University of Texas at Austin – Kristine Chen

VSA Member of the Year Nomination: Kristine Chen

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

Kristine was selected as Ms. VSA for the 2016-2017 school year as well as member of the year for the 2015-2016 school year. To be Ms. VSA, one has to embody everything that Texas VSA stands for. She had to be selfless for her family, dedicated to serving the community, passionate about spreading the Vietnamese culture, as well as being able to develop leadership in others. Ms. VSA is typically given to an officer that has made a significant impact on all of our members. Kristine was able to plan one of our most successful events, Date Auction, that brought together so many organizations on UT campus as well as throughout Texas. She was also able to single-handedly raise hundreds of dollars in raffle prizes for Date Auction. On top of being an amazing officer, she was also a brilliant “mom” to her VSA kids. Having to struggle with a tough academic curriculum as well as having to spend time on various Texas VSA events, never did she once neglect her VS A kids. She made sure her kids were always taken care of. If any of her kids were to be asked, they would all agree that Kristine had sacrificed so much just to make the lives of her kids better. To be Member of the Year, one has to have shown a strong dedication to Texas VSA. For her, this came to fruition by the ways of her having an amazing attitude at everything she did for VSA. She was also an extremely active member that lifted up those that were around her. She also played an extremely crucial role in the annual internship program. She was one of the key people that helped the 2016 Texas VSA interns fund raise almost $5000 and plan the annual end-of-the-year banquet. Not only was she a key player in the planning process, she was always there to lift peoples’ spirits and to boost all of the interns’ morals during times of struggle and frustration.

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

Kristine was the Vice President Internal for the 2016-2017 year for Texas VSA. Having this position meant that she has a direct influence in the UT Austin community because part of her responsibilities are communicating and developing relations with all of the other organizations on campus. This is a huge responsibility as there are more than 9000 student organizations with many being primarily Asian-American based. On a daily basis she is communicating with other organizations trying to figure how the goals of their organization align with ours while acting as our representative to try to paint Texas VSA in a good light for these other organizations. This year, she was extremely proficient at her job. This can be seen in the results of our annual Date Auction. Date Auction is one of our biggest philanthropic events that aims to unite the Asian American community on UT campus as well as raise money for the CPP that UNAVSA hosts. It’s an event in which numerous Asian American organizations come to together to perform various talents to raise money for charity. This year, under Kristine‘s leadership, she was able to host one of the largest Date Auctions that Texas VSA has experienced with attendance coming close to 400. With her success and absolute professionalism, Texas VSA has gotten closer with many Asian American organizations such as the Chinese Student Association and Asian American Christian Ministries and other Greek organizations as well. With these relations established by Kristine, the future of a more united Asian American community on campus seems significantly more likely and more hopeful. Not only is she a great internal vice president, Kristine is an amazing parent figure for her VSA kids. Her constant care and love for her kids have directly benefited Texas VSA. Because of her involvement with these members, her kids became extremely active and constantly show support for Texas VSA events. In fact, there were ev en more members that weren’t even her kids that she took care of that constantly showed up to our events just because of Kristin’e influence. She’s truly amazing.


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

Kristine is one of the most level-headed people that our organization has ever seen. For example, Kristine has always acted as a mediator within our officer group. We often have arguments that might heat up to an unprofessional level just because all of the officers are stressed and still learning how to work as a group. And when this happens, Kristine is always one to calm everyone down and help everyone focus on the real issues. Kristine also has an amazing charisma that is both infectious and uplifting. There is actually a running joke that Kristine is never sad and always greets everyone with a classic and joyous “HIIIIIIII!”. This is a joke, but it just shows how great of a personality she has. No matter what situation you’re in, you can always expect Kristine to lift your spirit as well as just make you laugh. Finally, Kristine is an amazing leader. Being a Texas VSA officer meant that most of the day, you have to act as an officer. Whether you’ re studying or in class or at a VSA event, you are interacting with and being watched by VSA members. A lot of the times, our officers might forget this and act in an unprofessional and inappropriate fashion. Kristine always watches out for this and watches out for our officers. If any inappropriate behavior is seen or noticed, she would come to us in an extremely professional manner and would address the problem and provide solutions. This ability to criticize and fix various mistakes that other officers make without hurting anyone’s feelings is one of the most difficult abilities a leader can learn. And Kristine, just now finishing her 2nd year in college, has perfected this. That is something that is extremely admirable and impressive. Every officer and member would agree that Kristine is one of the most experienced and effective leaders of this year. That is why she stands out within Texas VSA.