Malina Her, HDFS Faculty Spotlight, October 2023

Malina HerMalina Her is part of the CLAS Research and Teaching Scholars 2023 incoming cohort. Prior to her arrival at UConn, she completed her doctorate in Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests are in situating families within the context of culture and learning how families navigate transitions. She is particularly interested in how divorce impacts parenting practices, relationships, and dynamics within immigrant and refugee groups. Through her work she aims to center the voices of marginalized individuals and document the experiences of those often left out in research and history. She is a proud Hmong American, a Southeast Asian refugee group that has been in the US for about 50 years.

During her time at the University of Minnesota, Malina collaborated and worked closely with the local Hmong community to develop and launch the Divorced Hmong Parents Project (DHPP). Minnesota has a thriving immigrant population that allowed her to coordinate and collaborate with other Hmong scholars and members to develop this project. To her knowledge, this is one of the first times in written history that the stories of Hmong parents and their experiences with divorce, parenting, and navigating the US culture has been collected. Through this project and continued conversations with Hmong community members in Minnesota, Malina’s research program led her to seek how to adapt and evaluate resources targeting immigrant and refugee families. Now at UConn, she aims to continue this work by working closely with Dr. Beth Russell, the Director of the Center for Applied Research in Human Development (CARHD) in learning how to evaluate community-based programs.

Outside of work, Malina enjoys reading (particularly sci-fi and fantasy novels), spending time with her partner and family, visiting new restaurants, and cooking.

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