Compiled by the Civic Engagement Committee in honor of LGBT Pride Month | June 2018
UNAVSA is proud to present its very first podcast featuring Vu Thai (he/him/his) and Jen Nguyen (he/him/his). Listen in as Vu and Jen share their stories about growing up as a LGBTQ+ Vietnamese American. Issues around sexuality and gender expression are explored within a context of cultural and community engagement in this open discussion podcast hosted by the Civic Engagement Cabinet. Join UNAVSA in bringing more visibility to the LGBTQ+ community and let this podcast be a catalyst for further education and advocacy. The power of diversity lies not in a single narrative but in multiple perspectives. The conversation does not end here–it starts here. It starts with yoUNAVSA.
Vu Thai currently resides and works in Panama City Beach, FL as a Creative Director for Aaron Rich Marketing, a full-service digital marketing and creative design agency. Before Aaron Rich Marketing, he was the lead designer for Aramark at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL, where he also graduated from and received a BFA in Graphic Design. Vu also co-founded the first Asian American Alumni of FSU (FSUAAA) network to connect APIA alumni and graduating seniors with their alma mater
Vu’s involvement with UNAVSA started back in 2009 at the UNAVSA-6 Leadership Conference in Atlanta, GA where he continued to volunteer his time in various leadership roles: Southeast CORR , Secretary, Creative Director, and Marketing & PR Director. During his involvement in the non-profit sector, Vu has facilitated many LGBTQ+-related webinars and discussions to promote general LGBTQ+ education to UNAVSA and its diverse member base. He has also presented on other topics, such as personal branding and marketing, public relations, and creativity in professional environments.
Jen Nguyen was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI, and lives in East Lansing, MI. He is currently working as a loan officer at Michigan State University Federal Credit Union. Jen graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S in Psychology and Sociology. During his time at MSU, Jen served as VSA president and currently is an advisor to MSU and the University of Michigan’s VSA. His first experience with UNAVSA was at the 13th Annual UNAVSA Leadership Conference in Boston, Massachusetts.
Jen is also active within UVSA-Midwest. He currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors and previously served as one of the Executive Directors for the 13th Annual Vietnamese Interacting as One Conference (VIA-1 Conference). Jen also set up the Pure Michigan Scholarship to help attendees go to VIA-1. In his free time, Jen enjoys playing tennis, listening to music, and traveling. He hopes to one day travel to each continent.