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Pak, Jenny H., Ph.D.


Jenny Pak is an Associate Professor who previously held an academic appointment at Biola University before coming to Fuller School of Psychology.  At University of California, Los Angeles she studied psychology and received training in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fuller Theological Seminary.  She graduated from University of Southern California with a doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology. 

Jenny became interested in narrative analysis through her practice with bicultural individuals struggling with identity and inner conflicts.  This led to conducting in-depth qualitative research to examine the complexity of cultural adaptation and the split between acculturation at the behavioral and values level.  As she travelled to Thailand, Turkey, and South Korea to teach and provide counseling, her efforts have been increasingly involved in examining the impact of rapid modernization and globalization on individual lives, identity, and spiritual formation.  Jenny is the recipient of the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring Students.  She has supervised many doctoral students’ research projects, including parent-child relationship and cultural values transmission, posttraumatic growth, grief and loss, and adjustment of international students.  Underpinning her broad research interests is a commitment to bridging the gap between science and practice and incorporating meaning and intentionality in psychological inquiry.  She is a licensed psychologist and the author of Korean American Women: Stories of Acculturation and Changing Selves.

Current Research Projects
Although ensemble individualism has greater worldwide presence, it is less familiar in the western world as a viable type of individualism and is often perceived as an immature, pathological, or preindividualistic state; however, in societies whose indigenous psychology emphasizes ensemble individualism, the appeal to group loyalties and responsibilities appear to continue to be effective (Sampson, 1988).  In the past several decades, many countries in Asia have undergone dramatic economic and social change.  Globalization and rapid modernization often collide with traditional cultural values and people face the pressure and challenge by adapting complex strategies and responses.   Narrative method is designed to explore how the self is shaped by cultural elements.  Because culture is saturated with narrative, a narrative is always already a cultural narrative (Parker, 1999).  By paying particular attention to the temporal, spatial and relational context, narrative analysis of life stories is used to study how personal experience and meaning are constructed from the situated complexities and cultural conflicts. 

JENNY PAK                                                                                           
Associate Professor of Psychology
BA, University of California, Los Angeles; M.A., Fuller Theological Seminary; and PhD, University of Southern California
RESEARCH INTERESTS: narrative analysis, globalization, cultural psychology, identity, vocational, and spiritual development.