Huy Huynh

image3Huy Huynh is one of the 20 Founding Charters of the Sigma Chapter at the University of Florida. Throughout his undergraduate years, he held leadership positions within and outside of his chapter- ranging from being President of Sigma Chapter to gaining membership into prestigious organizations, such as the leadership honorary Florida Blue Key and Florida Cicerones. After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Human Nutrition, he pursued a Master’s in Food Science, and then got accepted into the University of Florida College of Dentistry. After he graduated as a Doctor of Dental Medicine, he began working in Orlando, Florida for 2 years before he was diagnosed with a very rare form of brain cancer. He is one of the most influential brothers of his chapter and continues to be a role model for all of our brothers.

From Asian American Greek Interest Group (AAGIG) to Pi Delta Psi

Coming from a small town in Winter Haven, Florida, where the Asian demographic is slim, Huy felt a sense of opening himself to the world as he stepped foot on campus. Graduating from a high school of 32 students and going to a university of over 50,000 students was a big change. So, he chose to embrace the future and became involved within the Asian American Student Union (AASU) at the University of Florida.image2

One day, he was approached by early members of AAGIG and was asked if he wanted to join. At first, he refused after much persistence. Then, in his fall semester of his 2nd year, Huy was offered a free t-shirt by one of the members of AAGIG before standing on stage next to the men who would later become his pledge brothers. AAGIG was officially introduced on campus.

Under the guidance of Brother Hubert “Optimus” Ho from the Mu Chapter at the Ohio State University, Huy and members of AAGIG became heavily involved with the Asian American community on campus. And, because of the lack of Asian American representation in the community, Huy found a purpose to stay committed to AAGIG. After years of dedication to promoting cultural awareness, Huy, along with 19 gentlemen, became the newest addition to Pi Delta Psi Fraternity, Incorporated at the University of Florida. image1During his years as an active brother, he became President and Step Master of his chapter from 2004 to 2006. His presidency created opportunities to build relations with other Greek and non-Greek organizations on campus, as well as promote philanthropic and cultural awareness events, which set an impressive image for his chapter.

After Pi Delta Psi

Not only was Huy an exemplary leader of Pi Delta Psi, he was an exemplary leader in the field of dentistry as well. During his high school and early college years, Huy worked for Walt Disney World at Space Mountain. Though the fantasy job was fun at the time, Huy was taught a great lesson of personal interaction and care. As he continued college, his interests guided him to pursue a career as a general dentist at the University of Florida College of Dentistry, where he graduated as a Doctor of Dental Medicine in 2013.

On June 9, 2015, two years after he started establishing himself in his career, Huy was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer. He underwent surgery, radiation and chemotherapy to fight against the cancer. But, 3 months later, the cancer metastasized and spread to other parts of his brain and spinal cord. image4As a result, he had to stop working as the illness would affect his vision and motor skills. Having to halt his career and feeling defeated by the tumors, he went through a period of loneliness, anger, and depression. To him, he felt he went “0 steps forward and 100 steps back”.

After 2 months, he regained his mentality with the support of his family and friends, realizing that he was never alone in his battle with cancer. He accepted the challenges at hand, but he did not accept losing to it. Each day he wakes up, he tells himself that it’s a success because he was able to stand up, put his feet on the ground, and walk out the front door. Despite the disabilities, he has made the choice to push forward, and accept that fact that even there may be one step backward, there will be progression with 10 steps forward. To Huy, he is now fighting back.

Jehron Pura-Bryant

Why Pi Delta Psi?

There’s many reasons why I’ve joined Pi Delta Psi; but primarily what struck me the most from the fraternity is the brotherhood and bonds made from the brothers. It was more than just a claim, you can feel the spirit resonate through each and every brother; something which I cherish to this day as a member. Despite any cultural differences, I was welcomed with open arms and it made my transition at my university smooth and enjoyable. Beyond that, I have always been involved with my university’s Philippine-American League (PAL) since my freshman year, an organization that’s near and dear to me as a Filipino-American. It was an added bonus that my chapter has been deeply invested with PAL; with brothers holding numerous executive board positions over the years. Not only did I enjoy my time with the fraternity outside of campus, but the presence and leadership displayed on campus is what set our Fraternity apart from other organizations.

What positions have you held on campus?

President of the Fraternity, Alpha Chapter – I’m truly honored and humbled that I was voted into the position by my brothers. I can say, wholeheartedly, I am proud of everything that we have accomplished together. As the President, I’m in the perfect position to lead the fraternity towards continued success and raise the standard for achievement and excellence on my campus. In my opinion the best style of leadership is to lead by example, and that’s what I intend to do through every aspect of my life.
Executive Board of PAL – the Philippine-American League was one of the first clubs/orgs I have joined since my Freshman year. In order to show my gratitude and appreciation, I wanted to be behind the scenes and plan the events that the general body always appreciates. In addition, in the process, I want to learn a little more about my own culture and heritage.
Mentor/Program Assistant of ELP – I came through the Emerging Leaders Program as a mentee my Freshman fall semester. While in the program, I’ve worked with an off-campus organization to raise awareness for Domestic Violence, which was an eye-opening experience. The following year I was selected to lead a group of mentees and guide them towards their own community service venture. This upcoming year, I’ve been selected to take it to the next step, and help facilitate the goals of the future mentors, and mentees. The goal is to keep advancing, and promoting with every endeavor.

While I have held other minor leadership positions, these three positions have truly shaped and influenced my collegiate experience.

Hobbies?

A notable feat that people tend to ask about, is my life in the chess world. I am a National Master of the United States Chess Federation, and have been since I was 15 years old – having made me one of the youngest masters of African-American descent. Probably one of the bigger achievements of my lifetime- and has paved the way for many opportunities for me in life; whether it be networking, travelling, or just the advancement of my critical thinking abilities. Other than chess, I enjoy music, specifically the performing arts. I dabble in a little spoken word, rap, and dance the night away if the feeling is right. As a dancer, not professionally trained, I have been the Stroll Master for the Alpha chapter since I crossed, and since then have lead the brothers towards some crowd-pleasing strolls. One of my favorite moments as an active brother, would be in May of 2016; we represented Pi Delta Psi, in a competition held by the Black Student Union at Binghamton University. With a lot of preparation, and tenacity, we clinched first place among other fraternities. It was a big feat, and a proud moment for our chapter; being the only organization of the Asian Greek Council, and the only organization with roots of Asian-Interests for that matter at Binghamton University. We paved the way and left our mark. Couldn’t have done it without my brothers and I am, and will always be, proud of everyone.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Although things are always subject to change and I have to remain flexible with whatever life throws at me – hopefully, if everything is going the way I plan; I’ll be towards the middle point of my medical school journey. Studying hard, but motivated to complete. I would also love to have a few more countries checked off of my “places to go” bucket list, and most importantly I would be living life happy and without regret.

Huy Huynh

Huy Huynh is one of the 20 Founding Charters of the Sigma Chapter at the University of Florida. Throughout his undergraduate years, he held leadership positions within and outside of his chapter-
ranging from being President of Sigma Chapter to gaining membership into prestigious organizations, such as the leadership honorary Florida Blue Key and Florida Cicerones. After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Human Nutrition, he pursued a Master’s in Food Science, and then got accepted into the University of Florida College of Dentistry. After he graduated as a Doctor of Dental Medicine, he began working in Orlando, Florida for 2 years before he was diagnosed with a very rare form of brain cancer. He is one of the most influential brothers of his chapter and continues to be a role model for all of our brothers.

From Asian American Greek Interest Group (AAGIG) to Pi Delta Psi

Coming from a small town in Winter Haven, Florida, where the Asian demographic is slim, Huy felt a sense of opening himself to the world as he stepped foot on campus. Graduating from a high school of 32 students and going to a university of over 50,000 students was a big change. So, he chose to embrace the future and became involved within the Asian American Student Union (AASU) at the University of Florida.image2

One day, he was approached by early members of AAGIG and was asked if he wanted to join. At first, he refused after much persistence. Then, in his fall semester of his 2nd year, Huy was offered a free t-shirt by one of the members of AAGIG before standing on stage next to the men who would later become his pledge brothers. AAGIG was officially introduced on campus.

Under the guidance of Brother Hubert “Optimus” Ho from the Mu Chapter at the Ohio State University, Huy and members of AAGIG became heavily involved with the Asian American community on campus. And, because of the lack of Asian American representation in the community, Huy found a purpose to stay committed to AAGIG. After years of dedication to promoting cultural awareness, Huy, along with 19 gentlemen, became the newest addition to Pi Delta Psi Fraternity, Incorporated at the University of Florida. image1During his years as an active brother, he became President and Step Master of his chapter from 2004 to 2006. His presidency created opportunities to build relations with other Greek and non-Greek organizations on campus, as well as promote philanthropic and cultural awareness events, which set an impressive image for his chapter.

After Pi Delta Psi

Not only was Huy an exemplary leader of Pi Delta Psi, he was
an exemplary leader in the field of dentistry as well. During his high school and early college years, Huy worked for Walt Disney World at Space Mountain. Though the fantasy job was fun at the time, Huy was taught a great lesson of personal interaction and care. As he continued college, his interests guided him to pursue a career as a general dentist at the University of Florida College of Dentistry, where he graduated as a Doctor of Dental Medicine in 2013.

On June 9, 2015, two years after he started establishing himself in his career, Huy was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer. He underwent surgery, radiation and chemotherapy to fight against the cancer. But, 3 months later, the cancer metastasized and spread to other parts of his brain and spinal cord. image4As a result, he had to stop working as the illness would affect his vision and motor skills. Having to halt his career and feeling defeated by the tumors, he went through a period of loneliness, anger, and depression. To him, he felt he went “0 steps forward and 100 steps back”.

After 2 months, he regained his mentality with the support of his family and friends, realizi

ng that he was never alone in his battle with cancer. He accepted the challenges at hand, but he did not accept losing to it. Each day he wakes

up, he tells himself that it’s a success because he was able to stand up, put his feet on the ground, and walk out the front door. Despite the disabilities, he has made the choice to push forward, and accept that fact that even there may be one step backward, there will be progression with 10 steps forward. To Huy, he is now fighting back.


Brother Profile

Name: Huy Huynh

Pledge Name: Renegade

Chapter Initiated: Sigma Chapter, University of Florida

Office Positions: President of Sigma Chapter: 2 years- 2004-2005, 2005-2006, StepMaster 2004-2006

Ethnicity: Vietnamese

Birthday: June 7, 1984

Hometown: Winter Haven, FL

Major/Profession: Bachelors in Human Nutrition (2007), Masters in Food Science (2009), Doctor of Dental Medicine (2013)

Crossing Semester/Year: Alpha Class, Fall 2004

 

Ricky Ly

What is your most memorable PDP memory?

The memories I cherish most are the simplest ones: hanging out with brothers in their house at Ohio State University, trekking across the east coast from Florida to New York to hang out with brothers of Stonybrook University, having a nice fat sandwich from a grease truck at Rutgers University. I also remember our brotherhood retreats on the beach, camping out and barbecuing, talking about life until dawn.Moments like these when shared with brothers are priceless.

Something you’ve always wanted to do:

I want to write a top 10 best selling novel one day. I want to travel to Paris and see the Eiffel Tower, to Rome to see the Coliseum, to China to see the Great Wall, to Egypt to see the pyramids. I want to grow old, wealthy not only in riches and money, but also in experiences. I want this life to be a journey worth remembering, with loving friends and family along the way to share it with. I want to lie on my deathbed counting not the dollars in my bank account, but the moments and friends I made along the way.

Hidden Talents?

I was once a National Champion for Social Studies Academic Games. Pretty much like a brain bowl for Social Studies. I also write for Asia Trend Magazine as a food correspondent. I am an avid social media user. I enjoy meeting others. I am also always down for a challenge.

Why I Pledged Pi Delta Psi:

In one word: Brotherhood. Brotherhood to me is a concept of a lifelong friendship that transcends blood, racial, socio-economic lines, a concept that brings together men of different backgrounds all unified with a common purpose and goal. Brotherhood, to me, is being there for someone when the world turns its back on you, when you need that extra push or shoulder to lean on when you’re down. Through my travels as an interest group member before helping found the UCF Phi Chapter, I could tell the bonds of brotherhood were strong in each member of Pi Delta Psi Fraternity, that they were not just your stereotypical frat guys. They were bonded together in purpose in uplifting the Asian American community as well as friends who are down to earth and loyal to each other.

I heard you’re a blogger, what’s that about?

I’m the food writer for Tastychomps.com, a food blog based in Orlando, Florida that was voted Best Food Blog by the Orlando Sentinel newspaper and also featured in the University of Central Florida’s Central Florida Future newspaper. It started out as a hobby of mine based on a lifelong passion for food. Its a fun thing to do outside of work.

How would you advise Neos to succeed as a Brother of PDPsi?

I would advise Neophytes to step forward as new Brothers of Pi Delta Psi and lead the fraternity with the passion and lessons learned during their education process. I would advise Neophytes to not be afraid to ask questions or take initiative in shaping the fraternity in the way they wish to see it grow, for they are now the face of the fraternity and must take ownership as well as all other brothers in the fraternity. You get what you put in, and that goes for everything in life.

Check out Ricky’s book: The Food Lover’s Guide to Orlando!

Peter Tu

What is your most memorable PDP memory?

Not too long after I had crossed, the whole chapter got together at one of the brother’s apartments to hang out and reflect on the past semester. We spent the whole night telling stories, cracking jokes, and sharing our ambitions for the future of the RPI Colony. It was then and there that I knew that we were all going to be friends forever and that the strength of the brotherhood between us could never be broken. Since then, we have faced major setbacks and challenges, graduated and moved away from each other; and that bond of brotherhood still exists and thrives between us all.

Something you’ve always wanted to do:

I have always wanted to be become a competitive eater. The required discipline and training that someone like Takeru Kobayashi goes through to become the best competitive eater in the world is absolutely awe inspiring and comparable to that of an Olympic athlete. It would be awesome to be feared by all the buffet lines in town.

Hidden Talents?

I am a pretty good at sending mixed signals leading to utter confusion of the other party and delivering cryptic statements that leave people second guessing everything. I am also decent at lame puns and sexual innuendos. In-YOUR-end-o.

Why I Pledged Pi Delta Psi:

Growing up in a predominantly Caucasian suburb outside of Boston, I always found myself drawn to my Asian heritage than my relatively American upbringing. The Pi Delta Psi Fraternity offered the best place environment for me to meet others who shared my same predicament and learn about myself. Also, after rushing a lot of other fraternities on campus, I found that this fraternity fit my personality much better and offered much more potential return on my efforts in terms of leadership and professional development.

I heard you had a nice set of wheels. How that going?

Apparently, the ’09 Honda Fit Sport stock wheels are in high demand. Mine were stolen after owning my car for about month a half. Since then, I have replaced them with a set of steel wheels with no plans of getting a different set of rims.

What’s your favorite/most awesome snowboarding experience?

This past March, I was at Whiteface in Lake Placid, NY. The conditions weren’t all that great but those conditions led to a unique situation at the peak. Midday, a thick fog settled onto the peak and visibility dropped to nearly zero. Riding through the clouds was surreal and for a brief moment, it was if I was flying through the sky – Silver Surfer style. This experience was epic.