center and Piedmont Macon Medical Center in Macon; Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah; and Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital and St. Francis-Emory Healthcare in Columbus. The University also has an educational partnership with Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins. It operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer Medicine, the clinical faculty practice of the School of Medicine, is based in Macon and operates additional clinics in Sumter, Peach, Clay, Putnam and Harris counties. Mercer is one of only 293 institutions nationwide to shelter a chapter of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society; one of eight institutions to hold membership in the Georgia Research Alliance; and the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit