Xiao-Yin Chen

Doctoral Student, Graduate Research Scholar
Applied Cognition and Development
Mary Frances Early College of Education
University of Georgia

My name is Xiao-Yin Chen, but most know me as “Yin.” I am currently a doctoral student in the Applied Cognition and Development program at the University of Georgia. Before this, I obtained both my Master’s degree in Educational Psychology and my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Kentucky (go cats!).

My research generally focuses on the social influences of motivation, but my greater purpose for this work is to examine ways to reduce achievement gaps for students who are minoritized in educational settings (e.g., women in STEM, first-generation college students, students from historically marginalized backgrounds).

This interest stems from my own experiences growing up in Appalachia as a first-generation Chinese American. Throughout my own schooling, I was unable to see peers, mentors, teachers, or other social models that I could relate to. For example, I didn’t have my first Chinese teacher until college (when enrolled in my first Chinese language course). Even then, I’ve rarely had opportunities to be mentored by individuals who share my Appalachian roots.

This pushes me to better understand how being the only person in the room that looks or feels like you might influence how capable you think you are, whether or not you feel like you belong, and how motivated you are to pursue certain paths. From there, I hope to examine ways that educational researchers can reduce educational achievement gaps.

Throughout my graduate students, I’m learning more and more about how to love myself as a human. So aside from this more serious work, I have great interests in saving the planet (through a minimal waste lifestyle); I spend a lot of my time (and money) stanning Taylor Swift; and I love to challenge myself through weightlifting (squat PR is 225 lbs!). I also find great joy in spending time with my husband and our two pugs, Henry and Harriet! Thanks for stopping by!

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