Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The Diversity Center at Gustavus Adolphus College will have a new face in it this fall as Her Vang has been named Assistant Director of Multicultural Programs.
Prior to joining the administration at Gustavus, Vang was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota, where his work explored the evolution of Hmong transnational politics in Thailand and the United States after the Vietnam War. He also analyzed the intertwined relation between Hmong ethnic and transnational politics, the impact of global and regional politics on Hmong transnational politics, and the role of the Hmong diaspora in the conflict in the homeland. During 2009-10, Vang was a visiting instructor in Asian American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he taught classes such as “Hmong Experiences in the U.S.,” “Hmong American Studies,” and “Hmong American Politics in Global Context.”
“Our campus community and alumni are excited to have Dr. Her Vang join the staff here at Gustavus Adolphus College,” Director of Diversity Development and Multicultural Programs Virgil Jones said. “His background in peace studies, theology, U.S. history and work with Hmong Archives in St. Paul will be a valued addition to the Diversity Center and Office of Multicultural Programs. His hire is another step toward our continued effort to embrace diversity as an important priority at Gustavus.”
Born the year after Communists seized control of Laos, Vang spent the first four years of his life hiding and moving from place to place to escape persecution in the jungle of Laos. He then spent the next eight years in two poverty-stricken refugee camps in Thailand. In 1988, as a political refugee, he came to the United States with his parents and four siblings.
After graduating from high school in Northern California, Vang went on to earn a B.A. in sociology from Davidson College, an M.A. in theology from the Iliff School of Theology, an M.A. in Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and Ph.D. in History from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
“I’m deeply passionate about student development and firmly committed to student success, particularly the academic and professional success of low-income, educationally disadvantaged, and first-generation college students like myself,” Vang said. “I hope to be a role model and a mentor to all students at Gustavus and inspire and empower them to achieve their academic and professional goals.”
Vang’s office will be located in the Diversity Center on the lower level of the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center. Jones’ office has been relocated to the lower level of the O.J. Johnson Student Union, adjacent to The Dive.
Media Contact: Media Relations Manager Matt Thomas