GALVESTON, Texas (June 8, 2017) -- Thanh Nguyen was just five years old when she and her family fled the country of Vietnam. They partook on a dangerous voyage by boat when it started to malfunction. By the grace of a captain on a nearby boat, they were rescued and escorted to Thailand. There, her family had the choice between the United States, France, or Australia. In hopes of a better life and greater opportunity, her family chose to settle in the Unites States of America where they called New York their new home.

While studying during her sophomore year in college at Pace University, New York, Nguyen accepted an intern position with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District as a PC tech webmaster. Nguyen worked hard though college and in 1999 earned her Bachelor of Science in Management Information Technology from Pace University in New York.

Now the Chief of Army Corps of Engineers, Information Technology (ACE-IT) at USACE Galveston district, Nguyen takes pride in her work and the sacrifices it took to get where she is. Nguyen has spent a year at the Galveston district but has been with the Corps for 19 years. She is no stranger to Corps-wide projects and working in high-stress environments. Nguyen recalls the most memorable moment with the Corps is what took place in support of the events after the attacks on 9/11.

"I was working for the New York district as a webmaster during the attacks on September 11th. Our mission was to establish a communication system online and help develop a web notification system for emergency crisis" said Nguyen "It was moving to see people from New York and various Corps sites coming together regardless of rank and title to help after the 911 tragedy. As a team, we have made a difference not only supporting the mission but reshaping the morale and standing strong to reshaping the Corps and our nation".

In addition to her demanding job as the ACE-IT Chief, Nguyen is the district's Asian American and Pacific Islander Special Emphasis Program Manager. Once a year the district holds a program for the National Asian American and Pacific Islander month in which Nguyen informs the district about her heritage.

"It's important to me that I carry the torch that my grandparents and parents passed down and teach my children about my roots. I want to be an example everywhere I go," said Nguyen. "It's a great privilege to educate my fellow coworkers about Asian American culture. I think it's important that we continue to support a diverse workforce."
When Nguyen isn't busy overseeing the district's ACE-IT division, she is spending her time cooking with and spending quality time with her family. In her spare time you will find her practicing her photography skills, most likely taking photos of her boys.