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“Our HMoob American College Paj Ntaub” is an ongoing qualitative research project conducted in partnership with a student organization at UW-Madison called the Hmong American Studies Committee (HASC) that examines the sociocultural and institutional factors impacting the college experiences of HMoob American students. The term “Paj Ntaub,” or story cloth, is a narrative pictographic representation in fabric of the experiences of the HMoob people, which often address their history during the U.S. wars in Southeast Asia and as refugees. We call our study “Our HMoob American College Paj Ntaub” because this study presents the stories of the lives of HMoob American college students. The study uses interviews and observations with HMoob American college students as well as artifact data from around the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus and classrooms to better understand the college experiences of HMoob American students through their voices and lived experiences. Check out our report Our HMoob American College Paj Ntaub (PDF).

Research Briefs

Technical Report

HMoob American Undergraduate Students at University of Wisconsin’s 4-Year Comprehensive Colleges – Background, Enrollment Statistics, and Graduation Trends


Smolarek, B.B., Wolfgram, M., Vang, M. N., Xiong, C. P., Lee, L., Lee, P., Thao, M., Vang, K., Xiong, P. K., Xiong, O., & Xiong, P. (2021). Our HMoob American college paj ntaub: Student-engaged community-based participatory action research (CBPAR) as counter-invisibility work. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.


STEM pushout and redirection: Institutional logics of disposability and accountability that impact the educational goals and experiences of HMoob American college students

Five Factors Influencing the Academic Experiences and Career Trajectories of HMoob American Students at UW-Madison

Our HMoob American College Paj Ntaub: A Presentation to Bill & Melinda Gates FoundationOur HMoob American College Paj Ntaub: Activating your Agency and Building Critical Consciousness through Participatory Action Research

A presentation to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation of a second year research study done by the Paj Ntaub Research Team. The team presents their research findings regarding the factors that have influenced UW-Madison HMoob American academic experiences, which ultimately informed their college-to-workforce pathways. In addition, their presentation demonstrates how Community Based Participatory Action Research (CBPAR) can be an innovative research practice in educational settings, as it offers a transformative experience for students as researchers and, overall, as individuals.

Our Team

March, 2022

The Our HMoob American College Paj Ntaub Team: Matthew Wolfgram, Bailey Smolarek, Chee Meng Xiong, Janessa Thao, Payeng Moua, Lisa Yang, Mai Neng Vang, Lillian Xiong, Mai Chong Yang, Ying Xiong​

More information can be found here.


Top (L-R): Payeng Moua, Ariana Thao, Bailey B. Smolarek, Odyssey Xiong, Matthew Wolfgram,

Bottom (L-R): Lisa Yang, Lena Lee, MaiNeng Vang, Pa Kou Xiong, and Ying Yang Youa Xiong.


Top (L-R): Pangzoo Lee, Bailey Smolarek, Matthew Wolfgram, Pheechai Xiong, Odyssey Xiong,

Bottom (L-R): Lena Lee, Myxee Thao, Choua Xiong, Pa Kou Xiong, Kia Van.