In a campuswide e-mail message this morning, President Ruth J. Simmons informed the Brown community of the death of Tam Ngoc Tran, a graduate student in American Civilization. The accident also claimed the life of a graduate student from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. A second Brown graduate student was treated and released from the hospital.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — University officials learned yesterday evening that Tam Ngoc Tran, a Brown University graduate student, was killed in an automobile accident in Trenton, Maine. A graduate student at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health was also killed in the head-on collision at approximately 1 a.m. Saturday.

Another Brown graduate student was treated for injuries sustained in the accident and was later released from the hospital. According to Maine State Police, the collision involved a truck crossing “the centerline into the path” of the students’ vehicle. The accident is under investigation by the Hancock County Sherriff’s Office.

Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons sent the following message to the campus community by e-mail this morning:

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It is with sadness that I write to share news of the death of Tam Ngoc Tran, a second-year doctoral student in American Civilization. Tam and her friend Cinthya Felix, a graduate student at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, lost their lives as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident early yesterday morning in Trenton, Maine. Another Brown graduate student traveling with them survived the accident and has been released from the hospital.

A resident of Garden Grove, California, Tam came to Brown from UCLA, where, in addition to being a remarkable student, she was a political activist and a filmmaker. During her time on campus, she distinguished herself for her passion to tell the story of immigrant young people. She made a great difference to all those who knew her. We extend our sympathy to her family, fellow students, faculty and other colleagues in American Civilization and we mourn with them. We also offer condolences to the family and friends of Cinthya Felix.

Information about a memorial service to celebrate and honor Tam’s life will be shared with the community in the coming week. In the meantime, the University’s offices of Chaplains and Religious Life and Psychological Services are available to offer support to members of the Brown community.

Ruth J. Simmons