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College of Social Work

Faculty and Staff

Huong Nguyen, Ph.D., MSW, MA

Title: Assistant Professor
College of Social Work
Phone: 803-777-2215
Office: Hamilton 331
Resources: Curriculum Vita
Huong Nguyen


Professor Huong Nguyen joined the faculty of the College of Social Work in 2012, where she is also the Global Carolina Regional Director for Vietnam and Southeast Asia. In January 2018, Nguyen travelled with University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides to Vietnam to establish collaboration agreements with leading universities, including Vietnam National University – Hanoi, National Economics University and Foreign Trade University. The College of Social Work is helping Vietnam develop social work education and policy. Prior to joining USC, Nguyen was a research assistant professor at the San Jose State University School of Social Work.

Nguyen has served as principal or co-investigator on funded research awards for social work concerns in her native Vietnam. She is currently working on National Institute of Health (NIH)-funded research to adapt and test an Alzheimer’s family caregiver intervention in Vietnam. The aim is to strengthen low-and-middle income countries, including Vietnam, to support Alzheimer’s patients with low-cost and non-pharmacological approaches to ease the caregiver’s burden. The research will also strengthen the collaboration between U.S. and Vietnamese investigators at National Geriatric Hospital, a leading policy, training and research institution in Vietnam, as well as the Vietnam Ministry of Health. Nguyen was previously principal investigator on internally-funded research for incorporating social work into mental health care facilities, and linking Buddhism with social work services in Vietnam. She also worked with the Vietnam Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) to implement training programs on social work and social policy for veterans and vocational rehabilitation for the disabled.

Nguyen’s publications focus on the development of the social work profession in Vietnam and international social work. She recently co-authored scientific journal articles on topics including, linking social work and Buddhist temples to provide mental health services in Vietnam, developing social work for the Vietnamese aging population, and vision, mission, and core values of Vietnamese social work. Nguyen’s work has been featured in scholarly journals including, the British Journal of Social Work, International Social Work and the International Journal of Social Science Studies. She is also the author of the Unhappiness is an Asset series, a three-volume, non-fiction series about the journey of a Vietnamese woman living in America. Besides her scholarly work, Nguyen is an award-winning fiction writer in Vietnam and has published eight books.  

Nguyen earned her Master of Social Work and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. She also has a master’s degree in mass media.