Isok Kim.

Isok Kim

Associate Professor

"I believe that social work research and practice based on a trauma-informed, human rights perspective is reflected through community-based participatory research. Thus, addressing the mental health needs of the Asian American community requires that its community members are systematically involved in establishing culturally appropriate services and providing feedback for continuous improvement of services."

Contact Information

633 Baldy Hall
Amherst, NY 14260
Phone: 716-645-1252
Fax: 716-645-3456

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Contact Information

633 Baldy Hall, Amherst, NY 14260 (view map)
Phone: 716-645-1252; Fax: 716-645-3456


  • PhD, Social Work and Psychology, University of Michigan (2012)
  • MA, Psychology, University of Michigan (2008)
  • MSW, Multi-Ethnic Practice, University of Washington (2000)
  • BS, Psychology, University of Washington (1996)

Professional/Research Interests

Immigrants and refugees; refugee-related trauma; post-resettlement challenges; cultural competence/humility in interprofessional education; community-based participatory research


Associate Professor Isok Kim has been with the School of Social Work since 2012. He also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York State with doctorates in both psychology and social work from the University of Michigan. His research interests center on the effects of discrimination on acculturative process and behavioral health outcomes among Asian Americans, paralleling his pedagogical foci in theories of empowerment and immigrant and refugee behavioral health. Currently, he is working to develop community-based research with Burmese/Karen refugees in Buffalo, N.Y.

Prior to his professional career in academia, Kim served Asian Counseling and Referral Service in Seattle, Wash. as a mental health clinical case manager in the Adult Mental Health Program and a chemical dependency professional in the Substance Abuse Treatment Program. He also worked as a mental health therapist from 2004 to 2006 on the Community Outreach Treatment Team at the Monsignor Carr Institute for Catholic Charities in Buffalo, providing mental health care for primarily home-bound clients.

A member of the Counsel on Social Work Education, the American Psychological Association, and the Society for Social Work and Research, Kim also holds an MSW with a concentration on multi-ethnic practice from the University of Washington in addition an MA in Psychology from the University of Michigan, where during his doctoral program he was the recipient of a Fahs-Beck Dissertation Research Fellowship in 2011.