Fresno State is a campus full of diversity. As an HSI and AANAPISI institution, the campus prides itself on inclusion with the mission to boldly educate and empower students for success.
Dr. Soua Xiong is dedicated to just that. As an assistant professor in the department of Counselor Education and Rehabilitation, his research focuses on institutional practices that contribute to positive outcomes for historically underrepresented and underserved student populations in higher education, particularly Hmong students.
Xiong is passionate about how Fresno State and the Kremen School of Education and Human Development can further support this population. With over 1,300 Hmong students enrolled this fall, 135 in the Kremen School, Xiong has been actively engaged in efforts to advance our understanding of the experiences and needs of Hmong students at Fresno State.
He contributed to the report, “The Role of Institutional Data: A Focus on Hmong American Student Success”. The report focused on how institutional research and data can be used to better understand Hmong student experiences and outcomes at Fresno State.
Following the release of this report, Xiong moderated a panel discussion on Advancing Student Success in Their Own Words: Insights and Reflections from Hmong Students. This event was in collaboration with the Asian Pacific Islander Programs and Services of the Cross Cultural and Gender Center at Fresno State.
Hmong students are engaged in many events across campus. Just last week, Xiong moderated a discussion focused on Navigating Higher Education: The Hmong Women’s Perspective. The event was comprised of three panelists, Mai See Vang, Lisa Vang, and Pa Vang, all Hmong women enrolled in the Student Affairs and College Counseling graduate program. The event was attended by more than 40 Fresno State faculty, staff, students, and community members.
”The purpose of bringing these panels together was to provide Hmong students an opportunity to share their lived experiences, unique challenges, and recommendations on how Fresno State can better support them,” said Xiong.
It is events like these that help to amplify and elevate the voices of Hmong students so that their needs can be heard and addressed.
Along with being graduate students, the three panelists are also research assistants for the Xiong Research Group. He created a team of students to help increase research that informs how we work with Hmong students. They are currently engaged in a study to identify practices from multiple perspectives (e.g., student, staff, faculty) that have been effective in serving Hmong students. Xiong aims to use this research to build the capacity of Fresno State faculty, staff, and educators at other higher education institutions in supporting Hmong students.