Sumie Okazaki, a professor in the Department of Applied Psychology, has been named a distinguished fellow of the William T. Grant Foundation. The fellowship program offers researchers an opportunity “to immerse themselves in the worlds of policy and practice” by providing support for a research project.
Okazaki will receive $152,000 to study how two different organizations limit and facilitate opportunities for Asian American youth. In the first year of her fellowship, Okazaki will spend time with New York City’s Department of Education (NYC DOE) Research and Policy Support Group. During the second year, she will observe the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, an advocacy organization. Through the William T. Grant fellowship, she will develop research questions that are better aligned with the concerns of decision makers and practitioners.
At both placements, Okazaki will participate in day-to-day activities and attend staff meetings. At the NYC DOE, she will also work with the Research and Policy Support Group on special and ongoing projects, meet with staff and administrators who are requesting and interpreting data, and help develop communication materials for families and other DOE departments. At the Coalition, she will attend briefings with policymakers, assist staff with policy briefs, update a factsheet on Asian American children in New York City, and work with youth and parent leaders on policy projects.
Okazaki, the author of three books about education and mental health, has spent the past eighteen years studying how race, immigration status, culture, and interpersonal factors contribute to well-being and mental health among Asian American adolescents and young adults.