President: Jimmy Mai – University of Houston
Jimmy Mai is a native Texan who is finishing up his undergraduate career at the University of Houston. He is currently going to school to pursue a job as a Physical Therapist. Jimmy started his path in VSA as a member and then went on to take the roles of Secretary and Senior Adviser. Through UH VSA, he was introduced to UVSA South and attended their 2nd Annual Leadership Summit and became the Secretary soon after. He is now currently serving as the President and is actively overseeing the progress of the region and hopes to continue the momentum in growth that the founders and alumni have set.
Internal Vice-President: Ty Pfeiffer – University of Oklahoma
Ty Pfeiffer is a senior studying Chemical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. When he isn’t staying busy with school, UVSA South, or his fraternity, Tau Kappa Omega, Ty enjoys passing the time polishing his flip flop collection or working on his screenplay. Ty was first introduced to UVSA South in early 2014, where Nancy Tran (PR at the time), tracked him down and forcibly introduced him to other UVSA South staff and leaders in Oklahoma. He became involved in a project which would eventually manifest into the First Annual Oklahoma Unity Mixer in 2015, serving as co-Executive Director along with Tue Dinh from UCO. He now serves as the Internal Vice President for UVSA South, hoping to inspire young leaders in the Southern region in the same way that he was inspired by UVSA South leaders.
External Vice-President: Nancy Tran – University of Houston
Nancy was born and raised in Houston, where she attended the University of Houston and received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a Nonprofit Certification. Her first involvement with the Vietnamese community started in 2012 with UH VSA’s cultural dance team, where she found acceptance, love, and support. Through the growth of her involvement, she wanted to not only be involved with the Vietnamese community, but to also work on developing her skills as a confidant leader. After becoming UH VSA’s Historian in 2013, she continued the momentum after attending the very first UVSA South Summit that same year. She took a leap of faith in becoming UVSA South’s Public Relations Chair in 2013 and then moved onto her current External Vice President position. She currently works in the healthcare profession and hopes to be able to one day help Vietnamese locals in rural Vietnam through patient care.
Secretary: Ryan Valdez – University of Houston
Ryan Valdez is the current Secretary for UVSA South and a graduate from the University of Houston. He became involved with UH VSA by a warm invitation by the VSA board at the time, and later went on to serve as the 2013-14 president. During this time, he became UVSA South CoRR alongside Thu-Mai Nguyen, and has been involved in several UNAVSA conferences as staff. He loves the community and environment VSA fosters, and hopes to encourage others to become efficient and inspirational leaders, regardless of background and experience. He takes pride in his Filipino heritage while continuing to learn and embrace Vietnamese culture.
Treasurer: Linh Bui – University of Texas at Dallas
Linh is originally from San Angelo, TX and came to Dallas to get in touch with her Vietnamese side. She was able to do that at the University of Texas at Dallas, where she joined VSA and learned all about her Vietnamese culture. After going to her first Summit in 2014 and being a family leader at UNAVSA-11, she felt like she was able to develop her leadership skills more than ever! She also loved the experience of having a close knit family and wants to share this amazing and rewarding experience with others. She quickly joined the General Staff of UVSA South and soon after a year of being involved, now serves on UVSA South’s Executive Board as Treasurer.
Board of Advisers
Adviser: Nhat Tran – Texas A&M Alumni
Nhat Tran was one of the founding members of UVSA South, who served on the Executive Board for several years and now in an advisory capacity. Growing up in southern Dallas-Fort Worth area, he developed strong ties to the South and its communities as well as an appreciation for his culture. He later attended Texas A&M University where he became involved with the Vietnamese-American Student Association, Asian President Council, and eventually UNAVSA. Throughout these formative years, he engaged and connected with several others from campuses around the South who would later build the foundation for this organization. Currently as an UVSA South alumnus, he still gets bugged by the staff and e-board but does not mind it at all.
Adviser: Steven Huynh – University of Houston, College of Optometry
Steven is originally from Southern California, where he got his B.S. in Mathematical Sciences at University of California, Santa Barbara. He is currently pursuing a double doctorate degree (O.D. / Ph.D.) in Optometry and Vision Science at University of Houston College of Optometry, with future endeavors of becoming a clinician scientist studying neuronal eye diseases, involvement in science public policies, and raising awareness of health issues in the Vietnamese population. Steven has been heavily involved with leadership development in the Vietnamese community since the beginning of his undergraduate education. He was involved at his local VSA and UVSA Southern California during college. Steven was the former president for Union of Vietnamese Student Association of the South region from 2013-2015 where his term focused on bringing awareness of UVSA to the local VSAs in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, and foster a sense of community and space to further develop the leadership skills in individuals and take pride in the Vietnamese culture.
Adviser: Elizabeth Nguyen – University of North Texas Alumni
Elizabeth Nguyen was born and raised in Dallas, TX and graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in Communication Studies. Elizabeth became involved within the Asian Pacific American community in 2004 through many leadership organizations and has devoted much of her time to building up the success of different nonprofit groups. Notable positions Elizabeth has served include UNAVSA-11 Co-Executive Director, Vice President for NAAAP-DFW (National Association of Asian American Professionals- Dallas/Fort Worth), Founder of APAEC (Asian Pacific American Empowerment Conference), Director for VASCON (Vietnamese American Student Conference), and President of UNT Asian Student Association. Elizabeth is one of the Co-Founders of UVSA South and currently serves on the Board of Advisers for UVSA South. Elizabeth is an Independent Meeting/Event Planner and is the owner of ElizEvents, which is a full event-planning services group based in Dallas & Las Vegas and serving across the United States. Elizabeth enjoys exploring, photography, and board games.