Chansophal Mak

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Human Development and Family Science

PhD Candidate & Teaching Assistant

Education

Degree Field of Study Institution Graduation
PhD Human Development and Family Science with Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy University of Georgia 2023
Master of Arts Educational Guidance and Counseling De La Salle University 2014
Bachelor of Education English Literature Royal University of Phnom Penh 2008
Bachelor of Science Agronomy Science Royal University of Agriculture 2008

Research

Traumatic Stress/Intergenerational Transmission of Traumatic Stress and Global Mental Health
Displaced Populations and Multi-level interventions (i.e., individual-, family-, community-based)
Qualitative Methodology & Feasibility Study Design
Cultural Adatation of Multi-level Clinical Interventions for Trauma-Affect Refugee Populations

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

Conducting “Mental health and relational needs assessment among Cambodian refugee families in the United States: An ecological perspective” for a Doctoral Dissertation (Spring 2022-Present): University of Georgia, Georgia, USA       

Primary responsibilities were to propose the study to get approval from the academic committee, apply for IRB, contact key informants who are serving Cambodian refugee families across the United States, conduct in-depth ethnographic interviews with key informants who consented to participate, transcribe and analyze the interview data in their original languages (Khmer and English), have ongoing consultation with academic advisor to enhance trustworthiness of data analysis, write results and discussion as well as clinical implications for future research, produce manuscripts for publication, and continuously apply for funding to further develop clinical trial studies and programs in response to the needs of Cambodian refugee families in the United States. 

Conducting “Intergenerational transmission of traumatic stress and resilience among Cambodian immigrant families along coastline in Alabama: Collective narratives through genogram” for a Second Year Research Project (Fall 2018-Spring 2020): University of Georgia, Georgia, USA       

Primary responsibilities were to propose the study to get approval from the academic committee, apply for IRB, search for research funding, contact community leaders who are serving Cambodian families along coastline in Alabama, conduct in-depth ethnographic interviews with Cambodian families (across three generations) who consented to participate, transcribe and analyze the interview data in their original languages (Khmer and English), have ongoing consultation with academic advisor to enhance trustworthiness of data analysis, write results and discussion as well as clinical implications for future research, produce a manuscript for publication, and continuously send abstracts for presentations at national and international conferences.                                                                                                                 

Graduate Research Assistant (2018-2021): University of Georgia, Georgia, USA         

Project: Community and Family Resilience, Strength, and Vulnerabilities: Sociocultural Influences on Cambodian and Laotian Refugee Communities’ Responses to Environmental Challenges Research assistant for Dr. Denise Lewis and Dr. Desiree Seponski (NAS #200008280)                                                                                                   

Primary responsibilities were to conduct in-depth interviews with Cambodian and Laotian community members, conduct prolonged ethnographic and observational field notes in the community, transcribe and analyze interview data in their original languages (Khmer and English), write and submit abstracts for national and international conferences, present findings at national and international conferences, and prepare manuscripts for publication. Presentations and manuscripts were related to social inequality, disaster preparedness, mental health, intergenerational family relationships, and health seeking behaviors.

Teaching

Graduate Teaching Assistant: University of Georgia, Georgia, USA                                           

  1. Fall 2022_Development within Family
  2. Summer 2022_Child Development &  Human Development across Lifespan
  3. Spring 2022_Research Methods in Human Development and Families
  4. Fall 2021_Human Sexuality across Lifespan
  5. Summer 2021_Development within Family

Co-Instructor: University of Georgia, Georgia, USA

  1. Summer 2021_Introduction to Child Development

Lecturer, Master Program, Department of Psychology, Royal University of Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh,Cambodia

  1. 2017-2018_Foundation of Counseling
  2. 2016-2018_Supportive Seminar for graduate students
  3. 2016-2017_Group Counseling

Instructor, Pannasastra University of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

  1. 2014-2018_English Instructor at Pannasastra University of Cambodia
  2. 2010-2011_English Instructor at Pannasastra University of Cambodia
  3. 2009-2010_English Instructor at Australian Center for Education-Cambodia

Awards

Award Name Awarded By Year Awarded
Virginia Wilbanks Kilgore Scholarship of $1000 College of Family and Consumer Science 2022
Graduate Education Advancement Board Fellowship of $2,500 Graduate School of University of Georgia 2022
Price-Coker Excellence in Research Awards of $2,100 College of Family and Consumer Science 2022
Degree Acceleration Awards of $4,800 Graduate School of University of Georgia 2021
Virginia Wilbanks Kilgore Scholarship of $800 College of Family and Consumer Science 2021
Virginia Wilbanks Kilgore Scholarship of $1,100 College of Family and Consumer Science 2020
Summer Research Award of $5,000 Cambodian and Laotian Strength and Resilience Project 2019
OSF Alumni Internship Funding of $5,000 Ragamuffin International/Cambodia 2014-2015
Master of Arts in Educational Guidance and Counselling of $35,000 Open Society Foundation 2011-2014
Bachelor of Science in Agronomy Royal Government of Cambodia 2004-2008

Service

Organization Title Year(s) Service Type
Project Family, LLC Marriage and Family Therapy Service Provider 2021-Present Therapy
Aspire Clinic at McPaul Center, UGA Marriage and Family Therapy Service Provider 2018-2021 Therapy

Outreach

Sophal offered group consultations to freshmen students at Royal University of Phnom Penh, who are from the rural areas of Cambodia with the purpose to support those students in their adjustment to college and life in the city far away from their families. Sophal's group consultation's topics were "Life seeds" and "Beautiful Me Fighting Stress Monster".

Advisory Committee

Major Professor: Dr. Elizabeth Wieling

Committee Member: Dr. J. Maria Bermudez

Committee Member: Dr. Jennifer L. Gonyea

External Committee Member: Dr. Chhuon Vichet (College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota)

Areas of Expertise

Sophal is passionated about exploring intergenerational family relationships, and identifying how these relationships affect the individuals and their relationships with others across their lifespan. Sophal is also interested in interrupting intergenerational transmission of traumatic stress among war-affected displaced populations through cultural adaptation of multi-level evidence-base interventions such as individual-based, family-based (e.g., parenting), and community-based interventions. 

Prior Professional Positions

Organization / Department Title Years of Service
Child Help Line Cambodia External Relief Counselling Supervisor 2016-2018
CamEd Business School Counselling Psychologist 2016-2018
Department of Psychology, Royal University of Phnom Penh Co-lecturer 2016-2018
Consultation and Advising Services, Royal University of Phnom Penh Student Consultant 2015-2017
Cambodian Children Fund External Consultant 2015-2016
Khmer Counselling Psychology Services Counselling Psychologist 2015-2018
Department of Psychology, Royal University of Phnom Penh Translator in Psychology Dictionary Project 2014-2018
Pannasastra University of Cambodian English Instructor 2014-2018
THLA Translation Services Freelance Translator 2010-2018
Open Society Foundation Summer School Program, Chiang Mai, Thailand Program Assistant Jul-Aug, 2015
Ragamuffin Cambodia/International Translator & Co-therapist 2014-2018

Current Classes

SUMMER 2022

1. HDFS 9010: Internship in hdfs

2. HDFS 9000: Doctoral Research

3. HDFS 9500: Doctoral Graduate Student Seminar

4. HDFS 9300: Doctoral Dissertation

FALL 2022

1. HDFS 9010: Internship in hdfs

2. HDFS 9000: Doctoral Research

3. HDFS 9500: Doctoral Graduate Student Seminar

4. HDFS 9300: Doctoral Dissertation

Current Research

Manuscripts in Preparation:

1. Mak, C. Tailoring narrative therapy for war-affected refugee families in healing intergenerational relationships. 

2. Mak, C. & Wieling, E. Tailoring education for newly resettled refugee children and youth: A lesson learned from failing to support Cambodian refugee youth in the United States.

3. Mak, C. A Wish for higher education and its barriers: A collective narrative among Cambodian health and mental health service providers across the United State.

4. Mak, C., Wieling, E., Chhuon, V., Bermudez, J. M., Gonyea, J. Mental health and relational needs assessment among Cambodian refugee families in the United States: An ecological perspective.

Job Description

Sophal's scholarship is in traumatic stress, multi-level interventions to address traumatic stress & resilience building, and interupting intergenerational transmission of traumatic stress among war-affected and displaced refugees. Sophal is conducting "Mental Health and Relational Needs Assessment Among Cambodian Refugee Families in the United States: An Ecological Perspective" for her doctoral dissertation. Sophal is also looking for more opportunities to expand her research scholarship.

Publications

Mak, C., & Wieling, E. (2022). A systematic review of evidence-based family interventions for trauma-affected refugees. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health19(15), 9361. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159361

Mak, C., Lewis, D. C., & Seponski, D. M. (2021). Intergenerational transmission of traumatic stress and  among Cambodian immigrant families along coastal Alabama: Family narratives. Journal of Health Equity,5(1). p.1-8. https://doi.org/10.1089/heq.2020.0142

Mak, C.& Ouano, J. (2017). Stress appraisals and coping strategies of Cambodian dual-degree students: A Moderating role of achievement emotions. Philippines Journal of Counseling Psychology,19(1). p.39-50.

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