Dia Cha, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.


Paul Hillmer

Document Type

Oral History

Date of Interview



Dr. Dia Cha left Laos with her family in 1975 and lived in a Thai refugee camp until coming to the US in 1979. She commenced formal classroom studies in ninth grade, graduating four years later from Abraham Lincoln High School in Denver, Colorado. After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology in 1989 from Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colorado, she went on to receive her Master of Arts in Applied Anthropology from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona in 1992. In 2000, she received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Colorado in Boulder. She is currently Associate Professor of Anthropology and Ethnic Studies at St. Cloud State University (SCSU), St. Cloud, Minnesota, and is a Research Associate with the Science Museum of Minnesota, in St. Paul. She is widely published (works include Hmong American Concepts of Health, Healing, and Conventional Medicine and Dia’s Story Cloth: The Hmong People’s Journey to Freedom) and has been honored with more than fifteen awards from academic and social groups all across the United States in recognition of the high caliber of her research and her teaching, her service to the community, and her tireless work as a champion of gender and ethnic equality. She participated in a convocation at Concordia University and graciously agreed to be interviewed. Because of the brief time we had together, our conversation focused on Hmong cosmology and spirituality.


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Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
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