SWUVSA Apex Conference 2016: On the Rise

Hello Southwest Region!

The Southwest Union of Vietnamese Student Associations is proud to announce their first Apex Conference for Spring 2015! The event is a series of workshops and team building activities that will develop leadership capabilities, expand networks and inspire personal development. Our mission is to progress the next generation of leaders within the Southwest region by instilling ideas of leadership, service and community. Apex Conference is not limited to the Southwest region and is open to all regions.

[Where and when?]
The conference will be held at the University of Colorado Denver from April 1st-3rd, 2016.

[Where can I register?]
Our registration forms are being worked on and will be available shortly; in the meantime, updates will be posted on this event page (https://www.facebook.com/events/760394754064407/). For the time being, we have interest forms available in order to get a general head count on attendance:

[Want to apply to be a workshop facilitator?]
Applications can be found here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1yOppGtdHESMbEkwDO8cuy1LLG_uwJJlVOhn4GfUMgG8/viewform

[Additional Questions?]
Feel free to contact the Executive Directors, Daniel Huynh (daniel.huynh@unavsa.org) and Phong Nguyen (phong.nguyen@unavsa.org), if you have any additional questions!

November Newsletter

Happy November! :)

October Recap

University of Denver

In addition to weekly general meeting, DU’s VSA had a successful Ben & Jerry’s fundraiser during which they got the opportunity to take a shift at Ben & Jerry’s to scoop ice cream for a percentage of the sales. They also had a pho social and are planning a t-shirt design, so be on the lookout for that!

DU-1 DU-2 DU-3

University of Colorado Boulder

On October 10th, VSA Boulder had their 2nd annual VSA Olympics!

University of Colorado Denver

CU Denver’s VSA is currently having a t-shirt sale! First 50 shirts are $25 each and the price will go up after that. Contact any CU Denver VSA officer for a shirt!


University of Utah

University of Utah’s VASA had a monthly member meeting on the 9th and served butter beer! On Oct. 16th-17th, VASA participated in a Haunted House social at the Fear Factory held by AASA (Asian American Student Association) and the day after held a pumpkin carving social. VASA also held their annual October service where in years past they collected over 700 lbs. of food going door to door in select neighborhoods for the Utah Food bank. This year, the exact amount is to be determined but looks to rival that of previous years.


October Newsletter

Happy Halloween month, Southwest!!! In September, we had all sorts of exciting things happening around our region.

September Recap

University of Denver

The University of Denver’s VSA recently hosted a Moon Festival event on September 29th, 2015. Their featured activities included having a photoshoot station and a DIY paper lantern station, as well as free food and delicious moon cakes! The main goal for the event was to educate others about the mid-autumn festival and to bring out awareness of this part of our culture. To do this, they set up a history and culture station, where people had to come first to earn a ticket for the free food. This worked out very well for them and they are very happy this event was a success.

“Thank you to everyone who came to our event! We appreciate all of the support we’ve gotten from our fellow on-campus organizations and other organizations from other schools as well. Thank you also to everyone who couldn’t make it but still sent their love and kind words. SWUVSA has given DU such amazing support and we never take it for granted! Southwest is the best <3” – DU VSA

DU-2 DU-1 DU-moon fest

University of Colorado Boulder

CU Boulder held several general meetings over the course of September including the family revelations for their family program which was implemented last year! Boulder also had a boba and banh mi fundraiser and started selling their VSA jerseys.

boba family jerseys

University of Arizona

The University of Arizona had 4 general meetings in September and have maintained a retention rate of ~70%! Great job! They also had their first social, spring roll night where members rolled their own spring rolls and played lots of fun games. UA VSA also had multiple percentage nights and bake sales to fundraise for the Miss Ao Dai Southern Arizona Pageant in the Spring of 2016. Finally, UA VSA volunteered at a local Vietnamese church for the Moon Festival (Tet Trung Thu). They face-painted on little children and helped with lion dancing. Keep up the great work!

Arizona State University

ASU VSA also had lots of exciting things happening during September. They had their first social, which was an AYCE Korean BBQ night, tabled at the AAPASC Carnival, and volunteered at Tet Trung Thu.

AYCE Tabling Tet Trung Thu

University of Utah

Utah’s VASA had an Opening Social & Meeting on September 11th. They opted to combine their opening meeting with their opening social to give all of their new members one memorable event to start the year off with. About 42 members were there which is an all-time high for their organization! Congrats! They did ice breakers, obstacle courses, and had Costco pizzas. Most of the attendees were new members which is giving them a lot of  hope for this year.

They also collaborated with the Vietnamese Community of Utah to host a festival at Sugarhouse park on the pavilion by the lake. There were performances such as Lotus Dancers, an ao dai fashion show, a Chinese fan dance, a guitar duet, and a lion dance closing performance which led attendees around the lake with lanterns. It was a truly picturesque evening with the moonlight overhead and over 300 people in attendance.

October Events
There are many exciting events coming up in the month of October as well!

CU Boulder:

10/3 – Annual Bridging Hope Volunteering Event
10/10 – 2nd Annual Family Olympics

University of Arizona:

10/9-10/11 – VSA will be cooking and selling food at the Tucson Meet Yourself which is a cultural event
– Meetings every Wednesday from 3-4 in the APASA Center
– UA VSA will be having more percentage nights as fundraisers. From endless boba drinks to Hawaiian food, they are trying to raise funds to hold Miss Ao Dai Southern Arizona Pageant in the Spring of 2016!
– UA VSA will also have a Halloween Bake Sale, as well as a possible Halloween joint-social with other clubs at the UofA!

University of Utah:

10/9 – Second member meeting which will be the first formal meeting discussing the plans for the year with the new members. Utah is considering the possibility of introducing a family program into their VASA. They will also be discussing halloween activities and a Trick-or-Treat for Cans service activity.



Website Updates + New Calendar

The website has been revamped and updated! It is still a work in progress, but we’re working on it… :)

We have created a Google Calendar featuring all events happening around the SWUVSA region.

Check it out here.

If you would like to include an event from your VSA, please contact our media chair, Tasha Nghiem (tashanghiem@gmail.com).

Introducing the SWUVSA Apex Conference Executive Directors + Committee Directors


Daniel Huynh
Executive Director

Daniel graduated from CU Boulder in May 2012 with a degree in Environmental Engineering and a minor in Chinese. He is currently working at RK Mechanical in Denver as a CAD Drafter. During his undergraduate, he was the Co-president for Asian Unity, President and Events Coordinator for VSA. Watching SWUVSA start from the beginning, he would have never thought that it would grow as much as it has these past few years. To bring his non-profit and volunteer work for SWUVSA and VSA full circle, he is very excited to be working with Phong as his Co-Executive Director for SWUVSA’s very first regional conference, SWUVSA Apex! On his spare time he likes to hang out with friends having good conversations and laugh. Taking photos is also pretty fun. No matter what the season is, you may find him fishing all over the place!


Phong Nguyen
Executive Director

Phong graduated from CU Boulder in Spring 2012 with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is currently working as a firmware engineer in the storage industry. During his undergraduate, he formed SWUVSA along with his Co-Executive Director Daniel Huynh and has held multiple positions on UNAVSA’s conference and general staff. On his free time, Phong enjoys listening to music, playing guitar and board games.


Brian Truong
Registration Director

Little do you know that BRIAN is actually an acronym that stands for:

He has had dedicated countless hours to VASA as both a member and President. You’ll never meet a guy as dedicated as Brian Tanh Minh Truong. His commitment to spread the Vietnamese culture is admirable, and while he isn’t ruling VASA with an iron fist, he is a model employee at the Center for Ethnic Student Affairs at his university, and burns the midnight candle studying to achieve his Bachelor’s in Accounting.
In addition, we have to commend him for his other talents and hobbies, which include body-rolling better than Bey, his superhuman ability to defeat his enemies through leg-wrestling, and his shocking flexibility.


Kristi Leung
Programming Director

Kristi is a recent graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a double degree in Economics and Chinese. She is currently working as a Credit Risk Analyst at the cash register building in Downtown Denver. On her spare time she enjoys playing volleyball, learning Chinese, and playing card games. She was previously a part of the Programming Committee for UNAVSA-12 Conference and she is really excited and honored to take part in planning SWUVSA Apex in the upcoming year as the Programming Director!


Tasha Nghiem
Media Director

Tasha is a recent graduate from CU Boulder with a degree in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. She’s currently finishing up dental school pre-requisites and is going to be starting the Biomedical Sciences, M.S. post-bacc program at Regis next August before applying to dental school to become an orthodontist. She loves graphic designing, Instagram, eating good food, and she is obsessed with makeup. During her time in undergrad, she was the PR Coordinator for many orgs including VSA and is now the Media Chair for SWUVSA.


Liz Nguyen
Logistics Director

Liz Nguyễn, an Arizona native, is concurrently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and a Master of Agriculture Education at the University of Arizona. She serves as the SWUVSA Events Coordinator and the Board Director of the But Tre Magazine Scholarship for Vietnamese students. Her passions lie in the development of the local Vietnamese community and the public education of Arizona, but sometimes her loves for puppies, kitties, hamsters, and turtles outweigh it by just a little.


Bobbie Le
Family Director

Bobbie is studying at the Arizona State University in pursuit of a degree in Biochemistry, while working part-time at Walgreens Pharmacy. She has been actively involved in SWUVSA for the past two years. Currently, she serves as the President of VSA at ASU. During her presidency, ASU presented SWUVSA’s first successful Summer Mixer outside of Colorado. While she is not working or at school, she enjoys going to new eateries and traveling. Her current is obsession is macarons.

Despite the horrible and miserable weather that Arizona has to offer, it is definitely worth taking on the challenge when if you want to hang out with Bobbie. She is a friend you won’t want to miss out on. Who knows, she might give you a cactus as a gift. Did I mention that she might be a little khát nước from all of the heat over there?

Announcing Director/Committee Member Applications for SWUVSA Apex Conference

SWUVSA is excited to announce that we will be hosting our first ever Apex Conference in Spring 2016. While we are a ways away from the conference, we are currently accepting applications for Director and Committee Member positions for the conference.



  • Responsible for finding speakers/entertainers and will be the main point of contact for them. Works closely with logistics to create a weekend schedule.


  • Tasked with overseeing the general flow of conference from a background perspective. Keeps inventory of all conference materials.


  • Creates promotional multimedia material for the conference and responsible for capturing conference photos throughout the weekend. Media has the additional responsibility of public relations.


  • Oversees the registration system responsible for keeping track of attendees and provides support for any registration related issues.


  • Responsible for creating the family system for the weekend that groups attendees in smaller numbers to encourage new relationships and bonding.

Director applications are due August 29th and committee member applications are due September 14th. To apply, please fill out this Google form. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact one of your SWUVSA officers!

Congratulations to our new cabinet members!

SWUVSA is proud to announce the newest additions to our team: our cabinet members! Cabinet members are a new addition to the SWUVSA region and we are excited to have more hands on deck.

CoRR Representative: Jessica Truong (CU Boulder)
Events Chair: Liz Nguyen (The University of Arizona)
CPP Chair: John Tran (CU Boulder)
Media Chair: Tasha Nghiem (CU Boulder)