Samantha Vo

PhD, University of California at Berkeley
AM (MSW), University of Chicago
BA, Dartmouth College
Research Interests
Social development
International issues
Community development
Community organizing
Latin America
Selected Publications
  • Vo, C. S. (in press). Drug trafficking and community welfare in Costa Rica. Global Social Welfare. doi: 10.1007/s40609-016-0067-z
  • Vo, C. S. (2016). Cooperatives’ community practices in Costa Rica: Financial support mechanisms. Social Development Issues, 38(2), 17-33.
  • Vo, C. S. (2016). Concern for community: A case study of cooperatives in Costa Rica. Journal of Community Practice, 24(1), 56-76. doi:10.1080/10705422.2015.1127304
  • Vo, C. S. (2015).Vulnerability and resiliency: How climate disasters activate latent social assets. International Social Work, 58(3), 421-434. doi: 10.1177/0020872815570075
  • Midgley, J., Fitzgerald (Vo), S., & Sirojudin, S. (2013). Social development. Oxford Bibliographies Online: Social Work. doi: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0169
  • Fitzgerald (Vo), C. S. (2012). Fair trade as a community development initiative: Local and global implications. Advances in Social Work, 13(2), 375-390. Retrieved from

Sam Vo joined the School of Social Work in the fall of 2013 after finishing her PhD at UC Berkeley. Her research is couched in a social development framework, an approach to social work that focuses on harmonizing social and economic objectives. Her most recent research explores how cooperatives (i.e., member-owned and member-controlled social enterprises) engage in development and organizing projects that promote the social welfare of the entire community. Her research in Central America also considers the roles of remittances and drug trafficking in providing economic resources for poor, marginalized communities. Her research agenda emanates from community practice experience in Central America.

She is married to Quyen Vo, a lawyer in Waco. They are proud parents of Mai-Linh, their daughter, and Carly, their cat.