Rita Chi-Ying Chung
Professor of Counseling and Development
George Mason University
Rita Chi-Ying Chung is a Professor of Counseling and Development in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University, where she has taught since 2000.
Dr. Chung arrived in the U.S. from New Zealand in 1990 for an overseas postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles. She was the project director for the first United States national study examining mental health issues of Chinese Americans through a $1.5 million grant awarded by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Dr. Chung was the organizer for the first Southeast Asian Re-Education Camp Detainee and Torture Survivors’ Conference which was funded by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement and NIMH.
Dr. Chung has co-authored two books, one on refugee mental health and the other on social justice counseling. She has contributed over 80 publications to professional journals and book chapters in major psychology and counseling textbooks. Her research focuses on multicultural, cross-cultural, and social justice issues in counseling, the psychological impact of racism, immigrant and refugee psychosocial adjustment and adaptation, the interrelationship of academic achievement and psychological stress on students of color, and interethnic race relationships. Her recent research is on psychosocial issues in child trafficking. Her work on trafficking of Asian girls into commercial sex work led to an invitation by the United Nations to present on this topic.
Dr. Chung is also involved with the Counselors Without Borders organization and has co-led and co-supervised teams and groups of students working along the Mississippi Gulf coast three months after Hurricane Katrina, and on American Indian reservations and in Latino migrant communities after the San Diego wildfires. She has also performed international post-disaster consultation and training in Thailand after the tsunami, in Burma after Cyclone Nargis, and in Haiti after the earthquake. Dr. Chung has worked throughout the United States as well as in Asia, the Pacific Rim region, the U.K., Europe, and South America.
Dr. Chung has received numerous awards for her work and was the recent recipient of the American Counseling Association Kitty Cole Human Rights Award.
"Instead of conducting Western group counseling with survivors of rape and sexual abuse, I introduced cooking classes, knowing the importance and symbolism of food in Asian cultures. As we all prepared the food, the conversation would start with light talking and laughter and evolve into tears and the sharing of painful experiences."