Alumna Tiffany Sithiphone (BS ISE ’15) proudly represents the Big Orange spirit every day as she navigates life in the Big Peach of Atlanta.
“I am and will always be a Tennessee girl, but I must say I absolutely love living in Atlanta,” she said. “It’s a perfect mix of city vibes with a Southern lifestyle. Atlanta is incredibly diverse in both people and culture, and there is truly something for everyone here.”
Sithiphone enjoys Atlanta’s famous restaurant scene, especially her favorite, Snackboxe Bistro.
“I am a first-generation Laotian American and an Atlanta transplant, and this Lao street food restaurant makes me feel right at home,” she said. “I also enjoy going to festivals, exploring new attractions in the city, and going to Hawks games. Whether you are a foodie, enjoy the arts and entertainment scene, or a big sports fan, Atlanta has you covered.”
Sithiphone takes her diversity ambassadorship seriously at her job with sports media outlet Bleacher Report and through her role on the board of the Atlanta chapter of the National Association of Asian American Professionals. The NAAAP newsletter recognized her earlier this year as an inspiring AAPI leader, and in 2020 she was selected NAAAP Leader of the Year out of hundreds of leaders from the organization’s 25 chapters across the country.
“It was a huge honor to be named an inspiring AAPI leader,” she said. “While it is extremely meaningful to receive recognition for the work I have done, the most gratifying feeling is knowing that I am positively impacting and serving the Asian and Pacific Islander community here in Atlanta.”
She stays motivated by the work NAAAP Atlanta does throughout the community, which inspires her to serve in other areas.
“At Bleacher Report, I am actively involved in my department’s diversity and inclusion committee as well as serving as a co-chair for our Women of Sports affinity group,” said Sithiphone.
She also serves as the NAAAP Atlanta director of special events, planning and executing events like the annual Chopstix for Charity fundraising gala, which generates funds to support small nonprofit organizations that promote cultural awareness, education, or social services for Atlanta’s Asian American community.
Sithiphone still finds time to give back to the UT community through involvement with the Tickle College of Engineering ASA Advisory Board for Women in Engineering.
“UT helped shape me into the professional and leader I am today,” she said. “My goal is to give back to the university by helping to recruit, retain, and graduate the next generation of women engineers.”
She hopes to create a space where women and underrepresented students feel a sense of empowerment and belonging in the classroom.
I want to light a pathway and pass the torch on to the next generation behind me and show them that the possibilities are endless with a UT engineering degree.”
Sithiphone has served in regional and national leadership positions with the National Society of Black Engineers, including a term as the 2021 National Convention Planning Committee Chair. In this role, she led the planning team for the 47th annual NSBE convention, held virtually in April.
“NSBE was a big part of my college experience, and I am still in touch with fellow NSBE–UTK alumni,” she said. “Earlier this year I had an opportunity to sit on a panel with other alumni and talk to current TCE students about our undergraduate experiences. We were still able to recount memories together like it was yesterday.”
Sithiphone was also active in the Zeta Delta chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and in Minority Enhancement for UT (ME4UT).
“UT truly instilled the Volunteer spirit in me,” she said. “In addition to my rigorous engineering course load, I balanced volunteering and leadership because my involvement with these organizations gave me a sense of purpose and helped me discover my passion for equity and inclusion.”
Undoubtedly, Sithiphone walks the walk as she shares her Volunteer energy near and far.