about me

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My name is Thuy-vy, pronounced [twee-vee]. I was born and raised in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city), Vietnam. I started my abroad study in the United States of America when I was 15. When I first came to the US, I never thought I would go this far and stay this long in schools. Yet, thanks to all the mentors who have gone above and beyond, and questions after questions, here I am.

After I graduated with a B.A. in Cognitive Science at University of California, Irvine, I continued on to get my Master degree in Positive Psychology at Claremont Graduate University under the mentorship of Dr. Orin Davis. ┬áThen I moved on to pursue my doctorate degree at the University of Rochester, New York, studying motivation under Self-Determination Theory perspective with Drs. Edward Deci and Richard Ryan. For the most part of my research career thus far, I have been studying people’s motivation behind their excellence strivings and their solitary behaviors. I am deeply fascinated by any raw, basic human experiences such as intrinsic motivation, awe, and solitude. In particular, through my research, I hope to find a way to inspire people to own the choice we make to be best of who we are, to let go of our perfectionism that might get the best of us, to stay alone with ourselves, to be present with others, and last but not least, be authentic in our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and communication.


In my free time, I enjoy cooking. My go-to dishes are quiches and casseroles, or any crockpot creations. I was told that I made a killer chicken tikka masala (N = 1). I also love dancing (e.g., ballroom, aerial silks), taking photographs of nature, capturing candid photos of people, and doing photoshoots for my friends. The photo below is my life in a nutshell.




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