The University of St. Thomas

School of Social Work

Pa Der Vang

Assistant Professor
Phone: 651-690-8647
Fax: 651-690-8821

2004 Randolph Avenue St. Paul, MN  55105

Office Location: Fontbonne Hall 204B - St. Catherine University

Courses taught in Fall 2014 at UST
GRSW 682-13
Applied Research Seminar 1920-2145 R MCH 108

4 Credit Hours

Candidates for the MSW degree must satisfactorily conduct a clinical research project, present the findings, and complete a final written and bound report. The purpose of the clinical research project is to provide the student with an opportunity to independently conceptualize a research problem, formulate a research design, implement the research, analyze the data, address ethical and cultural considerations, and disseminate the findings. The project is a logical extension of required research courses (GRSW 580 and GRSW 681) and requires application, integration, and further development of previously acquired skills and knowledge. The research must be relevant to clinical social work practice. The project must demonstrate an original and clear contribution to the body of social work knowledge in the student's selected area of focus. It should demonstrate the student's ability to integrate social work theory with research findings.

SOWK 340-02
Human Behav & Social Env 0800-0940 T R SCB 205

4 Credit Hours

The primary focus of this course is to investigate how humans interact with their social environments. This is a theory-heavy course focusing on metacognition- training students to think about the way we think. The course provides students with knowledge of theories of the social environments and how they impact, as well as are impacted by human behavior. Further, theories on human behavior are examined through the multidimensional framework constituting biological, psychological, spiritual, socio-cultural, political and economic factors. Emphasis is on the role of and interaction between these multiple factors at the level of various systems: the individual, family, small group, organization, community, and society, including political and economic systems. The course consists of five modules: interpersonal relations and empowerment; social systems, policial and economic systems; justice; and multiculturalism. The course investigates the multiple dimensions and intersections of diversity including gender, race/ethnicity, age, religion, ability, sexual orientation, nationality, and global and international perspectives. Students leave the class with a holistic understanding of the human experience within experience within the environments that surround them. Prerequisites: PSYC 202/2025; BIOL 105/106/1120 or consent of the program director. SOWK 340 is the same course as SOWK 3400C at St. Catherine University.

SOWK 355-01
Comm/Interviewing Skills 1020-1200 M W SCB 324

4 Credit Hours

This course is the first of a four-course practice sequence. The primary focus is on communication theory and skills as applied to social work with individuals, families, small groups, communities and organizations. There is an emphasis on self-awareness, beginning assessment skills and diversity issues. An integrative approach to generalist social work practice provides the context for intervention on individual, environmental and societal levels. SOWK 355/3550 is taken with SOWK 375/3750 (or 378/3780) in the fall by day students and with SOWK 3760 (or 3780) in the winter by Weekend College students. Prerequisites or concurrent registration with: SOWK 281/2810 and SOWK 340/3400 or by consent of the program director. SOWK 355 is the same course as SOWK 3550C at St. Catherine University.

Office Hours:  

Wednesdays 10:30am – 11:30am SCU, Thursdays 6:00pm-7:00pm UST, Saturday 11:30am - 12:30pm SCU, or by appointment.

Courses Taught: 

  • SOWK 3400: Human Behavior and the Social Environment
  • SOWK 355: Communication and Interviewing Skills
  • GRSW 682 : Clinical Research Project
  • SOWK 375: Junior Field in Social Work

Academic Experience: 

  • B.S., Sociology- UW-Madison
  • MSW- University of Minnesota- Twin Cities
  • Ph.D.- University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Current Research Interests:

  • Cultural transitions in refugee communities
  • Mental health in Southeast Asian communities
  • Acculturation, racism, privilege and oppression
  • Cultural competent clinical social work practice 

Practice Experience:

  • Board Member- Hmong Women Achieving Together- 2000-2008
  • Youth Crisis Worker- St. Paul Youth Services- 2000
  • Guardian Ad Litem- Ramsey County Human Services- 2001-2002
  • Group Facilitator/Counselor- Amherst H.Wilder Foundation- 2001-2002
  • Program Manager/Battered Women's Shelter Supervisor- Asian Women United 2001-2002
  • Board Member- People Incorporated- 2002-2003
  • Social Worker/Case Manager/Program Development- Amherst H.Wilder Foundation- 2002-2004
  • Adult Mental Health Crisis Social Worker- Ramsey County Human Services- 2004-2008
  • Mental Health Planning Specialist- Ramsey County Human Services- 2008
  • Group Therapist- Hmong Women Achieving Together- 2008
  • Trainer/Consultant- California Public Child Welfare Training Academy- 2009-2010

Publications and Presentations:

Lee, H.Y., Ju, E., Vang, P.D. & Lundquist, M. (2010). Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Disparity among Subgroups of Asian American Women and Latinas: Does Race/Ethnicity Matter? Journal of Women’s Health, 19(10): 1877-1884.

Vang, P.D. & Bogenschutz, M. (2011). The impact of teenage marriage on the socioeconomic status of Hmong women. Journal of International Migration.
Vang, P.D. & Bogenschutz, M. (2011). Hmong Women, Marital Factors and Mental Health Status. Journal of Social Work.

Vang, P.D. & Rooney, R. (2011). Interviewing. Oxford Bibliographies Online: Social Work. New York: Oxford University Press.

Thao, B., Vang, P., Juang, L., Meschke, L. (2011). Hmong Americans and Mental Well Being. Presented at the 2011 AAPA Convention on August 3, 2011: Washington, DC.

Vang, P.D. (2011). Examining race privilege and race oppression using a critical multicultural
framework. Presented at the 15th National Hmong Conference on April 22, 2011. MN:

Vang, P.D. (2011). The impact of teenage marriage on the mental health of Hmong Women.
Presented at the 15th National Hmong Conference on April 23, 2011. MN: Minneapolis.

Vang, P.D. & Bogenschutz, M. (2010). The Mental Health Effects of Teenage Marriage among Hmong Women. Poster presented at the 56th CSWE Annual Program on October 15, 2010. OR: Portland.

Vang, P.D. (2010). “The Socioeconomic Impact of Teenage Marriage”. Presented to the 3rd International Conference on Hmong Studies at Concordia University on April 10, 2010. MN: St. Paul.

Vang, P.D. & Bogenschutz, M. (2009). “The Socioeconomic Impact of Teenage Marriage”. Presented at the 55th CSWE Annual Program on November 8, 2009. TX: San Antonio.

Vang, P.D. (2009). “Southeast Asian Mental Health and the Self Construal.” Presented to the
CSUSB Case Management Symposium on March 20, 2009. CA: Moreno Valley.

Vang, P.D. (2008). “The Use of the Interdependent Self Construal with Southeast Asian Clients.”
Paper presented in the “The Second International Conference on Hmong Studies” on
April 12, 2008. Organized by Concordia University-Center for Hmong Studies. MN: St.

Vang P.D. Lum T.Y., Lee H., Lytle K., Shannon S., VanDeBoom T.,  (2007). "What We Know
About Southeast Asian Mental Health." Paper presented in the "Creating Partnerships to
Address the Mental Health Needs of Southeast Asians in Minnesota" conference on May
11, 2007. Organized by the University of Minnesota School of Social Work. MN: St.

Lytle K. Lum T.Y., Lee H., Vang P.D., Shannon S., VanDeBoom T.,  (2007).  "Voices of Mental
Health Service Providers." Paper presented in the "Creating Partnerships to Address the
Mental Health Needs of Southeast Asians in Minnesota" conference on May 11, 2007.
Organized by the University of Minnesota School of Social Work. MN: St. Paul.

Lee H., Lum T.Y., Vang P.D., Lytle K. VanDeBoom T., Shannon S (2007). 
"Southeast Asians in Minnesota." Paper presented in the "Creating Partnerships to
Address the Mental Health Needs of Southeast Asians in Minnesota" conference on May
11, 2007. Organized by the University of Minnesota School of Social Work. MN: St.

Vang, P.D. & Lum, Y. (2005). Southeast Asian Mental Health: Barriers to Service Utilization. 
National Council on Social Work Education: 51st Annual Program Meeting. February 27, 2005. NY: New York City.

Consultation Experience: 

  • ·      Culturally sensitive clinical social work practice
  • ·      Clinical supervision
  • ·      Cultural diversity, racism, and oppression
  • ·      Hmong culture and traditions
  • ·      Research and cultural specific resources

Association Membership & Affiliations:

  • Minnesota Board of Social Work- LICSW
  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences- LCSW

Other Activities:

  • I am an avid marathoner and half marathoner