Outstanding Officer

This award recognizes officers of affiliated organizations of the Southeast who has significantly contributed to the success and well-being of the organization. Each organization may nominate up to three (3) officers for this category. You may nominate individuals who are not officers of your own organization as well. Individuals must have held an officer position for the majority of the academic year. Up to three (3) individuals shall be receiving this award.  

Christine Nguyen

School | Georgia Institute of Technology
Major | Biology
Time Active in Organization | 3 Years
Current Position | President
Current Status | 4
Previous Leadership Experience :
– GT VSA External Vice President (18-19)
– GT VSA Event Coordinator (17-18)

Describe a situation where this officer went above and beyond his/her role

In every instance where I was lacking as President, Christine was able to step up and pick up the slack to back me up. Specifically, during the planning for our annual Charity Dinner event, I had my hands full with school, job hunting, as well as working several part time jobs to pay the hospital bills for my cancer-stricken little cousin. In short, I was not there for my team when they needed me as a leader. Despite all this, Christine became a leader in my place: helping me plan everything, speaking to sponsors, and communicating between the board and volunteers about tasks that needed to be done. I was very impressed by her initiative and our charity dinner would not have been such a great success without her.

If you could describe this officer in one word what would it be and why?

Resilient: Christine has always shown strong determination in the worst of times and it shows in everything she does.

Mailinh Pham

School | University of Central Florida
Major | ADPR and Digital Media
Time Active in Organization | 3 Years
Current Position | VASA Senior Advisor 2019-2020
Current Status | 3
Previous Leadership Experience :
– VASA President 2018-2019
– VASA Media Director 2016-2018

Describe a situation where this officer went above and beyond his/her role

This year for VASA would be nothing without the work of the President, Mailinh Pham. She developed and grew as a leader through her term, and brought the best out of her officer board. From taking the initiative to improve the relationships between current members to alumni representatives, to setting higher expectations for our big events. Mailinh has shown grit and grind, and poured all her heart into making VASA excel in every different aspect. Applying new goals and aesthetic visions, she has worked with media and public relations to make sure VASA is out there for everyone to see the greatest parts of our organization. She has been attentive and better equipped for any unforeseeable challenges, especially when it came to SGA funding or finding alternative ways to planning our events. There was no obstacle that Mailinh did not have an answer to. She was a leader that overcame all adversity, who questioned her limitations, and laughed at the foolishness of it all.

If you could describe this officer in one word what would it be and why?

Resilient. No matter what comes in her way, she finds a way to push through. She does not waver at adversity, she enjoys and thrives off of it. There have been times throughout her presidency where she is left in tough situation. She is not perfect, she struggles. But she finds an answer no matter what. She’ll never back down from a challenge.

Marian Vu

School | University of Florida
Major | Event Planning
Time Active in Organization | 2 Years
Current Position | External Vice President
Current Status | 2
Previous Leadership Experience :
– Was a very active VSO member, which continued into her time as an officer of VSO

Describe a situation where this officer went above and beyond his/her role

Marian is the most passionate person I have ever met. Her love for VSO/VSA/UVSASE is something I admire. She keeps everyone on board accountable of their tasks and is always pushing VSO towards the right direction. When people think of external vice president, they think of collaboration with outside organization within the school. However due to Marian, our connections with other VSAs and specifically UVSASE, have reached an all time high. She goes above and beyond in not just her dedication to VSO, but the greater Vietnamese community. She attends other VSA events, always goes to every UVSASE event, and has established outside connections never done before. Marian is the glue to our board, as she inspires all of us to strive for more and to better the Vietnamese community. Her love for her culture has led her to apply to be on Element staff, and if I think of anyone deserving of this award, Marian is the first person that comes to my mind

If you could describe this officer in one word what would it be and why?

Passionate. As I explained above, her passion for her culture and our organization has pushed us in a better direction. She is the reason why you have seen the increased UF turnout at UVSASE events. Her passion spills over to whomever she talks to and she motivates them to attend these events to learn more about their culture and develop themselves as individuals. When burnout on our board reaches high levels, she is the person that reminds us why we applied to be on board. This is why I said that she is the glue to our board.

Nhilynn Nguyen

School | University of Georgia
Major | Advertising
Time Active in Organization | 2 Years
Current Position | Public Relations (2018-2019)
Current Status | 2
Previous Leadership Experience :
– 2018/2019 Public Relations
– 2018/2019 ACE Family Leader

Describe a situation where this officer went above and beyond his/her role

Nhilynn has been one of the most consistent board members for the 2018/2019 year always being communicative, transparent, and upfront with her opinions. The growth she has displayed over the past year is evident through not only her design skills but her leadership as well. One situation is when Summer’s Photoshop broke the two weeks prior to Night in Saigon 15, UGA’s biggest event of the year. Originally, Summer was the one that was supposed to finalize all the last minute graphics that needed to be done such as sponsorship place cards, sponsor highlights, sponsor presentations, and more. However, once her laptop was out of commission, Nhilynn stepped up and completed all the graphic work that needed to be done even though she was not as knowledgeable about all the sponsorship details. Nhilynn has always been around to lend a helping hand and she revamped the UGA social media with fresh and new ideas.

If you could describe this officer in one word what would it be and why?

The one word to describe Nhilynn would be innovative. She is constantly bringing fresh ideas to the table and completing things out of her own initiative. This is evident in her innovation of UGA VSA social media with flashy IG story animations, a dedication to maintaining the Instagram highlights, and making sure the feed truly captured the magic of VSA. In addition to the Instagram, she worked closely with the Historian to help guide the visions for any media released and is always quick to think on her feet on what new things we could implement to avoid becoming stagnant and comfortable in our programs.

Ryan Tran

School | University of Central Florida
Major | Graphic Design
Time Active in Organization | 2+ Years
Current Position | VASA President 2019-2020
Current Status | 2
Previous Leadership Experience :
– VASA Media Director 2017-2019

Describe a situation where this officer went above and beyond his/her role

Ryan Tran is someone that always went above and beyond from his role. He is someone that literally breathes VASA. By doing little things like incorporating Vietnamese music to profile picture graphics to capturing all of our moments from our big events to our many general body meetings, all these factors add up to make the final product which is VASA beautiful again. You all can see our media director’s work for yourselves on VASA’s Facebook and Instagram page, from the graphics to the videos, their work together is truly stunning that no words can describe. He always works with a chip on his shoulder – wanting to reinvent and improve himself and his craft. Came in as freshman at UCF and took on leadership roles such as media director for VASA and a marketing associate for UVSASE. Ryan continues to expand his network and skills not only across his local community, but across the Southeast region as well. He has grown as a person, and continues to show his resilience against all odds.

If you could describe this officer in one word what would it be and why?

Hungry. He has a love for food, but craves almost anything in the world. Whether it’s an adventure, a challenge, or a chance to meet new people and make friends, he’s down for it all. He wants to strive for more and do more, even if it’s not conventional. Ryan wants to make the most of his life, wherever his future leads him.

Summer Phung

School | University of Georgia
Major | Marketing
Time Active in Organization | 4 Years
Current Position | Senior Advisor / 2018-2019 President
Current Status | 4
Previous Leadership Experience :
– Historian (2016 / 2017)
– NIS 13 Marketing Director
– External Vice President (2017 / 2018)
– President (2018 / 2019)

Describe a situation where this officer went above and beyond his/her role

For the past three, she has held EBoard positions for UGA, Directorships and Associate positions for UVSASE, and staff positions for UNAVSA. During her time as President, she has always strived to be the backup for everyone on her EBoard, always ready to fill in when necessary with all of their roles. Many would say she was an all-in-one EBoard member, but she always expresses her gratitude to the people that have worked with her in elevating UGA VSA year after year. Her commitment to supporting VSA community is seen through her trips to VSA events such as UF’s Tet and TTT shows, KSU’s Tien Len Tournaments and Murder Mysteries, GT’s Charity Dinners, USC’s Culture Collisions, UNCC’s Culture Show, UNCG’s Culture Show, UVSA Gulf Coast’s Date Auction, Boston University’s Culture Show, UNAVSA-15, Element, and SELC. She is willing to go the distance physically, mentally, and emotionally all in the name of VSA.

If you could describe this officer in one word what would it be and why?

One word to describe Summer would be ‘spam.’ Like the canned meat, she is cheap and gets the job done. The quality is sometimes questionable and sometimes she’s a little bit too salty, but the sustenance is there and it’s hard to find a better alternative when you’re a poor college student. Alternatively, this word might be interpreted a different way. She spams you on social media. Got a notification from Facebook? Oh, it’s just Summer again. Sometimes she’s in disguise as UVSASE, but nonetheless, people know who it is. Most people probably ignore her, but she hopes that by posting through three different mediums, one of them will reach you, and you’ll think, ‘This is cool.’ She is universally involved in most VSA activities (kind of like how Spam is found in most grocery stores across the nation), and just like how Asians love spam, she always hopes to be loved to. Or at the very least, she hopes that you’ll love VSA like she does.

Vi Huynh

School | University of Central Florida
Major | Film
Time Active in Organization | 2+ Years
Current Position | VASA Senior Advisor 2019-2020
Current Status | 2
Previous Leadership Experience :
– VASA Media Director 2018-2019

Describe a situation where this officer went above and beyond his/her role

Vi Huynh’s passion and love for VASA has extended vastly beyond her year as VASA’s Media Director. She is someone that will put 110% into her work and it definitely shows in the craftsmanship of her work. Her photography and videography is what contributed to the successes of VASA’s aesthetics and her media work is always improving and further developing. The media work in VASA this year is what many people will remember us by. You all can see our media director’s work for yourselves on VASA’s Facebook and Instagram page, from the graphics to the videos, their work together is truly stunning that no words can describe. She has taken a step forward to connecting with regional VSA’s. With this experience, she’s always networking and learning new ways to improve and apply new techniques to her skillset.

If you could describe this officer in one word what would it be and why?

This is a weird word but a word that would describe Vi Huynh and her work would be steadfast. Vi is someone that always wants to do the most and drives herself into her many projects and other things, but I can definitely assure you that despite all that she does, she has always put VASA first on her priorities. She always delivers to VASA with the best of the best with her work and always does what she can to get the best for VASA. She always craves the criticism she receives from her work, and keeps her head up. That’s what fuels her to get better and better at every project she puts out there.