Zoua M. VangMeta Schroeder Beckner Outreach Professor | Professor of Civil Society & Community Studiesshe/her/hers

My interdisciplinary scholarship lies at the intersection of sociology, epidemiology, and medicine. My research portfolio includes (i) maternal and child health, (ii) international migration (including the healthy immigrant effect), (iii) Indigenous health, (iv) racism and discrimination as social determinants of wellness, (v) community-based approaches to health equity, and (vi) cultural safety. I examine these issues in collaboration with underserved and marginalized populations such as immigrants/refugees, Indigenous peoples, and racial/ethnic minorities in Canada and the United States. Trained as a mixed-method researcher, I employ both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and community-based participatory research (CBPR) approaches in my projects.

At the School of Human Ecology, I direct the Maternal Child Health Equity & Safety (MatCHES) Lab. The lab’s core activities include research, knowledge transfer, and community outreach. As a training platform, the MatCHES Lab provides hands-on experience for undergraduate and graduate students interested in applying CBPR to co-create community-based interventions and solutions to pressing health (in)equity and healthcare issues affecting underserved and marginalized communities locally and globally. The Lab also supports knowledge transfer activities such as cultural safety and anti-racism workshops for healthcare professionals, hospital administrators, and knowledge exchanges in decolonizing models of maternity care. Students interested in working or volunteering in the MatCHES Lab should contact me directly for further information.

Selected Publications

Vang Z. M., & Ng E. (2023). The impacts of COVID-19 on immigrants and the healthy immigrant effect: Reflections from Canada. Preventive Medicine, 171, 107501.

Silver H., Tukalak S., Sarmiento I, Budgell R., Cockcroft A., Vang Z. M., & Andersson N. (2023). Giving birth in a good way when it must take place away from home: Participatory research into visions of Inuit families and their Montreal-based medical providers. Birth, 00, 1-8.

Ramadan M., Qamar H., Yang S., & Vang Z. M. (2023). Fifty years of evidence on perinatal experience among refugee and asylum-seeking women in OECD countries: A scoping review. Forthcoming at PLoS One.

Vang Z. M., Chau S., Kobayashi K., Owen M.J., McKenzie-Sampson S., Mayrand-Thibert J., & Brass, G. (2021). Pain and functional limitations among midlife and older Canadians: The role of discrimination, race and sense of belonging. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences, Advanced access.

Vang Z. M., Gagnon R., Lee T., Jiménez V., Navickas A., Pelletier J., & Shenker H. (2018). Interactions between Indigenous women awaiting childbirth away from home and their southern, non-Indigenous healthcare providers. Qualitative Health Research, 28(12), 1858–1870.

For a full list of publications, see Vang’s CV.

Asian woman with shoulder-length brown hair, blue neck scarf and jacket, smiling.


  • Civil Society & Community Studies

Degree Program

  • PhD Human Ecology: Civil Society & Community Research



  • PhD, Sociology, Harvard University


Office: 4145 Nancy Nicholas Hall

Phone: 608-890-0221