People

Director

wangYijie Wang, Ph.D. I am a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University. I received my Bachelor of Medicine from Sun Yat-sen University in China, my Master of Social Science in Psychology from Hong Kong University, and my Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from Michigan State University. My research revolves around disadvantaged youth populations, particularly ethnic-racial minority adolescents in the U.S. and adolescents from low-income families in rural China. I investigate how various social contexts, especially those at structural and neighborhood levels, shape these adolescents’ development in psychosocial and bio-behavioral domains. My research employs multiple methods, including daily diaries, longitudinal models, salivary sampling protocols, actigraphy assessment of sleep, as well as advanced analytics such as multi-level structural equation modeling, dynamic structural equation modeling, latent growth modeling. 

 

Current Trainees

youchuanYouchuan Zhang, Ph.D.

I am a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University. I received my Bachelor of Medicine from Sun Yat-sen University in China, my Master of Social Science in Psychology from Hong Kong University, and my Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from Michigan State University. My research revolves around disadvantaged youth populations, particularly ethnic-racial minority adolescents in the U.S. and adolescents from low-income families in rural China. I investigate how various social contexts, especially those at structural and neighborhood levels, shape these adolescents’ development in psychosocial and bio-behavioral domains. My research employs multiple methods, including daily diaries, longitudinal models, salivary sampling protocols, actigraphy assessment of sleep, as well as advanced analytics such as multi-level structural equation modeling, dynamic structural equation modeling, latent growth modeling.

qiQi Huang I am a doctoral student at the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University with a focus on Diversity, Youth, and Family Development (DYAD). I received my bachelor's degree in Psychology at Michigan State University as well. My current research interests focus on the academic, cultural, and psychological adjustment of international students who struggle academically, particularly Chinese international students on academic probation or academic dismissal. I am also involved in research about discrimination experiences, cultural socialization, and wellbeing of ethnic/racial minority adolescents and young adults.

 

jiayiJiayi Liu (CVI am a doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University with a concentration on Diversity, Youth and Family Development. My research focuses on understanding the cultural beliefs, values, and practices behind daily family interactions. I am particularly interested in examining the impact of parenting on youth well-being in changing cultural contexts (e.g., modernization and social stratification). My goal is to inform clinical practices and policies through a sociocultural lens. Using mixed research methods, I am currently working on studies to examine Chinese international students’ perceptions about their parents and the role of parental support in their acculturation process. I have also engaged in studies investigating the microaggressions faced by adoptive families in the U.S. and their ethnic-racial socialization processes. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, cooking, and playing board games with friends.

Sylvia Lin (CV) I am a doctoral student at the Department of HDFS with a focus on Diversity, Youth, and Family Development (DYAD). I received my bachelor's in psychology at Saint Louis University. My current research interests focus Asian and Asian American ethnic/racial identity (ERI) development and socialization processes. I am particularly interested in how context (i.e., neighborhood/community environments and peers) influence ERI development and mental health outcomes. I am involved in a project that seeks to understand how daily peer racial/ethnic interactions operate as a source of stress or support and influences adolescent outcomes (e.g., racial/ethnic identity, school engagement, school belonging, among others). With a background in evidence-based practices, my professional aims are to translate research into developing and evaluating programs that support Asian and Asian American youth.

I am Daeun Kim (CV) daeunfrom South Korea, and I am a doctoral student in Human Development and Family Studies. My advisors are Dr. Desiree Baolian Qin and Dr. Yijie Wang. My research interests are the parent-child relationships and adolescent development within cultural context. Specifically, I am interested in examining how culture contributes to differences of parent-child relationships within different cultural backgrounds. Furthermore, I am interested in how a parent's belief system such as belief in meritocracy is associated with ones of their children in adolescence and how it affects development of adolescent’s belief system, with focus on East Asian families and Asian American immigrant families. I love to walk or go hiking and take a big nap on Saturday.

 

Previous Trainees

Elizabeth Jelsma, Ph.D. was a postdoctoral fellow in the lab and is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Houston.

Mingzhang Chen, Ph.D. was a doctoral student in the lab and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta.

 

Ji Hyun Lee, Ph.D. (Research gate profile) was a doctoral student in the lab and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan.

Shizhu Liu, Ph.D. was a doctoral student in the lab and is currently a Data Scientist at Citi Bank.

 

Previous Undergraduate Students

Faizun Bakth

(Faizun is currently a doctoral student at Wayne State University)

I worked with Dr. Wang via the Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP). I am a senior undergraduate student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, majoring in Forensic Psychology and double minoring In English and Counseling. My research interest focuses the social and moral development of minority children and adolescents with a history of abuse. I had the pleasure to be an intern for the Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) at Michigan State University. Through the program, I worked with Dr. Wang in the Human Development and Family studies department. Our current project looks at the relationship between racial/ethnic peer-victimization and academic performance by using sleep as moderator. Our current study uses objective sleep data, collected through actigraphy watch, to examine how sleep can act as a protective factor against severe negative experiences for adolescents. 

Emily Saxton

Emily Saxon is a native of St. Louis and chose to attend MSU for her undergraduate degree, due to the school’s outstanding research work.  She was granted a Professorial Assistantship in which she will assist Professor Yijie Wang with her ongoing work in adolescent development.  Emily is also part of the Social Science Scholars Program, and she will soon take on her own research project, which will ultimately culminate in her work being published in a volume of research projects.  Her research interests are numerous, but all center around discovering methods to create social innovation and improvement in communities facing adversity and poverty.  Emily particularly enjoys work relating to adolescents, and thus is an active volunteer for youth-focused programs, such as Girl Scouts.  She is also a passionate Spanish student, with a goal of becoming fluent in the language in order to apply it to a future career and volunteer work. 

Kevin Lesser, B.A.

I am an undergraduate student studying Human Biology through Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University. I am a Research Assistant to Dr. Wang on the Peer and Diversity (PAD) Project. I am interested to see how the background of minority students influences their interactions in everyday life and how these interacts can influence the health of these adolescents. My ultimate passion is service and I frequently volunteer with marginalized groups of children and enjoy working with them. I have many other research interests, but my main interests include: how the gender of students and professors influences their interactions. I am interested in seeing if there are any specific biases towards female students and if this influences the quality of their education, in comparison to their male counterparts. Also, I am interested in how college students learn challenging scientific topics and structuring lectures for professors to maximize learning.

Claudia Marie Salwin, B.A.

I am a Senior in Nutritional Science/PreMed at Michigan State University. I am a Research Assistant for the PAD project and will be following high school students to see differences between ethical and cultural processes. I am looking forward to seeing the data we will be collecting this fall! Once I graduate in May I will be working as a Research Assistant at the University of Michigan Hospital for a year before attending medical school. The research will be looking at opioid use and pain levels in the pre-operative and post-operative stages, in hopes to develop effective interventions to help patients stop using opioids. I will also be continuing working on a project called the Michigan Genomics Initiative, which includes building up a biorepository for future medical research. This projects goal is to advance the understanding of health and wellness, predicting the response to treatments, and advancing drug development.

Audrey Heobecke, B.A.

I am a Research Assistant for Dr. Wang in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University. I graduated from MSU this past summer with a degree in Psychology and Human Biology, and I plan to pursue higher education in a year or two. I am currently working as a Behavior Technician with the Early Learning Institute, implementing a Applied Behavior Analysis-based teaching curriculum for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I love my job! My research interests include development and usage of resources in marginalized populations, including those with disabilities, low socio-economic status, and racial/ethnic minorities. After working in a school setting in Lansing, I have also developed an interest in the improvement of educational system outcomes for both children with disabilities as well as neurotypical children. When I’m not working I enjoy being reading, kayaking, and taking weekend trips throughout Michigan.

Eagan Ingrody, B.A.

I am a Research Assistant for Dr. Wang's Peer and Diversity (PAD) Project at Michigan State University. I just recently graduated in May 2019 with a degree in Human Biology through Lyman Briggs College, as well as a minor in Science, Technology, Environment, and Public Policy (STEPP). I am currently pursuing medical school with the hope of being a doctor! In the meantime, I am working as a Patient Companion at St. Joseph Mercy hospital in Ann Arbor and St. Mary Mercy hospital in Livonia. I am very interested in healthcare inequalities that are due to race/ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status, which is the topic of a research paper I am currently trying to publish. These research interests aligned perfectly with Dr. Wang's project on adolescent development, which focuses on the overall health minority students. I have also done research that examined the feeding habits of birds in East Lansing, the levels of ocean acidification in the Great Lakes, and the protein concentrations in various meats and synthetic proteins."