University of Wisconsin–Madison

Research highlights HMoob American college students’ experiences in spaces of belonging and exclusion

Paj Ntaub event a major success!

There is apparently a lot of interest on the campus of UW-Madison and in the Madison community in the factors that influence HMoob American College experiences. The Pab Ntaub Research Team presented its research findings on February 1st to a packed audience in the The Wisconsin Idea Room.

The student-led Paj Ntaub Research Team presented its research methods, findings, and recommendations based on the research. Afterwards, we received feedback on our research from our discussants, UW-Madison Professors Stacey Lee of the Department of Education Policy Studies and Cindy I-Fen Cheng of the Department of History. There was also time to receive feedback and field questions from our audience.

Spaces of Belonging and Exclusion on Campus

One of the main take home points based on our sample of interviews was that HMoob American college students’ experiences are influenced by what they characterized as spaces of belonging and exclusion on campus. This quote is from Tyler, a HMoob American college student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a participant in our research study, illustrates a common pattern of feeling excluded from campus:

“White people have a place all over this campus … [but] I don’t think [UW] Madison is welcoming to any student of color… Do we have welcoming spaces? Yes. Welcoming people? Yes. But as a whole? No.”

And this map below of UW-Madison’s campus highlights the places from which HMoob American college students stated that they felt unwelcome and excluded. Participants reported feeling unwelcome in certain schools, buildings, and professional student organizations, many of which are viewed as emblematic to the “Badger Experience.” In contrast, the spaces participants stated they felt most welcome were student support programs, race-specific student organizations, and HMoob specific classes.  

The experiences of the HMoob American college students’ that participated in our study are influenced by how campus is organized into spaces of belonging and exclusion, and we argue that this geography of campus has consequences for students’ well-being, career development, and educational attainment. 

A full description of are research methods and findings can be found in our brief report from the study and journalists are encouraged to review our press release.  

News Coverage of Our HMoob American College Paj Ntaub

The UW-Madison student newspaper The Badger Herald covered the event, and Channel 3000 did a story on the event for the News at 6.

Moving Forward

The Paj Ntaub Research Team has been invited to share our findings in an OpEd for a forthcoming issue of The Hechinger Report and we are planing an academic article on how HMoob American student experience institutional invisibility on campus. We are also slated to present our findings at this April at the Annual Meetings of Association for Asian American Studies, at UW-Madison. So stay tuned for our future publications!

The CCWT Paj Ntaub research team is comprised of Lena Lee, Pangzoo Lee, Myxee Thao, Kia Vang, Odyssey Xiong, Pa Kou Xiong, Pheechai Xiong, and their research mentors, Bailey Smolarek, Matthew Wolfgram, and Choua Xiong. The CCWT is supported by the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and the School of Education at UW-Madison. 

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