Asian and Asian American Studies Welcomes New Faculty Member

September 13, 2021

A decade after beginning her master’s program at CSULB, Sophea Seng is returning to campus this fall to join the faculty in  the Asian and Asian American studies department. 

Seng, a first-generation student, got her bachelor’s degree in linguistics and Italian language at UC Santa Cruz. After graduating, she taught in Fukushima as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching program before starting a master’s program at CSULB in Asian American studies.

She is currently completing her doctorate in anthropology and master’s in South Eastern Asian studies at UC Riverside. She won an Outstanding Teacher Award in 2018, an honor determined by the vote of students. 

Seng is excited to return to Long Beach because the city has the largest Cambodian diaspora outside of Southeast Asia. While she was studying for her master’s at CSULB, Seng built relationships with various members of the community and taught English to senior citizens studying for their citizenship test.

“I’m really excited to be able to be back at Long Beach and also to be able to continue to build those bridges and create opportunities for students,” Seng says.

From 2019 to 2020, Seng was a Fulbright scholar in Italy. She conducted research at the only Cambodian Buddhist temple in Italy, bringing together her studies of the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Unfortunately, the fellowship was cut short by the pandemic.

Seng, whose expertise is in Cambodian diaspora, South East Asian studies and critical refugee studies, hopes to bring her international experiences, as well as her life experiences, to the students of CSULB.