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Monday, October 26, 2015

Meet the TandemPlus Student Officers

TandemPlus is now an official student group! This means that TandemPlus is recognized and listed among the University of Minnesota Student Union and Activities (SUA)’s many Student Groups. We have elected five student officers who will help with all facets of Tandem, including event planning, budgeting, and outreach across campus and beyond. Here are some introductions to learn more about these student officers.

Lucas Van, President:
Lucas was born in Minnesota, the son of Vietnamese immigrants who fled from Vietnam in the 60s. He is the eldest of five brothers and sisters. Lucas spent most of his childhood and youth in Brooklyn Park, which is a suburb of Minneapolis. In 2008, he graduated from Champlin Park High School with high honors and soon matriculated at the University of St. Thomas. He spent three years at St. Thomas studying Mandarin Chinese. He was involved with an international student organization, Globally Minded Students Organization and was also an Air Force cadet. In 2011, he decided to make a major change in his life and joined the Minnesota National Guard. For nearly two years he trained at Fort Jackson and Fort Leonard Wood. In October 2012, he returned to Minnesota and soon transferred to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, where he decided to major in Asian Languages and Literature at the College of Liberal Arts, and also joined the local Army ROTC battalion as a cadet.  In Spring 2014 he was accepted as a member of the first cohort of students to participate in the new approved Chinese Flagship Program, which is a national initiative of the National Security program within in the Department of Defense that leads the nation in designing, supporting, and implementing advanced language education. This choice has delayed his graduation which was originally planned for 2015 to 2017; however, Lucas stands fast with this choice, and he believes that further education will better prepare him for future service in the Army and ultimately to better serve his country. He hopes and plans to one day serve as a Foreign Service Officer in the US Department of State.

Lucas signed up to as an officer of TandemPlus because he believes in the importance of understanding languages of the different peoples of this world. He hopes that he can make a TandemPlus a organization where everyone can feels welcome to share their culture, learn about others' cultures, and promote and facilitate language learning.

Beatriz Fusco, Vice President:
Beatriz is a graduate student studying linguistics. A native speaker of Portuguese, she also speaks English and Spanish, and is learning Arabic. Being a part of TandemPlus is important to her because she is interested in learning more about different cultures and wants to practice her language skills.

Ashley Lynch, Events Coordinator:
Ashley is a senior pursuing a major in global studies and minors in anthropology, history, and mass communication. She currently speaks English and French and is learning Italian, Arabic, and Hindi. Ashley is a part of TandemPlus to practice her speaking abilities—and to learn some slang!

Yu Yan, Secretary:
Yu is a senior studying psychology. A native speaker of Chinese, she is part of TandemPlus to make more friends and to learn about different cultures.

SoEun Shin, Treasurer:
SoEun is a junior studying journalism. As an international student from South Korea and a native speaker of Korean, SoEun hopes to get more practice with her English-speaking during her time in TandemPlus.

You will be seeing these board members throughout the year at our events, so be sure to say hi and ask them any questions! You can officially meet them at our upcoming Halloween party in the Middlebrook Terrace Room on October 30, 6:00–9:00 p.m. This event is co-sponsored by MELP, MISA, IBP and SGSA.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the TandemPlus staff at tandem@umn.edu, or stop by our office in Jones Hall 135A.

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