May 20, 2020
Dr. Uba, upon her retirement on June 2020, will be Emeritus Faculty in the Asian American Studies Department. Dr. Uba started teaching at CSUN in 1986 and helped establish the Asian American Studies Department at CSUN. She has been teaching in the AAS department for the past 30 years, since 1990 when the department was established.
Laura Uba received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Colorado (then a top-10 psychology department) in 1979. She had a National Institutes of Mental Health postdoctoral fellowship at the Vanderbilt (University) Institute for Public Policy Studies and a field placement at the office of the head of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. She produced a policy analysis on the options for delivering mental health services to Asian Americans for Los Angeles County. Subsequently, she had a Institute of American Cultures postdoctoral fellowship at the UCLA Asian American Studies Center where she conducted a study of the types of elder care aging Asian Americans wanted and needed.
She started working at CSUN in 1986, teaching the only class on Asian Americans available then, an anthropology class. She also taught introductory psychology classes at CSUN when she joined a committee establishing the Asian American Studies (AAS) Department. In that role, she contributed to the discussions of whether we should establish a program or a department, who might be a good chair for AAS, and which classes should be offered. She also did the research showing that there were sufficient bodies of scholarly work to justify proposed classes and created syllabi for several AAS classes.
Dr. Uba has written three books. Her first, ”Asian Americans: personality, identity, and mental health,” came in second for the social science book of the year. (Suggesting our department was among the most influential then, the book that won was by Tim Fong, a full-time professor in our department.) Dr. Uba’s second book was an introductory psychology textbook. Her third book, “A postmodern Asian American Psychology,” was a scholarly work from a university press. Based largely on this work, ranging from empirical studies to policy analyses and theoretical analyses, Dr. Uba was the only part-time lecturer at CSUN to win the 2006 Preeminent Scholarly Publications Award.