P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Thomas Sy, 1999

Associate Professor of Psychology, UC Riverside

Thomas Sy is an immigrant from Viet Nam

Fellowship awarded to support work towards a PhD in Organizational Psychology at University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Dr. Thomas Sy is an award-winning scholar, professor and consultant. He teaches and conducts research on leadership, teams, mindsets, and diversity at the Psychology Department, University of California (Riverside). He is Founder and CEO of MINDTAPP, a startup that empowers people to tap their best selves via mindset training. MINDTAPP’s science based and proprietary technology enables people to choose, control, and change their mind to improve performance and wellbeing. MINDTAPP’s vision is a future where changing minds change the world. 

He has worked with a variety of organizations, including Google, Zappos, Los Angeles County, Northrop Grumman, Ford, Johnson & Johnson, Boeing, IBM, GE, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corp Special Operations Command, and among others.  

His research has been published in a variety of outlets, including the Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Vocational Behavior, as well appearing in popular media such as National Public Radio, London Times, Washington Post, Le Monde, and among others. 

Thomas Sy was born in Vietnam, of ethnic Chinese parents and emigrated to the United States in 1979. Enlisting in the U.S. Army on his 17th birthday, Tom won awards as Distinguished Honor (Top) Graduate of the Special Forces (Green Berets), the Egyptian Arabic Language Course, and leadership advancement courses. He completed his PhD in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan. He enjoys Brazilian Jujitsu and creating abstract metal sculptures.


  • PhD Organizational Psychology | University of Michigan - Ann Arbor 2000
  • BA Psychology | University of California, Riverside 1997
  • General Education | Rio Hondo College 1995
  • General Education | East Los Angeles College 1995
Work History
  • UC Riverside, Associate Professor of Psychology
  • MindTAPP, Founder & CEO | January 2016 - PRESENT
transform="translate(188.000000, 15.000000)"