I have been a faculty member in Asian American Studies and Transnational Cultural and Community Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston since 2011. The Asian American Studies program is a core program involved with the administration and implementation of University of Massachusetts Boston’s (UMB) Minority Serving Institution (MSI) status as an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI), one of only ten (10) such institutions in the country. With a doctorate in Comparative Ethnic Studies, I have been trained in both a specialization in Asian American Studies with an emphasis on Southeast Asian/Vietnamese refugee migration and community development, and to conduct comparative research with other historically under- represented and underserved populations, including African American, Latinos (Hispanic), and Native Americans, using interdisciplinary methodologies as a holistic approach to research questions. The area of specialization for which I am best known is Southeast Asian American/Vietnamese American Studies, with a focus refugee migration, resettlement, and community development from these three
countries in the United States. I approach to this area of research holistically, investigating the multiple, socio-cultural as well as political and structural factors that simultaneously create health, social, economic and political disparities of these communities of inquiry collectively and individually. I have conducted qualitative interviews, focus groups, ethnographic observations, and survey research on Vietnamese female student leadership from an AANAPISI-designated grant of the Department of Education, Vietnamese Sheltered English Immersion and Community-Based Participatory Research through the UMB Office of Community Partnerships with funding from the Massachusetts Department of Education, and clinical trials on Vietnamese cancer prevention and health disparities as a Research Associate at the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, including Reducing Disparities in Colorectal Cancer Screening in Vietnamese Americans (1R01CA132660-01).
As a bilingual/bicultural Vietnamese refugee, and an ethnic and gender minority researcher, I hope to create research opportunities that empower future minority student researchers and studies that support advocacy for more effective policy that reduces disparities in under-represented and underserved populations. I have served as a faculty mentor to generations of Vietnamese, Laotian, Hmong, and Cambodian undergraduate students on research projects in my Vietnamese American, Southeast Asian migration, and Asian American Studies classes, and through the UMass Boston Provost’s Undergraduate Research initiatives. I also have had extensive mentoring experience serving on the Board of Directors of Southeast Asian young women’s organizations, a Vietnamese at-risk youth program, and as an advisor to the Southeast Asian Student Coalition (UC Berkeley) and Vietnamese Student Association (UMass Boston). Currently, I sit on the Governor’s Advisory Council for the Massachusetts Office of Refugee and Immigrants and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Asian American Commission.