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David W. Engstrom

David W. Engstrom, Associate Professor

David W. Engstrom, Professor

Graduate Program Coordinator
Curriculum Co-Chair

Phone: (619) 594-5966
Office: HH 205


  • PhD, University of Chicago, 1992
  • MSW, University of Chicago, 1983
  • BA, Wesleyan University, 1980

Scholarly Areas:

International Social Work, Cross-border and immigration issues, survivors of torture


David W. Engstrom, Ph.D., M.A., is a Professor of Social Work at San Diego State University. His research focuses on immigration policy and services to immigrants and refugees. Dr. Engstrom has written extensively on the plight of vulnerable immigrant populations, such as torture survivors and trafficked persons and has explored the role of bilingual social workers in service delivery. Dr. Engstrom founded the MSW Thailand Summer Internship Program in 2002 and has supervised nearly 70 students in internships ranging from child welfare to human trafficking to mental health. He has been a visiting professor at the Faculty of Social Administration at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand. Dr. Engstrom is presently setting up collaborations with academic institutions in Mexico.

Selected Publications:

  • Jones, L.P., and Engstrom, D.W. (in press) Human Trafficking between Thailand and Japan: Lessons in Recruitment, Transit, and Control. International Journal of Social Welfare.
  • Engstrom, D.E., and Roth, T (in press) The Use of Interpreters by Torture Treatment Providers. Journal of Ethnicity and Cultural Diversity in Social Work.
  • Piedra, L.M., and Engstrom, D.W. (2009) Segmented Assimilation and the Life Model: A New Conceptual Approach to Understanding Immigrants and Their Children. Social Work. 54:3: 270-277.
  • Engstrom, D.W., and Min, J.W. (2009) The Field Practicum Experiences of Bilingual Social Work Students. Journal of Social Work Education. 45:2: 209-224.
  • Engstrom, D.W., and Piedra, L.M. (2009) Bilingual Social Workers: Language and Service Complexities. Administration in Social Work. 33: 1-19.
  • Engstrom, D.W., Hernandez, P., and Gangsei, D. (2008) Vicarious Resilience: A Qualitative Investigation into a Description of a New Concept. Traumatology. 14:3: 12-21.
  • Engstrom, D., and Jones, L.P. (2007) A broadened horizon: The value of international social work internships. Social Work Education. 26(2): 136-150.
  • Jones, L., Engstrom, D., Hilliard, T., and Diaz, M. (2007) Globalization and the trafficking of persons. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare. 34(2): 107-122.
  • Hernandez, P., Gangsei, D., and Engstrom, D. (2007) Vicarious resilience: A new concept in work with those who survive trauma. Family Process,. 46(2): 229-241.
  • Engstrom, D.W. (2007) A Nation of Immigrants: A Call for a Specialization in Immigrant Well-Being. Journal of Ethnicity and Cultural Diversity in Social Work. 16:3/4: 103-112.
  • Engstrom, D.W. (2006) Immigrants and exclusion. In Engstrom, D.W., and Piedra, L.M. (editors), Our Diverse Society. Washington, DC: NASW Press, -.
  • Engstrom, D.E. Our Diverse Society: Race and Ethnicity – Implications for 21st Century American Society. Washington, D.C.: NASW, 2006.