The annual UNAVSA leadership conference is considered to be one of the premier young adult conferences in the country. Hundreds of undergraduates, graduates, and young professionals from around the country participate in a multi-day event to hone their leadership skills, hold discussions with speakers, and explore issues in the Vietnamese American youth community.

The planning and execution of the 14th Annual UNAVSA Leadership Conference would not be possible without the leadership of our directors and staff members.

 


Thanh-Thanh Pham, Executive Director

Thanh-Thanh “TT” Pham is a Louisiana State University alumna with a bachelor of arts degree in mass communication and concentration in public relations. Born and raised in New Orleans, LA, TT currently resides in the DMV area where she is working under the Legislative and Public Affairs Office as a Public Affairs Specialist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development. She currently serves on UNAVSA’s Council of Regional Representatives alongside her position of UVSA Gulf Coast External Vice President.

In the past, TT has held multiple leadership positions for the Vietnamese Student Association at LSU including Senior Adviser, President, External Vice President and Freshman representative. Her involvement with UNAVSA began in 2013 when she was selected as one of the UNAVSA-10 Visionary Scholarship recipients. She also served on the UNAVSA-12 Marketing Committee and most recently, the UNAVSA-13 Entertainment Committee. TT’s passions include singing, arts, leadership development and public service.

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Lynn Khuat, Associate Director

Lynn Khuat is a recent graduate of the University of Washington (UW) with a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Science and Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science and Resource Management. She is from the greater Seattle, Washington area but has recently moved to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, where she is currently a Soil Scientist for the U.S. Forest Service. Her long-time aspiration is to protect and restore the environment, as the environment is what everyone strives from.

Khuat has held previous leadership experience within the Vietnamese community including: VSA UW Executive Public Relations, VSA UW Advisor, UNAVSA-11 Sponsorship Staff, UNAVSA-12 Entertainment Director, and Northwest VSA CoRR. She currently serves as the Internal Vice President of Northwest VSA on the first executive board of her region. In her free time, Lynn loves to cook, binge watch TV shows, travel, hang out with friends, and enjoy the great outdoors.

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Vanessa Nguyen, Associate Director

Vanessa Nguyen hails from the True North strong and free. She was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec and is currently working in Project Management. Vanessa has been active in her community and has held different leadership roles within numerous organizations over the last 10 years. Within UNAVSA, she has been involved at multiple levels including Family Leader, Family Committee Member, and Family Program Director at UNAVSA-11 Dallas, TX; UNAVSA-12 in Seattle, WA; and UNAVSA-13 in Boston, MA, respectively.

In her role as an Associate Director for UNAVSA-14 in New Orleans, LA, she hopes to continue to strengthen her leadership skills and to help support, empower, and inspire other leaders of our community. Vanessa is fluent in three languages, she is a Starbucks fanatic, she does not have a favorite color, and she is perpetually cold.

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Anh Nguyen, Entertainment Director

Emerged from the rice fields back in the motherland of southern Vietnam, Anh always has a special connection for the Vietnamese culture. She moved to Port Arthur, Texas when she was five years old and was involved with the Vietnamese-American communities starting at a young age, especially with her local church. She is currently finishing her bachelor of science degree in Human Nutrition and Foods at the University of Houston. More pertinent roles that Anh has served include Cultural Director and Senior Advisor for University of Houston VSA, general staff and current Alumni Chair for UVSA South, Programming Director for UVSA South’s Camp Legacy 2016 and UNAVSA-13 Entertainment Committee member. During her free time, Anh likes to spend time with her friends, laugh until her stomach is gone, binge-watch shows on Netflix, eat lots of food and stay up-to-date with the most basic trends online.

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Chris Pham, Family Program Director

Forged in the South, Chris currently resides in New Orleans. He is an alumnus from the University of New Orleans’ Vietnamese American Student Association and currently works in finance. He has attended three previous UNAVSA Conferences, and in the most recent, he served as Family Leader. When he is not curled into a ball and wrapped in a blanket, you can find him eating the best foods in NOLA or playing board games.   

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Tyler Tran, Hospitality Director

Reigning from the Gulf Coast, Tyler hails from the festive state of Louisiana. A Louisiana State University alumnus, he earned his degree in Nutrition and Dietetics with a minor in Business. Some positions he has held include Sports Coordinator and Treasurer for VSA-LSU, Co-Founder and External Vice President for UVSA Gulf Coast, and a member of the Council of Regional Representatives for UNAVSA. In his free time, he likes to play various sports or stream himself playing video games on Twitch.

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Daniel Luu, IT Director

Daniel Luu  was born in Gaithersburg, Md., and is currently a software engineer at Capital One. He graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a degree in Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Computer Science.  He was president of UMCP VSA for two years and currently serves as the external vice president for the Mid-Atlantic Union of Vietnamese Student Association).  Having attended two conferences and being on staff for one, he was inspired to take his involvement with UNAVSA to the next level.  In his free time, he likes to create videos and work on interesting coding projects.

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Christopher Hew, Logistics Director

Christopher Hew was born beneath the fruit-bearing palm trees of Miami, Florida. He sauntered over to the University of Florida where he chomped with the gators, thus winning a bachelor of science degree in Biology. Trying to escape the Floridian humidity, he is currently attending graduate school at the University of Alabama in Birmingham for a master’s degree in Forensic Science. He began his involvement in VSA as the Fundraising Chair at VSO-UF, holding the position for three years. After attending UNAVSA-11, he was motivated to become more involved in regional and national VSA communities. Since then he has helped establish the Union of Vietnamese Student Association of the Southeast and attended UNAVSA-12 and UNAVSA-13 as a staff member. One of his favorite pastimes is to travel to different places and try new foods.

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Olyvia Chac, Marketing Director

Storming in from the Northwest, Olyvia is a Portland native and has strong ties with her home VSA at Oregon State University. She is currently earning her post-baccalaureate degree in Advertising Management at Portland State University and works in patient administration at Oregon Health & Science University. Some of her passions include creative writing, drinking lots of coffee, crafting witty hashtags and always looking for new destinations to explore.

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Ryan Valdez, Media Director

Ryan is a native Houstonian and has lived in Houston his entire life. He is a Filipino-American and joined University of Houston VSA as a sophomore only to continue his involvement throughout his entire college career until he eventually became President. He later became involved with UVSA South and then UNAVSA, taking several leadership roles in both organizations. Today, he is the current UVSA South Secretary as well as a student at Texas Woman’s University where he is pursuing a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration. He also currently serves as a medic in Texas Air National Guard. Ryan’s hobbies include dancing, singing, board games, and being with friends.

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Jimmy Mai, Programming Director

Jimmy Mai was born and raised in Amarillo, Texas then later moved to Houston, Texas. He recently graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelor of science degree  in Kinesiology and is now in graduate school for Physical Therapy. He is passionate about leadership and has been honored to have held numerous positions. Some relevant roles include Secretary and Senior Advisor for the University of Houston VSA, Secretary and current President for UVSA South, and a UNAVSA-13 Programming Committee member. Some of his interests include: singing, dancing, art, video/board games, laughing, traveling, and “trying” to live healthier!

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Cynthia Nguyen, Registration Director

Reigning from the Northwest, Cynthia was born and raised in Seattle, Wash. She is an alumna of Seattle University with a bachelor of arts in Business Administration, majoring in Business Management and a minoring in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Cynthia found her VSA roots during her time at Seattle University and has since grown to taking leadership positions in Northwest Vietnamese Student Association, UNAVSA, etc. Some relevant roles include staff for NWVSA Summit 2015 and 2016, UNAVSA-13 registration committee member, and UNAVSA’s current social media manager. In her free time, Cynthia enjoys being a self-proclaimed foodie, practicing calligraphy/handlettering, playing board games, and spending time with friends & family.

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