Yexinyu (Yolanda) Yang, BA

My name is Yexinyu (Yolanda) Yang, and I am a clinical psychology graduate student in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. I am currently working as a graduate research assistant at Mental Health Services and Policy Program with Dr. Heather Risser. My research focuses on studying how familial factors (e.g., parenting behaviors) may impact children’s development and psychopathology, implementing a family navigator program to improve family service utilization, and developing digital transdiagnostic family-based interventions. My ultimate career aspiration is to develop and implement evidence-based mental health services for children in underserved communities both in the US and abroad. Before moving to Chicago in the middle of the pandemic, I received my BA in politics and BA in psychology at Washington and Lee University in 2018. Then, I moved to Ohio and worked as a research assistant at Nationwide Children’s Hospital for two years. Outside of work, you can find me reading, traveling, doing yoga, or taking my 3-year-old bunny on walks.

I grew up in China, and I am the first female in my family to pursue higher education abroad. As an international student, I am passionate about promoting cultural diversity, gender equality, and racial/ethnicity equality. Last summer, I tutored 26 first-generation students who were interested in pursuing a STEM career path in Columbus, helping them complete their first poster presentation in psychology. Guiding these students from ethnic minority backgrounds to conduct more culturally sensitive research was an extremely rewarding experience to me, and I hope to continue encouraging individuals with different cultural backgrounds to contribute their cultural perspectives to scientific research. I was drawn to the Chicago Women in STEM initiative because I’m looking forward to engaging with like-minded science lovers and also excited to discover new areas that may expand my future goals. As a part of the network, I hope to learn from the incredible women in this group and contribute to advancing science education and communication.

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