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Wooksoo Kim

Associate Professor of Social Work
University at Buffalo School of Social Work


Immigration; refugee resettlement, acculturation; social determinants of health of Asian immigrants; community-based participatory research

Portrait of Wooksoo Kim, University at Buffalo immigration and refugee resettlement expert.

A social work researcher, Wooksoo Kim aims to improve the well-being of immigrant and refugee populations in the U.S. She uses a community-based participatory research approach to gain a deeper understanding of these populations' needs and design culturally responsive interventions to address those needs.

Kim co-founded the Immigrant and Refugee Research Institute (IRRI) at UB in 2014 and has served as its director since 2017. Through the institute, Kim has developed a network of researchers who are committed to creating and disseminating practical knowledge to improve the lives of immigrants and refugees. Kim prioritizes mutually beneficial collaborations between university-based academic researchers and immigrant and refugee communities in her work.

Also, In addition to her research, Kim also brings a community-focused approach to her teaching.’s research and teaching interests are integrated with a focus on communities. From her earlier research to her current research focus, her research topics are centered around communities that social workers serve. She uses a service-learning model, allowing her students to gain hands-on experienceIn her teaching, for example, she utilizes a service-learning model, where students can learn  in research methods while providing much-needed program evaluations to local social work service programs and agencies.

Kim’s earlier work has exploredexamined a range of issues impacting Asian immigrants, such as mental health, alcohol use and gambling. More recently, she conducted a series of surveys focusing on needs of refugee populations in Western New York. Based on the results, she is exploring interventions that use technologies like virtual reality and artificial intelligence to address many challenges that faced by refugee populations face and provide opportunities for them to learn such technologies to improve their lives in their new home. 


Kim can respond to interview requests in English and Korean.


Wooksoo Kim, PhD
Associate Professor of Social Work
Director of the Immigrant and Refugee Research Institute
University at Buffalo School of Social Work