Facts about your family:
I come from a family of refugees and immigrants. I am one of the few in our family who is American-born. Everything is a cultural experience for me.
I have a younger brother, whom everyone thinks is older than me because he towers over me at 5′10″. I have 13 aunts and uncles combined and 14 cousins, so I know a thing or two about family reunions.
My father is a businessman, and my mother is a scientist. I’m a government major. No one saw it coming, especially my parents.
Why did you choose to attend The University of Texas at Austin?
There is no other school that offers a wide variety of experiences on such a wide scale, from the amazing football games to the diverse academics. You can find a little bit of everything here. UT gives students everything they need and offers everything they could want to succeed.
What do you want to do when you graduate from the university?
I hope to go to law school and then work in government. I am interested in everything from policymaking to international diplomacy.
If you had to choose one thing about yourself to share with the university’s Web audience, what would it be?
I see everything in terms of lessons and tests. Every disappointment and mistake is another lesson. Every obstacle and challenge is another test.
Who are your heroes?
My parents and Ann Richards. My parents have endured some of the greatest obstacles human beings could face, but it only made them stronger and wiser. They do not harbor any hatred or regret. Compassion leads them. For that, I am in constant awe of the lives they lead.
Ann Richards will always be remembered as a Texas legend, and being one of her last students, I still remember everything she ever taught me. She lived a life that was legendary beyond words.
If you could travel to one spot anywhere in the world, where would you want to visit?
VietnamóI have never been to my parents’ home country, and they have not been there since they left. I feel like I’m not complete until I have set foot there.
What are your current favorite books? What books would you recommend to someone you just met?
“Warriors Don’t Cry: Searing Memoir of Battle to Integrate Little Rock.”
This book was assigned for one of my history classes, and I fell in love with it. It is an autobiography from one of the “Little Rock 9″ when segregation was ending. Everything you read in it is unforgettable because you see the power of hatred, but you also learn the beauty of the human spirit.
I also recommend “How to Read a Person Like a Book.” It’s a book that I think everyone should read because you will always be exposed to people. It’s interesting to learn about simple gestures and what they could actually mean as you talk to people. Don’t we all wonder what another person is wondering?
What pushes your buttons? What are your pet peeves?
I cannot stand people who complain about problems, but do nothing to solve them.
What are your favorite Web sites? Why?
I love to be in the know:
- New York Times – I think it’s a great source for national news
- Houston Chronicle – I try to keep updated on my hometown
- Texas Union Student Events Center – I like following all the great events the Student Events Center is hosting
What are your favorite foods?
My mom’s and dad’s cooking. They’re from different regions of Vietnam, and both great cooks, so lots of flavors and choices. French fries are a guilty pleasure for me. DessertsóI love dessert food, except cheesecake.
What music are you listening to?
It all depends on what I’m doing. When I’m working out, I listen to only rock and hip hop. When I’m walking around campus or studying, I listen to acoustic stuff.
What are your all-time favorite movies? Why?
“Dave.” It’s about a president look-alike, who is asked to substitute for the president while he’s in a coma. It’s so funny because you see what it would really be like if an average Joe ran the country.
Who are your favorite artists?
- Music: Saving Jane
- Photography: Ansel Adams
- Painting: Van Gogh
What are your favorite academic subjects? What are you interested in studying in the future?
My favorite subjects are government and communication studies. I would really like to study more languages.
What’s your favorite spot on campus?
I love the commons area in front of the Harry Ransom center. The trees provide cool shade, and there are plenty of benches to just sit or fall asleep.
Where are your favorite places to go in Austin? What are your favorite things to do in Austin?
The Capitolóit’s a beautiful sight, especially at night.
I love trying the unique Austin restaurants because I am an everlasting fan of good food.
What are your favorite free-time activities?
I love running. I try to go every day. Also, I always put time in for reading and writing that’s not for class. Most important, I love just relaxing with friends or talking in general.
Other interesting facts about you:
I’m an aspiring speechwriter. I competed in speech and debate in high school and was the speechwriter for my boss last summer.