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About Pa Der Vang, PhD, MSW, LICSW

I am currently serving as the Endowed Mission Chair for the Liberal Arts. In this role, I am focused on promoting the liberal arts at St. Kates through professional development, community engagement, and student engagement.

My teaching centers on the use of theory in generalist social work practice with an emphasis on social justice and empowerment. My research is on the experience of Hmong American immigrants and the acculturation process, especially Hmong Women. I am the editor of Staring Down the Tiger: Stories of Hmong American Women published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2020. I am co-author of Direct Social Practice, 11th Edition. Published by Cengage Publishers in January 2022.

I enjoy teaching Generalist Practice with Small Systems. Students love learning about using different models of practice in an eclectic approach to social work practice. Some of my favorite practice models are cognitive behavioral approach, narrative, and solution focused approaches. Systems theory serves as a foundation for social work practice and can be seen in how social workers use a holistic approach to their practice.

My Committee Service includes:

Standing Committees
  • President’s Cabinet
  • Education Committee for Board of Trustees
  • President’s Advisory Committee for Inclusive Excellence
  • Judith Gorman Krieger Scholarship Committee
BIPOC Faculty and Staff Group

I developed the Critical Hmong Studies Minor at St. Kates and currently serve as the coordinator. I teach the Critical Hmong Studies course every fall.


2019 - Present Mission Chair for the Liberal Arts; Director of the Neufeld Initiative, St. Catherine University Mission
Present Associate Professor, Social Work, St. Catherine University Social Work Department

Curriculum Vitae


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Professional Service and Affiliations

2020 - Present Vice Chair- Minnesota Board of Social Work, Minnesota Board of Social Work
2020 - Present Certified Telehealth Provider, PESI
2019 - Present Co Chair, President's Advisory Committee on Inclusive Excellence
2018 - Present Board Member, Minnesota Board of Social Work
2017 - Present Co Chair, BIPOC Faculty and Staff Group
2017 - Present Faculty Senator, St. Catherine University
2015 - Present Reviewer, Judith Gorman Krieger Scholarship Committee
2015 - Present Co Founder, Member- Minnesota Hmong Social Workers' Coalition, St. Catherine University Henrietta Schmoll School of Health
2006 - Present Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW), Minnesota Board of Social Work
2021 - 2022 Faculty President Elect, St. Catherine University
2013 - 2017 University Faculty Tenure and Promotion Committee, St. Catherine University
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  • CORE 3990 Global Search For Justice: Dismantling Racism
  • CRST 2250 Critical Hmong Studies
  • SOWK 3850 Groupwork Skills
  • SOWK 4010 Generalist Practice with Small Systems
  • SOWK 3550 Communication and Interviewing


2007 Ph.D., University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota ‐ Social Work
2003 University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota ‐ Master of Social Work, Social Work
2000 BA, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin ‐ Sociology

Contact Information

Phone: 651-690-8647


Hmong women (1)

Publications (13)

Social Work (1)