Metropolitan State University of Denver – Phu Ho

VSA Member of the Year Nomination: Phu Ho

Why was this person selected as “Member of the Year” for your organization? What was the criteria to be a recipient of this award?

Southwest Union of Vietnamese Student Associations (SWUVSA) does not have a “Member of the Year” award, but if we did, the criteria would be an outstanding member who shows dedication and commitment within VSA and SWUVSA to growing as an individual and a leader while helping others. Phu Ho embodies these three points and more, going above and beyond expectations. As an Executive Board (E-board), we interact with numerous talented individuals, but Phu continues to stand out, defining himself as a leader and mentor. He constantly offers help, provides feedback, and takes initiative. Although he entered his E-board term with University of Colorado-Denver (UCD) having no prior exposure to SWUVSA, he immediately inquired about involvement on a regional level, specifically with our CoSR (Council of Regional Representative: a group of representatives that directly works with SWUVSA on behalf of their schools), demonstrating his desire to dive into the un known and constantly learn. We have and continue to watch him blossom as an person and into a shining leader as the incoming President for UCD’s VSA. He would have been selected as SWUVSA’s Member of the Year because of his passion and determination for VSA.

Describe the roles the nominee has held in his/her community and how these roles have influenced your organization. Provide examples.

Although Phu’s involvement with VSA has only been one year, it is clear from his passion and commitment that he learns quickly and is a dedicated individual. After the UCD’s annual CPP Gala, Phu decided to attend a VSA meeting to understand the organization better. This first meeting had such a profound impact on him that Phu ran for secretary that same spring and was elected for the position. During his term, unforeseen circumstances made his VSA’s external and internal vice president resign. Undeterred, Phu immediately jumped at the opportunities to lead and grow by running for those positions. His involvement allowed UCD’s VSA to function flawlessly, despite these difficulties and challenges. On a regional level, Phu continues to actively take leadership roles. As a member of CoSR, he works in collaboration with representatives from the six constituent schools within the Southwest region, never misses a CoSR meeting, and has the ever growi ng passion to sustain cultural awareness while supporting emerging leaders within the community.


What qualities does the nominee have that makes him/her stand out within your organization? Provide examples.

Phu Ho distinguishes himself within VSA for both his initiative, leadership, but also his humility. Despite all his hard work, achievements, and accomplishment, he continuously states that there is always something more to learn. As the incoming President, when complimented and congratulated on the accomplishment, Phu stated that despite receiving this high honor and responsibility, this is only the beginning; the title had to be earned through accomplishments, mentorship, and the desire for an impacting change. His yearning to expand his knowledge motivates him to continually venture outside his comfort zone. A clear example of this was his passion to be a Family Leader for Apex-2 Conference, providing a warm, welcoming environment for first-time conference attendees despite Apex-2 being his first conference as well. During Apex-2 family games, he enthusiastically encourages and cheers for his teammates, knowing that heartfelt words of encouragement are more powerful than anything for inspiring others. Phu also constantly aids those in need without hesitation. For example, he offers his experience and willingness to scout locations to the SWUVSA E-board, providing a different point-of-view and ensuring the success of the Regional E-Board Retreat. Phu is an inspiration for many, including ourselves, and as members of SWUVSA E-board, we feel that he defines himself clearly as a leader within our VSA community.