University of Florida – Vicki Le

VSA Member of the Year Nomination: Vicki Le

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

Vicki, Internal Vice President 2016-2017, was awarded “Lifetime Achievement”, an award is given to an individual senior that went above and beyond in VSO. This award, although not the “Member of the Year” is exceptional, due to the great dedication the individual has shown, despite being an older member (because there are mostly freshmen and sophomore actively involved) and despite the oncoming stresses and pressure of graduating and the oncoming adult life. Vicki was awarded this because she not only showed exceptional leadership in and dedication towards VSO, but also expressed a welcoming heart and a positive spirit. Her creative mind produced most of the innovative aspects this past year, from the culture show (her event) to big/little events to Jar Wars (philanthropy). A little about some of her innovations: Her Fall cultural show touched upon the war and the struggles that came with finding a better place. This theme of war and struggle hit home to many of the older generation in the audience as the war is something that they faced and survived. This theme also was meant to inspire the younger generations, whether Vietnamese or not, serving as a reminder of the struggles many Asian American adults had to overcome in order to us to live with the privilege that we have. Her Spring show focused on the culture and celebration of Tet itself, whereas in the past, many shows had themes not relating to Tet. This was meant to educate the audience about the traditions of Tet, beyond the red envelopes. It brings students and audience members back to the roots of Tet. Jar Wars – a semester long philanthropic event in which officers’ names were randomly placed in 4-5 different jars. People would place money into the jars and at the end of the semester, the respective officers of the jar with the most money raised would complete a dare picked by the audience. This enticed members and non-members alike! Officer Conference – created to reduce officer burnout, as officers spend a day pre-planning the events during the upcoming school year.

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

VSO Cultural Director 2014-2015 – Given that she was already on board before rising to become the Internal Vice President (IVP) 2016-2017, Vicki had prior knowledge of VSO board dynamic and of how things were run, which helps with her job as the IVP (maintaining internal order and plan board-bonding opportunities). Furthermore, as Cultural Director, she had to help spearhead decoration committees for both cultural shows. This provided her with experience in planning VSO cultural shows (the unofficial duty of the IVP). Asian Kaleidoscope Month Pageant Director 2015 – Here, Vicki planned her first actual show. This experience further developed her leadership and logistical skills in order to run a show, while working with many people to practice performances and rehearsals, to run the tech booth, to decorate the area, and to envision an overall successful show. All of these skills were incorporated in planning both of the VSO cultural shows.

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

The one word to describe Vicki is motherly. She bakes the cakes to surprise board members on their birthdays. She makes embarrassing jokes and cannot dab for her life. Like a mother, her love is unconditional and endless. This might all sound irrelevant to this application, but in actuality, this quality is what helped create a greater bond between officers on the VSO board, considering her job as the IVP includes creating board bonding events/activities and to settle any disputes, if any (a mother does not have favorites). This quality also brought the family aspect to VSO members, especially at cultural committee meetings. Furthermore, there are no words to describe Vicki’s dedication to VSO. Despite having a job, an internship, and school (senior year!), Vicki managed to balance VSO AND prioritize it. She stayed up late nights with the president to plan shows, events, and officer retreats. A great example of her dedication: a performance dropped ONE week before our Fall show; she created her own dance piece and taught it to volunteers in order to fill that gap.