I am Kieu-Linh Caroline Valverde, an Associate Professor of Asian American Studies and the Founding Director of the New Viet Nam Studies Initiative at the University of California, Davis. I received a B.A. in Political Science and a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. The creation of kieulinh.com is to allow my students, colleagues, and interested parties to have a better understanding of my scholarship and the motivations behind my work. On each page, you can find stories of my journey in academia and beyond.
Who gets to say they make a living doing what they absolutely love? Me! I am fortunate enough to claim my career is about learning. Research for me means gathering knowledge, uncovering important truths, and framing it theoretically in a way that even non-academics can understand. Essentially, my work allows me to contribute to society through text.
My unique personal history and experiences helped shape my choice of methodologies.It is influenced by my direct observations of the world around me and the ways it affects the groups I affiliate with or am close to.
I am researching for my second solo-authored manuscript, “Nation (Re)branding for Sustainability and Sovereignty,” which argues that one way to create a prosperous and sustainable nation is to have a clear image or (re)branding of the nation that the government and people support, while having this image tied directly to a national production or industry.
I espouse to the idea that research can and should extend beyond academia. My personal belief, having been trained in the tradition of Ethnic Studies, is that education for the people is by the people.
I chose the academic field knowing it would always provide me with a way to connect with students and, hence, with the future. Undergraduate and graduate students, in particular, are the backbone of all ethnic studies–based programs.
Because education is a right, and for many, a privilege, I take teaching seriously and in turn demand a great deal from my students as expressed through my rigorous curriculum. I have developed courses that will help enhance student learning and prepare them for their lives in the virtual and real worlds.
Community is possibly one of the trickiest words to define. Mainly this is because it takes on so many forms. We all come with our unique understanding of what community means to us, and how we are or are not a part of it. I have a broad view of this concept and personally accept the idea and belong to communities that are based on: ethnicity, gender, geography, and even virtual. I invite you to explore my experiences in the diverse spaces I have and continue to occupy.
With a population of 92.7 million, 70% of which are under 40 years old, and a literacy rate of 97.3 percent, Viet Nam – the fastest growing nation in Southeast Asia – has moved rapidly in international economic ranking, with the goal of becoming a ‘middle income’ nation in the next 10-20 years. The signing of international trade agreements and visits from heads of states begs the question of how increasing open trade and warming of relations with superpowers will strengthen Viet Nam’s economy while maintaining its sovereignty.
It is important we work to have many different avenues for communication, because at the end of the day, connecting people to share information is the goal. My work and ideas have been referenced in different articles and I have also appeared in multiple videos to speak about topics ranging from my heritage to the issues that I am passionate about. Click through the links to see all the things I talk about, and what people have to say about me.
As a self-proclaimed techie, I pride myself in keeping up with the latest and greatest. There are limits to my bold proclamation though, namely, I am not a trained software or hardware engineer. Still, thanks to the rapid technological advances that appear daily, I do not require training in the traditional sense at all.