Valdemar "Val" Chaves


Well known for his uncanny ability to motivate and inspire others, Val Chaves recently graduated from the University of Massachusetts Lowell with an MBA in IT. From a background that consists of being half Portuguese and Vietnamese, Val was never fully exposed to the Asian American community before he started college. With a goal to learn and become closer with his Asian roots, he quickly found himself involved with VSA as a general member during his freshman year. As his love and passion for VSA kept growing, he joined the executive board before the start of his sophomore year hoping to be able to improve his favorite campus organization. During his time with UMass Lowell VSA he served as President, Vice President, and Event Coordinator. For NEIVSA, he has served as the Marketing Director for VES-2, Executive Director for VES-3, Public Relations Chair, Regional Representative, and is now serving as the organization’s President. Among his crowd, he’s known mostly for his one-of-a-kind personality, unusual deep voice, and endless love for his favorite side dish of coleslaw. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his friends and family, reading for fun, and consistently dreaming of an even better VSA.

Ashly Tran

Internal Vice President

Ashly Tran is a senior at the University of Massachusetts Lowell pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Biomedical Engineering and concentration in Nanomaterials. She has proudly been the President and Event Coordinator for UMass Lowell VSA and was also the Entertainment Director of the Third Annual Vietnamese Empowerment Summit (VES-3). Ashly is looking forward to build upon the networking and representation of schools in the New England region as NEIVSA's Internal Vice President. She can be usually be found being distracted by puppies, cute things, and/or food.

Jerry Sooklall

External Vice President

Jerry Sooklall “Tran” is a graduate of University of Connecticut with a Bachelor's in Biomedical Engineering. He is recently employed at Connecticut Spring and Stamping as a Process Engineer. He first got involved with VSA because of the “home” vibe that he felt when walking into every meeting. Soon after he was on the executive board of his VSA and wanted to give the incoming freshman and current member the same feeling of being safe and connected with the Vietnamese culture. It was not until after his first UNAVSA experience that he ran for the executive board for NEIVSA, and ever since he has never felt better to be involved in the Vietnamese community in Boston from Tet Trung Thu and Tet in Boston. His main goal for this upcoming year is to bring the local community and the college VSA closer through service and helping build Tet in Boston 2018 better than ever. He Loves being fit and weightlifting/power building, volleyball, anime, and VSA. Hit him up with some anime suggestions.

Tiffany Lac

External Vice President

Tiffany Lac graduated from Boston University with a Biology Specialization in Cell, Moleculer, and Genetics Degree on a Pre-Med track. This past year she served as Treasurer and Scholarship Chair for the NEIVSA executive board as well as Finance Co-Chair for Tet in Boston. This year, she hopes to bring the older and younger generations of the Vietnamese Community closer together. She enjoys traveling, cooking and eating good food with friends.

Sunny Nguyen


Sunny Nguyen currently resides in Worcester, MA and works as a Research Associate at Sentien Biotechnologies, Inc. in Lexington, MA. Her journey with VSA began during her freshman year at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Excited about learning, promoting, and actively participating in the Vietnamese community, she joined WPIVSA where she served as PR Chair, Event Coordinator, and President. Enamored with the idea of collaborating and networking, she learned about NEIVSA and attended her first conference at VES-2. It left such a positive imprint inspiring her to join VES-3 staff and eventually NEIVSA's Executive Board.

Tiffany Tran


Tiffany Tran is a junior at the University of Connecticut majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology. Her VSA journey started when she attended VES-2 towards the end of her freshman year. Since then, she went on to be an active member in VSA, joining the E-board of UConn VSA, being an Intercollegiate Council member for NEIVSA, and being a staff member for the VES-3 Entertainment Committee. In addition, she's also had the opportunity of being a part of the UNAVSA CPP Selection Committee. Aside from her VSA involvement, she is an avid member of Her Campus UConn, and is a part of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. When she's not busy with academics and extracurriculars, Tiffany can be found obsessing over The Bachelor franchise and eating lots and lots of food!

April Nguyen

Regional Representative

April Nguyen has been part of the VSA community since 2010 where she served as Freshman Rep, PR Chair, and IVP for her VSA in California. She then joined UNAVSA and wrapped up her term as the Collective Philanthropy Project Selection Director after having served for 5 years on the committee, and is now excited to represent the New England region on the Council of Regional Representatives. After graduating with a PharmD in her home state of California, she moved to Boston to work at Biogen and joined MCPHS as adjunct faculty. Currently serving the community in legislative and regulatory affairs roles, she is combining her passions towards influencing a positive change for healthcare-related issues in the Vietnamese-American community. While she enjoys swing dancing and kickboxing at the gym, she prefers to work on her six pack one laugh at a time, and is excited to work with NEIVSA as the Regional Representative!

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