Social Work Spotlight: Meet Student Research Assistant Luxie Vang

Luxie Vang smilingResearch Assistant Luxie Vang is new to the Social Work Warrior Alumni Family, having recently graduated in May 2020 with her MSW and a focus on leadership and community development. Since 2018 Luxie has worked at the Center for Social Work Research as a Student Research Assistant providing support to faculty and external clients with data analysis, processing and reporting, conducting literature searches, programming surveys, and transcribing narrative interviews. Luxie plans to pursue a career in research and evaluation to improve programs for families and at-risk youth.


Why did you choose to work at WSU?

I wanted to learn more about the University and the academic community and the Center was a perfect fit!


What is your favorite thing about your job?

I enjoy the learning aspect of research and the opportunity to network with other social workers.


How did your education prepare you for what you are doing today?

Wayne State equipped me with the knowledge, skills and experience needed for a career in research. I found that my peers were extremely supportive as well. Many of them helped me understand macro social work and potential careers post-graduation.


What's one of the biggest mistakes you made as a student?

Time management and overloading. During my foundation year, I overestimated my time on assignments. This led me to feel constantly stressed and anxious. I learned that assignments required more than attending class, it was a commitment that required staying up to date with readings, conducting the necessary research, collaborating with others and using critical thinking.   


How do you empower social change in your community?

I’ve helped with small community cleanups in my neighborhood to improve our public spaces and promote community health. I’m also a member of an online neighborhood hub, which helps community members connect with one another and exchange information.  


Do you have any advice for incoming students?

Write a small portion of your paper assignments every day - this will help with tight deadlines between class assignments. Learn to speedread, as well as prioritizing individual and group projects.


How can students learn more about research opportunities in the School?

The School has two Centers with faculty, staff and students dedicated to research, the Center for Social Work Research and the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice. In 2010 we developed the Social Work Student Research Community, which was specifically designed to provide opportunities for students to collaborate with faculty on current research projects, attend professional development events and have access to online resources that guide them through the research process. Students interested in learning more can self-enroll in the SWSRC Canvas site or they can contact Kendra Wells at

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