My Story

I am a bilingual, bicultural scholar and activist with a record of engaging scholarship. Part of my research focuses around what creates bridges between theory and lived experiences, local with the international, and the interaction between our world and  the Spirit Realm. “Đi một ngày đàng học một sàng khôn.” Loosely translated, this Vietnamese proverb means, “one day’s travel will bring you a wealth of wisdom.” My life and personal belief also mirrors the idea of this proverb, and that international exposure brings deeper understanding of  local realities.



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.


My second working monograph is a co-edited anthology with Professor Wei Ming Dariotis titled, “Fight the Tower: Asian American Women Scholars’ Road from Resistance to Renewal for Justice in the Academy.”

Study and Development

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.


Fight the Tower: Asian American Women Scholars’ Resistance and Renewal in the Academy. Kieu Linh Caroline Valverde and Wei Ming Dariotis, Editors. Forthcoming with Rutgers University Press 2019.


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Philosphy and Pedagogy

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.


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Asian American Contemporary Issues
This course explores contemporary issues facing Asian Americans and how these topics intersect with ethnicity, race, class, gender, and culture.


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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.


New Viet Nam Studies Initiative

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.


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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.


Department of Asian American Studies

3102 Hart Hall
University of California at Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616,

Phone | (530) 752-2069

Fax | (530) 752-9260