Education: BA, University of San Diego
Phi Thai was born in a refugee camp in Bataan, Philippines, where her family had been relocated as a result of the Vietnam War. Eventually she immigrated with her parents to sunny San Diego, California.
As a first-generation, low-income student, Phi attended the University of San Diego and worked to promote retention and excellence as a mentor and student worker. With a passion to learn about impact and culture, Phi studied abroad with Semester at Sea, which ultimately led her to become a Peace Corps volunteer in Armenia. This experience continued to cultivate her global experiences and exposure to sustainable impact. After serving for two years as an English teacher in a village, Phi returned to San Diego and worked at Barrio Logan College Institute, which boasts a 100 percent success rate placing underserved high school students in college.
During this time, Phi became consumed with the need to increase efficiency in public sectors and help nonprofits thrive. She decided to return to graduate school to pursue industrial-organizational psychology.
Now in SPU’s I-O doctoral program, Phi is elated to promote Residence Life’s mission and vision as Moyer Hall Council’s advisor. Straddling the undergraduate and graduate dimensions at SPU has increased the depth and meaning of SPU’s values. Phi appreciates the lengths SPU goes to listen and connect its students and faculty members.