BOARD OF DIRECTORS - Camp DIRECTORS
Thầy Chánh Trí will serve as Camp Director of the 2023 Retreat of Awakening. As abbot of the Vietnamese Buddhist Temple in Roslindale, Massachusetts, Thầy is well-known for his unique teaching style that makes learning the Dharma fun and engaging, yet impactful and practical. Thầy also dedicates time to serving the larger community of Massachusetts as President of the Buddhist Association of Massachusetts and Secretary of the Vietnamese Buddhist Sangha Association of Massachusetts.
Thầy believes one should never stop learning and sharing knowledge. Thầy graduated with High Distinction Honors from the Buddhist Institute (Cử Nhân Phật Học tại Học Viện Phật Giáo Việt Nam) in Hue, Vietnam in 2005-2009. Thầy recently received his Associate Degree in Concentration Education at Bunker Hill College, MA.
One of Thầy’s favorite motto:
Phải hiểu cái mình tin
Mới tin được cái mình hiểu.
Understand what you believe
To believe what you understand.
Dr. Vinh Ngô served as Camp Director of the 2020 Retreat of Awakening. He also supports the board of Camp Metta organization. Dr. Ngô earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley along with its Haas School of Business Management of Technology program. He currently works as the director of design engineering for the semiconductor fab industry, and consults for charged particle beam and metrology systems. He attributes his lifelong learning of giving-back to dharma teachers, parents and other benefactors, including his son of 10. He practices Mindfulness to lessen ("Dr. No" drama) habit energy and to increase focus through martial arts at Berkeley UCMAP, Hapkido West, and Judo at San Jose Buddhist dojo with his son, who is a humorous and joyful reflection to learn gratitude and listening-to-the-bell with everyday.
Dr. Sung Nguyễn served as Camp Director of the 2019 Retreat of Awakening. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science for Aviation from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida; M.S. in Computer Science from the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota; and a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering at George Washington University. All of his volunteer work stems from one Vision: Create a nourishing environment for young people to unfold their potential and achieve a balanced and all-embracing lifestyle by promoting and realizing the Bodhisattvas' ideals in service, with compassion and altruism in order to build happy families and communities following the Bodhisattva philosophy. (http://www.bodhiyouth.org)
Mr. Lợi Trần served as Camp Director of the 2018 Retreat of Awakening. He graduated from Architectural Design at the University of Illinois in 1990. He launched his career in Chicago and ended up in Milwaukee. There, his journey continued with a family and his own practice, Pacific Design LLC. He retired and moved to California in 2005. He volunteered most of his life to help building temples, figuratively and physically, and establishing youth groups wherever he goes. He believes that any one person can make a change. His passion is to nurture youths in the communities to be responsible and caring individuals. Currently, he has his hands in the dirt helping build a new temple and starting a new youth group in Sacramento, CA.
Thầy Thiện Từ served as Camp Director of the 2017 Retreat of Awakening. Thầy resides at Princeton Meditation Center in Texas, under the guidance of Master Thich Minh-Dien. Thầy holds a Master Degree of Religious Studies in Tibetan Buddhism from the Naropa University. Before he moved to Southern California for school, Thầy taught Buddhism and guided meditation practices at the Correctional Facilities in Canon City, CO. Thầy also led the Evanston Center for Spiritual Wholeness and Healing (A Ministry of University Park United Methodist Church in Denver).
Thầy is currently pursuing a degree in Depth Psychology at the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, and teaches Sunday’s Dharma classes at An-Lac Mission Temple in Ventura, CA. In his spare time, Thầy enjoys hiking & meditating on the mountain tops. Thầy believes that life sometimes crucially gives people heart breaks, in which it takes you totally out of your comfort zone, so it can let more light in, and there…holds a beautiful jewel you seek within. Be Brave! Be Still! No Caving to Fear...
Ms. Nga (Nicole) Phạm served as Camp Director of the 2016 Retreat of Awakening. She holds a B.B.A. in International Business & Information Systems from the University of Oklahoma and a M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Texas at Arlington. She currently works as a Business Management Analyst at Northrop Grumman. She loves being around children, as they help keep her heart and mind forever young. She believes that everyone has potential to contribute to the greater good of society, but that potential has a shelf life. Therefore, do not put that potential on hold!
Ms. Thủy (Katie) Trương served as Camp Director of the 2015 Retreat of Awakening. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma and a M.S. in Engineering Management from The University of Texas at Arlington. She currently works as a Senior Business Analyst for NICE, an analytics company helping organizations realize the amazing possibilities through advanced speech and interaction analytics. Residing in Coppell, Texas with her husband and their daughter, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends and being involved with her youth group functions. She appreciates Master Oogway’s teaching from the Kung Fu Panda movie – “Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, but Today is a gift. That is why it’s called the Present.”
Ms. Vân Nguyễn served as Camp Director of the 2014 Retreat of Awakening. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma and a M.S. in Engineering Technology and Management from the Oklahoma State University. She currently works as a Systems Engineer at Tinker Air Force Base. She lives her life according to the motto: Life is more meaningful when we dedicate our life towards something bigger than ourselves; be a service to others. Her greatest teachers are her two sons, whom have taught her the gift of gratitude and patience.
Thầy Đạo Quảng served as Camp Director of the 2013 Retreat of Awakening. Thầy is a counselor and abbot at the Tam Bảo Meditation Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Thầy holds a B.A. in Psychology from Georgia State University, a M.Ed. in Community Counseling from Southeastern Louisiana University, and a Ph.D. in Health Psychology at Walden University. As an experienced mindfulness meditation teacher, with over 28 years of practical experiences used to enhance therapeutic relationships in an individual's life, Thầy has worked with diverse populations, including youths, elders, substance dependents, and those incarcerated.
Thầy is currently an adjunct professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and a mindfulness meditation teacher at the Journey Home Treatment Center in Denham Springs, Louisiana. Additionally, Thầy is a frequent speaker at interfaith summits with other community religious leaders and an invited lecturer at religious institutions, cross-cultural educational programs, mental health organizations, treatment centers, local universities, and youth organizations. Through his work and practice, Thầy hopes to bring people from different cultures, race, and nationalities to come together to enjoy life in Peace, Harmony, and Happiness.
Dr. Hảo Tâm (Tami) Phan is the treasurer of the Retreat of Awakening organization. She is the founder of Phanily Eyecare, PA. As a University of Houston graduate, she received her Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Optometry degrees in 1997 and 2002, respectively. She has worked in numerous ophthalmology and optometry settings, which have helped her build her own practices in Houston, Texas. Tami is a practicing yogi and a dedicated humanitarian. She headed the Vision Team with Sakya Care Foundation on three overseas missions 2015-2018.
In her spare time, she enjoys salsa dancing, spending time with her nephews and nieces, and doing arts and crafts (especially in card making, painting, and art balloon). Annually, she, her siblings and friends participate in fundraisers by making art and animal balloons at temple festivals. All proceeds from the fundraisers go directly to orphanages in Việt Nam and vision-related charities. Her secrets to “keeping a young heart”: Be silly, laugh at yourself, do not take things too seriously, and enjoy the moment.