Houa Vang earned her PhD in Sociology at UC Merced and has since made it her mission to raise awareness of the resources available to students to ensure their academic success.
As a Central Valley native, Vang is working closely alongside underrepresented students to explore how universities can racialize student pathways to graduate. In an interview with The Signal, she spoke about her efforts to extend these opportunities to students at Stanislaus State.
Q: Can you provide a brief history of your interest in Sociology?
A: I was actually a psychology major and I started taking sociology courses for my general education requirements. In those classes I learned so much about myself and learning to make sense of the world, that I decided to double major in psychology and sociology. I have grown to really love sociology as an undergraduate and have been able to find my own research interests and my own voice within the field.
Q: What would you like the Stan State community to know about your research and agenda?
A: Race, especially in the educational system, is my main interest, But I'm also interested in projects concerning the Hmong community and the Central Valley because I am from here. We have a big Hmong population in California and especially in the Central Valley like Fresno and Merced. My areas of interest also include minority-serving institutions, and the ethnic/racial identity of students of color.
Q: How do you like being involved with Stan State so far?
A: I plan on getting involved with more of the student clubs on campus. I want to be an advisor for the Sociology club, which provides mentoring programs for students. I would love to mentor students on research projects to help build their interest in research and realize their potential. Getting involved lets students know that I’m a source of support for them and whatever they want to do in college or even after college.
By, Mark Coggins