Yunju Nam.

Yunju Nam

Associate Professor

"My focus is on economic security issues for disadvantaged populations. Poverty and economic difficulties cause many other problems. For example, when you don’t have enough to eat, you are more likely to be depressed. I want to identify why some groups remain in poverty and economic hardship, how we can help them to escape that condition. I’m also working to help policymakers and service providers be more effective with these populations."

Contact Information

658 Baldy Hall
Amherst, NY 14260
Phone: 716-645-1255
Fax: 716-645-3456

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Contact Information

658 Baldy Hall, Amherst, NY 14260 (view map)
Phone: 716-645-1255; Fax: 716-645-3456


  • PhD, Social Work and Social Science, University of Michigan (2002)
  • MA, Political Science, University of Michigan (2000)
  • MSW, University of Pennsylvania (1996)
  • BA, Literature, Seoul National University (1988)

Professional/Research Interests

Social welfare policy; poverty and economic inequality; asset-building policies and programs; elderly immigrants; economic integration among immigrants and refugees


Associate Professor Yunju Nam joined the School of Social Work in 2010. Her teaching interests include social welfare policies and history, social policy analysis and evaluation and research methods and statistics.

Her research interests focus on social policies for disadvantaged populations, socioeconomic inequality and poverty and financial capability and asset-building. A 2018 project is looking at the impact of technological innovation on the labor market and disadvantaged populations.

Her scholarly interests center around poverty, economic inequality and social policy, particularly asset-building policies and programs as social and economic development tools for disadvantaged populations, including low-income families, immigrants and refugees and racial and ethnic minority groups.

Her studies have included examining the relationship between intergenerational transmission of economic resources and economic disparities. She has received grants from the federal government and private foundations. Her work has been published in diverse scholarly journals, including Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Social Service Review, Journal of Consumer Affairs, American Journal of Public Health, the Gerontologist and Social Science Research.

Nam served as principal investigator for “Barriers and Facilitators of Immigrants’ and Refugees’ Economic Integration in Western New York (WNY),” funded by the New York State Office of New Americans (subcontract with Journey's End Refugee Services, Inc.). In 2013, she earned Best Poster Award at the 20th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics in Seoul, Korea; Nam was also honored with an Excellence in Research Award from the UB School of Social Work in 2013. She is an affiliate of the Washington University Center for Social Development and UB’s Gender Institute.