Dr. Sothy Eng

Room B309
Research Interests: 
Comparative Education
Education and Human Services
International Education
Multicultural Issues


    Dr. Eng was born and raised in Cambodia. After completing his B.A. in Psychology in 2002 at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, he completed his M.S. (2005) and Ph.D. (2009) in Human Development and Family Studies at Texas Tech University. In 2010, Dr. Eng completed on a one year Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) at California Center for Population Research. In Fall 2011, Dr. Eng joined Lehigh's CIE. 

    Dr. Eng’s research focuses on the role of educational constructs and sociocultural factors in student learning achievement (e.g., STEM, dropout, school readiness, college attendance), youth empowerment, gender equity, domestic violence, and health behaviors. Dr. Eng’s overall research agenda seeks to generate a more comprehensive understanding of the role of individuals (e.g., motivation, beliefs, and attitudes) and structures (e.g., national policy, programming, curriculum) as related to educational development. Guided by social capital theory, Dr. Eng’s primary research asks, “under the absence/availability of structural resources, how, and in what ways, does individual agency impact and influence students, communities, or group of people who are able to capitalize on those resources to help them advance academically or socially?” His research argues for greater attention to individual agency, especially in marginalized communities where structural supports are lacking. By examining education systems through a social capital lens, Dr. Eng examines the ways in which educational promotion is enhanced through relational activities and perceptions between and among actors and the social entities.     

    Dr. Eng also leads the Lehigh University/Caring for Cambodia partnership, which offers a unique opportunity for CIE students to engage in international research and program development and evaluation in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Expenses associated with the trip are largely covered by the project. Like us on Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CFCLU

    Dr. Eng's CV 

    Courses Taught:

    • Statistical Analysis using STATA, CIE491, Graduate Level (online/traditional classroom), course blog: http://cie491stata.blogspot.com/

    • Curriculum and Globalization, CIE403 

    • Program Evaluation, CIE402, Graduate Level (online/traditional classroom), course blog: http://cie402.blogspot.com/

    • Education Development in Cambodia: Practical Field Research, CIE 491, Graduate Level (online/traditional classroom)

    • Issues and Institutions in International Educational Development, CIE 404, Graduate Level (online/traditional classroom)

    • Research Methods, Educ491/Educ403, Graduate Level (online/traditional classroom)

    • Diversity and Multicultural Perspectives, CPSY471, EDUC471, Graduate Level (online/traditional classroom)

    • Contemporary Family, HDFS 3320, Undergraduate Level (traditional classroom)

    • Development in Cross Cultural Perspectives, HDFS 3350, Undergraduate Level (traditional classroom)

    Articles in the News:

    Mentioned in the news:

    Peer-reviewed journal publications:

    • Eng, S., Szmodis, W.*, & Grace, K.* (2017). Cambodian remarried women are at risk for domestic violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 

    • Eng, S., Muslow, M., Ritchey, E., & Zvonkovic, A. (2017). Redefining the roles of parents and social structure in the educational outcomes of Cambodian young adults. Journal of Adolescent Research.

    • Eng, S., Szmodis, W., & Mulsow, M. (2014). Cambodian parental involvement: The role of parental beliefs, social networks, and trust. The Elementary School Journal, 114(4), 573-594. 

    • Eng, S. (2013). Cambodian early adolescents’ academic achievement: The role of social capital. Journal of Early Adolescence, 33(3), 378-403.

    • Eng, S., Li, Y., Mulsow, M., & Fisher, J. (2010). Domestic violence against women in Cambodia: Husband control, frequency of spousal discussion, and domestic violence reported by Cambodian women. Journal of Family Violence, 25, 237-246.

    • Eng, S., Mulsow, M., Cleveland, H. H., & Hart, S. (2009). Academic achievement among adolescents in Cambodia: Does maternal trauma matter? Journal of Community Psychology, 37, 754-768.

    • Eng, S., Kanitkar, K. Cleveland, H. H., & Herbert, R., Fischer, J., & Wiersma, J. (2008). School achievement differences among Chinese and Filipino American students: Acculturation and family factors. Educational Psychology, 28, 535-550.

    Book chapter/encyclopedia publications:

    • Eng, S. & Szmodis, W. (2015). STEM learning achievement among Cambodian middle school students : An examination of gender and psychosocial factors. Annual Review of Comparative and International Education, 28, 279-305. 

    • Szmodis, W. & Eng, S. (2015). Cambodia. In Colditz, G. A. & Golson, J. G. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Cancer and Society 2nd Edition, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

    • Eng, S. (2014). Cambodia[n families]. In Constance L.S. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Family Studies, Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell.  

    • Szmodis, W. & Eng, S. (2013). Tolerance (compared with understanding and empathy). In Cortes C.E. & Golson, J.G. (Eds.), Multicultural America, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

    • Eng, S. (2013b). Intermarriage demographic trends. In Cortes C.E. & Golson, J.G. (Eds.), Multicultural America, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

    • Eng, S. (2013a). Cambodia. In Emery R.E. & Golson J.G.  (Eds.), Cultural Sociology of Divorce: An Encyclopedia, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

    • Eng, S. (2012). Genocide: Cambodia's mass casualty trauma. In Figley C.R. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Trauma. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

    • Eng, S. (2011). Cambodia. In Barnett, G.A. & Golson, J.G. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Social Networks. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.