Natasha (Quynh Nhu) Bui La Frinere-Sandoval is a PhD student at The University of Texas at Austin, Steve Hicks School of Social Work. She completed her Bachelor of Sociology at Vietnam National University (VNU), Hanoi, and was subsequently recruited to work as a junior instructor and a research affiliate in the department of Sociology. In this role, she taught the foundational Sociology courses and participated in research projects with faculty. Within 3 years, Natasha became a scholarship recipient from the Ministry of Education of Vietnam. This prestigious scholarship enabled her to pursue her Master of Social Work from San Jose State University. After her graduate studies, Natasha returned as an instructor to VNU Hanoi, where she accrued additional international research and teaching experience.
Natasha’s research is informed by her experience working as a consultant for Marie Stopes International in Vietnam where she was involved in a photovoice participatory research project related to health and reproductive health outcomes of young rural migrants. She expanded her health research experience on a project with private NGOs in Vietnam to conduct field-based sociological research on HIV/AIDS prevention for disadvantaged youth.
Later, Natasha worked as a research consultant of a multi-year research project through San Jose State University entitled “Vicarious trauma and its impact on well-being among family caregivers of person with mental illness: “A comparative exploration of self-care practices among Asians and Caucasians.” Through a thematic analysis approach, Natasha’s research contributed to the exploration of complex culture-laden concepts about mental illness and their impact on Vietnamese immigrant caregivers. These findings enabled her to first-author an article that was presented at SSWR and published in the journal of Transcultural Psychiatry.
Natasha is currently working with professors Yolanda Padilla and Diana DiNitto. Her research focuses on increasing access to general health care and mental health services, enhancing the effectiveness of care, and reducing health disparities across ethnic minority groups. She seeks to examine research evidence to inform and improve health care practice and policy tailored to the specialized needs of vulnerable ethnic minorities domestically and internationally.
Racial and ethnic disparities in health and mental health care; culturally competent services and service delivery for ethnic minorities; migration and immigration; international social work.