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Khanh Vu, Executive Director, Society of Asian Scientists & Engineers

July 25, 2016

Khanh VuQ: Can you briefly describe SASE and what it seeks to accomplish?
A: The Society of Asian Scientists & Engineers (SASE) is one of the go-to organizations for talent and leadership development in science, technology, engineering & mathematics (STEM). SASE is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping prepare Asian heritage scientists and engineers for success. SASE can help members find mentors, become a leader, connect with organizations and reach their full potential.

Q: What were you surprised to learn about the Army through your involvement?
A: Intellectually, I knew that the Army was a very large organization, but didn’t realize quite how large and within that size, how many opportunities existed.  It was great to learn that the Army created Cyber Command, including the opportunities for STEM professionals that go along with it.   It was refreshing to see high leadership qualities in many young men and women that I have met.

Q: How has your partnership with the Army made a difference to your organization?
A: Our partnership has opened the eyes of our members to many different possibilities within the Army.  Like the general public, our members see the Army in its traditional role as mostly a fighting force for wars on foreign soil.  Now our chapters are partnering with the Army and hosting events such as an IV workshop with Army, which is attractive to our life science members and helps to expand their view of the many opportunities the Army provides.

Q: Why do you feel military service should be considered a viable post-secondary option?
A: I think there are a myriad of opportunities for careers in the Army in fields such as medical, cyber, logistics, engineering and many more.  Military service goes well with a college STEM education. The additional benefits include the financial support offered throughout college and the continued work experience post-education. As the U.S. Army looks at addressing a complex world, the opportunities that rise to meet that challenge will provide more options to our young folks.

Q: Where are STEM careers headed as the fields continue to advance? What skills are required of students to succeed?
A: We are at the cusp of the integration of STEM into every industry (service, financial, retail, etc.).  Students will need to be well-versed in computer concepts (data science, cyber security, etc.), strong fundamental science and engineering knowledge.  Besides these academic assets, they will need to have good communication skills, be able to work in teams and be adaptable to different cultures.

Q: What has been your most interesting or memorable experience with the U.S. Army?
A: I had a tour of Fort Sam Houston and was able to interact with Soldiers who had tremendous leadership responsibilities and carried themselves with respect.  Every time I met with an officer or enlisted Army personnel, they showed poise and professionalism.  I can’t forget to mention skydiving with the Golden Knights, which was terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time.