Drawn to the field of social work by her Christian faith, Lina Yuk-Shui Fong, PhD, attributes much of her success to God’s grace as well as to trust and the belief that nothing is impossible. Born in Hong Kong, she converted to Christianity shortly before embarking on her undergraduate studies at the University of Hong Kong. Fascinated by the teachings of Jesus Christ that emphasized serving and caring for others, she achieved a Bachelor of Social Science in 1970 before joining the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and earning a Master of Social Work in 1974. Dr. Fong subsequently began her career as a licensed clinical social worker with family service agencies in Hong Kong and cites this period among the highlights of her career because it gave her the background and skill training that set the foundation for the rest of her professional endeavors.
During this time, Dr. Fong also garnered expertise as a part-time social work field instructor at Tunghai University in Taichung City, Taiwan, where she helped to develop the first graduate social work program in Taiwan in 1983-1984. She later developed a similar program in China at Shenzhen University in 2015. Coming to the United States, she brought her expertise in social work program development to various universities in Kentucky, Idaho, Tennessee, Texas, Pennsylvania, Michigan and more, and even furthered her own studies at the University of Kentucky. In 1990, Dr. Fong completed a Doctor of Philosophy in social work at the University of Southern California and went on to serve the LA County Adoption Agency, a tenure that prompted her to establish her own private practice to provide a home for children without parents.
In 2005, Dr. Fong founded Global Adoption, Counseling, Cultural Resources Inc., a Christian nonprofit organization where her emphasis is on serving people from all cultures and nations around the world. They currently operate out of the Blue Grass Community Foundation in Kentucky, providing services for domestic and international adoptions, counseling, connecting various groups and cultures, and collecting resources. As the executive director, her duties with the organization encompass general management; connecting clients to necessary resources, such as language assistance for non-English speakers; and establishing scholarship funds to train social workers and pastors. Dr. Fong finds the freedom and creativity that running her own organization provides her to be incredibly invigorating, and she does her utmost to fulfill the duties she feels she has been called by God to do.
In order to keep abreast of developments in her field, Dr. Fong maintains professional membership with the National Association of Social Workers and the Academy of Certified Social Workers. She is also passionate about giving back to her community and established an endowment fund with the purpose of providing an annual grant to bring together people from different cultures around the world. Through her academic work, she has connected with countless exchange students and developed the Green Heart Project, where exchange students and their host families can plant trees for their school and community. Dr. Fong also created the Blue Grass Project in Kentucky.
For her excellence, Dr. Fong has been the recipient of a number of honors and accolades over the course of her career. In 1999, she was named among the 500 Leaders of Influence for Outstanding Business Accomplishment, having also been named International Woman of the Year by the International Biographical Centre in Cambridge, England, for 1998-1999. She was notably the recipient of the 20th Century Achievement Award. When she isn’t working, Dr. Fong enjoys spending time with her family, which includes her two daughters and five grandchildren.