PhD in International Education

Dennis Yang

Name:  Dennis Yang                                                                            Picture of Dennis Yang

Email Address:                                                                    

Expected Date of Graduation: 2014

Why did you choose to pursue a Doctoral degree in International Education?

As a Sociology major in college, I've since been fascinated by how different societies adopt both overlapping and divergent rules and norms of governance. As a student of East Asian politics and educational development, I have worked and lived in Korea, Japan, and China, primarily working within educational institutions for the public and private sectors. Although more globally pressing issues indefinitely call for greater scholarship, my desire to proceed with doctoral studies is predicated on a drive to enhance educational relations and cultural understanding between the United States, my home nation, and East Asia, the geographic location of my research interest.

Education is the linchpin of economic, political, and social development. Given the vast population and economic resurgence of East Asian nations, along with the cultural and economic prominence of American ideals and institutions that have permeated the social lives of countless members of East Asia's newest cohorts, I hope to contribute to the advancement of knowledge regarding the role that education has and continues to play in the fostering of macro and micro-level social transformations.

What is the focus of your research?

I'm currently researching the multifaceted rationale for the relatively recent surge of Chinese students studying at American undergraduate institutions. I'm interested in exploring the social, political, and economic factors in their lives that fuel their burgeoning flame to depart their families and homelands for an uncertain academic journey overseas. Moreover, I plan on documenting how these Chinese high schools students who have declared their intentions to study in America academically, culturally, emotionally prepare for their chosen academic destinations. In other words, my ethnographic study will attempt to shed light on the actual lived experiences behind the well-documented rise in the number of Chinese undergraduate students on American campuses.

Who is the professor or scholar who has influenced you the most?

Many distinguished scholars at NYU and elsewhere have significantly shaped my orientation toward the world, my values and ethics, as well as the intellectual scholarship that underpins my research interests. Selecting one is a difficult task indeed; however, Edward Said's Orientalism certainly ranks near the top of the list of inspiring works of the past few decades.  

Please list any awards, fellowships, publications, and other accolades you would like included on your doctoral profile:

  • Weatherhead East Asian Institute Summer Research Grant, Columbia University, 2009
  • Steinhardt doctoral travel grant, Spring 2013
  • B.A. Boston University
  • M.A. Duke University
  • Ed.M Columbia University, Teachers College

What are your career goals?

I'm interested in working in academia or the private sector, with the goal of strengthening relations between East Asia and the United States.

What do you like the most about the International Education program at NYU Steinhardt?:

The intellectually inquisitive and benevolent faculty coupled with my amazingly bright and competent colleagues in the program make it one of the best places in academia to be.