Hye-Kyung Kang to Lead MSW program

Written by Bruce Decker
August 26, 2015

Hye-Kyung Kang, MSW, PhD, has been named director of the Master of Social Work program. Kang, who received her MSW and PhD from the University of Washington, focuses her research and teaching on social work practice, community organizing and mobilization in immigrant communities and communities of color, cultural citizenship, and critical pedagogy.

"Professor Kang has been recognized as a leader in the field of community-based clinical social work education and practice," said Professor Mary Kay Brennan, Social Work department director. "Her focus on community capacity building and university- community partnerships is a perfect fit for the vision of SU's Jesuit inspired clinical MSW."

Kang will bring her expertise in teaching and training clinicians who understand the fundamental interconnection between a person and their environment. As described by Kang, clinical social work at its most basic level focuses on interactions between personal struggles, environmental problems, and societal oppression and inequalities to be remediated.

Kang comes to Seattle from Smith College where, in addition to her teaching and research, she was a pro bono psychotherapist at Elms College Student Counseling Center. Previously, she was a clinician at Asian Counseling and Referral Services in Seattle. Her recent publications include "We're who we've been waiting for: Intergenerational community organizing for a healthy community," Journal of Community Practice, "Effects of racial discrimination, childhood trauma, and trauma symptoms on juvenile delinquency in African American incarcerated youth," with D.B. Burton, Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, and "Pedagogy and diversity: Enrichment and support for social work instructors engaged in social justice education," with A.M. Garran, and E. Fraser, Journal of Teaching in Social Work.

The Master of Social Work program offers two degree options. A 2-Year MSW, which includes 1120 field practicum hours and an Advanced Standing MSW degree designed for individuals who have a Bachelor in Social Work (BSW) from an accredited program.

The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college in Seattle University, offers more than 80 undergraduate degrees and 7 master's degrees.