Xiao-Yin Chen, M.S.
Doctoral Candidate, Graduate Research Scholar
Applied Cognition and Development Program
Department of Educational Psychology
Mary Frances Early College of Education
University of Georgia
Xiao-Yin Chen (she/her) is a doctoral candidate in the Applied Cognition and Development program at the University of Georgia. She obtained both her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and Master’s Degree in educational psychology at the University of Kentucky. Her research primarily focuses on the social influences of motivation in educational settings (e.g., the influence of social models and messengers) and the ways in which educators can support students’ motivation through interventions.
Her research is grounded by her experiences growing up in one of the few Chinese households in rural Appalachia. Upon reflecting on her own schooling experiences, she rarely received the opportunity to interact with social models who looked like her. She always been intrigued by the need to feel represented in order to be motivated, and how educators can fulfill this need to support minoritized learners (e.g., Appalachian students, women in STEM, first-generation college students, and/or students from historically marginalized racial/ethnic backgrounds). In some learning contexts, students from these backgrounds may not be as well-represented, and may have fewer opportunities to interact with social models they relate to. This drives her dissertation research, which considers how students with minoritized identities think about the social models they encounter while learning, and how such interpretations influence their motivational beliefs and subsequent educational outcomes.