University of Georgia - Summer Phung

Most Outstanding VSA Member of the Year Nomination: Summer Phung

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

Outstanding Organization Leader was given to Summer Phung for 2018-19 from the University of Georgia’s International Student Life (ISL) department. Every year, they recognize a student leader and honor them by recognizing them with this award. This award is given to those who show dedication, diligence, and commitment to not only their own organization, but the values and goals of the department itself. Since joining VSA and ISL when she was a first year, she has made a significant impact on VSA at UGA and ISL by setting the standard of what it means to be a great leader. Through her determination and dedication, she has helped shape the foundation of UGA VSA.

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

Summer has been involved with VSA since her freshman year of college. Since she’s first joined VSA, she has established herself as a dedicated member by holding eboard positions for UGA, directorships, and associate positions for UVSASE as well as staff positions for UNAVSA. Her role within UGA has shaped UGA VSA in countless ways. Whether or not you’ve talked to Summer at a GBM or just got a notification from her on Facebook, you know Summer. Her commitment to VSA goes beyond just doing the job, she wants others outside of UGA to get involved in the region and national level so that they can experience everything she did. Whether it be making last minute trips to Sam’s Club for materials or going to UF’s Tet and TTT shows, Summer strives to make sure that others feel the support she has all of these years.

Whenever you ask UGA VSA how they’d join VSA they’ll offer you answers about culture, community, etc. But when you ask UGA VSA why they stayed in VSA, 99% of the time it’s because of Summer. As an outsider, you don’t see all of the time, stress, and the impact she has on UGA as an organization. Whether it be from always offering her car up for external events or ignoring other responsibilities to finish VSA work, she inspires others to do the same by providing and setting the example of what it means to be a leader.

Her role as president ended her involvement with UGA VSA perfectly, as a new wave of incoming members came in and others left, she helped innovate what it meant to be a leader in VSA. Whether it’s running for an eboard position, helping carry food to a meeting, or cleaning up after an event, Summer has influenced UGA with her passion, dedication, and commitment.

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

One word to describe Summer would be ‘spam.’ Like the canned meat, she is cheap and gets the job done. The quality is sometimes questionable and sometimes she’s a little bit too salty, but the sustenance is there and it’s hard to find a better alternative when you’re a poor college student. Alternatively, this word might be interpreted a different way. She spams you on social media. Got a notification from Facebook? Oh, it’s just Summer again. Sometimes she’s in disguise as UVSASE, but nonetheless, people know who it is. Most people probably ignore her, but she hopes that by posting through three different mediums, one of them will reach you, and you’ll think, ‘This is cool.’ She is universally involved in most VSA activities (kind of like how Spam is found in most grocery stores across the nation), and just like how Asians love spam, she always hopes to be loved to. Or at the very least, she hopes that you’ll love VSA like she does.