Alumni Updates: El Salvador, Malaysia, and Laos

El Salvador (2012-13)

We are excited to announce that Henry Martinez recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from the ESEN University! Congratulations, Henry!

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Malaysia (2008-09)

Kai Shen Tang spent three months as a community liaison leader on Perhentian Island in Malaysia. His job was to teach both children and volunteers about marine life, and he spent his free time enjoying water sports like kayaking, snorkeling and diving.

Laos (2011-12)

Athit Chanthalath is in his junior year at the National University of Laos. He is currently volunteering with many organizations, one of which is the “Google Developers Group.” Here, Athit assists in organizing workshops about Google products and new technologies in various public locations so everyone can make use of these free services. Along with six other Global UGRADs, he is also a member of the College Majors Guidebook and Web project funded by the Department of State’s Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF). This project consists of collecting data about college majors and compiling it in books and on websites so that high-school students can read and decide which majors they want to pursue. Athit is also a member of the English Tutoring Club – sponsored by the Department of State – and holds study sessions for students who need help with their English skills. He was selected to participate in the Asean Youth Summit 2013 held in Manila, the Philippines sponsored by the Department of State, LEAD (Link Engage Activate Develop). At this summit, participants discussed how U.S. alumni can come together and help their communities.

Photos from Athit’s many volunteer projects:

Vanida Khouangvichit is currently volunteering with other Lao UGRAD alumni for a project funded by the Department of State under their program Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) that aims to collect data about majors taught in Lao universities and colleges in order to produce a majors guidebook and website for Lao high school students. She is also in the application phase of applying for a Fulbright scholarship and is expecting a baby in April 2014!  Viphany Sihalath is working at a mining company as a finance officer. Every Saturday she works as a private tutor teaching English for a group of sixth-graders. The company she works for offers free tuition for employees who are interested in improving their English, so she attends class three days a week after work. Viphany recently decided  to add another language to her skill set and has begun to study Japanese.

Soulivanh Rattanavong at the Electricite Du-Laos

Soudachan Pepsi is working within the Environmental Office, Electricite Du-Laos as an environmental officer. She is working on several projects aiming to generate electricity in the rural southern areas of Laos. During her free time, she is involved in the College Major Guidebook and Web AEIF project with other Global UGRAD alumni. She hopes to be accepted into a masters program for Water Management and Environmental Engineering at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria next year. Soudachan Chanthalavanh recently  worked as Finance Assistant at the Nam Theun II Power Company. She was chosen as a finalist for the McKinsey Business Model Competition within the Mekong Regional countries (season 5). This event will be held for the first time in Vientiane on March 15, 2014. After finishing her internship at Electricité Du Lao Generation Public Company Soulivanh Rattanavong continues to be excited about working in the hydro-power sector  for her country and views it as an essential part of Laos’ development. She is also an active participant for the AEIF The College Major Guidebook Project.

Christina Soukdala
Christina Soukdala at KPMG

Christina Soukdala is currently working in the Audit Department of Lao office for KPMG. She is excited to continue pursuing her own knowledge in this field and loves her job! During her spare time she volunteers with an English Tutoring program. Working as Junior Technical Staffer within the Department of Environment Quality Promotion in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Phouvong Boutsady is excited to be using his degree and previous volunteer experience in his first job after graduation. He is also interested in starting a new volunteer organization called the “Volunteer Teacher Program” with Athit Chanthalath. He understands how important volunteering is to the local communities that it impacts, and he wants to instill this in future participants in his local community.

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