Faculty & Staff

Karen Suyemoto, PhD

Professor of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts
Graduate Director of the Transnational Cultural and Community Studies Program, College of Liberal Arts; Faculty in Asian American Studies, School of Global Inclusion and Social Development


photo of Karen Suyemoto

Areas of Expertise

Clinical Psychology; Asian American Studies; Mental health and identity in Asian Americans; Empowerment and resisting racism; Community and educational initiatives for social justice


PhD, University of Massachusetts

Professional Publications & Contributions

Additional Information

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Dr. Suyemoto has a joint appointment with Psychology and Asian American Studies and is the Director of the new Transnational Cultural and Community Studies graduate program.  Her research interests focus generally on Asian American psychology and issues related to social justice and anti-racist therapy/ practice/education. Her research addresses fostering awareness and advocacy for social justice through: examining relations of race and racism to mental health; investigating effects of resistance and coping with racism; and exploring the complexity of relative and ascribed power and intersectional discrimination.  Additional research addresses how cultural responsiveness and racial social justice can be developed through and integrated into education, training, research methods, and practice. Her current research projects include a quantitative study examining examines the effects of racism for people of color and how taking action to resist or challenge racism personally or systemically may moderate the negative psychological effects of experiencing racism and an intervention project in collaborative development for workshops to address racism related stress for people of color. Dr. Suyemoto is the Past President of the Asian American Psychological Association and currently serves as the AAPA delegate to the American Psychological Association Council of Representatives. In 2013, she was recognized as a White House Champion of Change: Asian American Pacific Islander Woman Leader and was also awarded the Asian American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Contributions Award.


Undergraduate: Asian American Psychology; Introduction to Asian American Studies; Multiracial Experiences; Race, Culture, and Relationships, Multicultural Counseling, Asian American Community Internships. 

Graduate: Culture and Mental Health; Social Construction of Self and Identities; Qualitative Methods