2021 Applied Research Fellowship Program

The APIA Scholars Applied Research Fellowship Program situates our student scholars at the center of our research initiatives to impact the educational and workforce trajectory of AANHPI students across the nation. The program enables outstanding graduate students pursuing full-time masters and doctoral degrees who are also APIA Scholars alumni to play a significant role in advancing the organization's student research and advocacy agenda. Graduate students and alumni who have demonstrated research experience and passion for catalyzing change for the AANHPI community were selected to participate in an intensive 8-12 week program designed to immerse scholars in the applied research process in order to: educate the field and stakeholders, elevate the issues most impacting AANHPI students and their communities today, and empower institutions, organizations, supporters, and students with tools to advocate for equity and culturally-relevant supports.

The inaugural cohort of Applied Research Fellows will engage in research projects in the following 4 areas:


Mental Health & Wellbeing

AANHPI students often face a number of culturally-related factors, such as family pressure and misplaced model minority expectations, that take a toll on their mental health and wellbeing, yet they are less likely to seek supports. This research will focus on how APIA college students make sense of mental health, what experiences and/or cultural norms inform their attitude towards mental health, and what culturally relevant practices should be employed by mental health services on college campuses to serve this population better. While this will be a collective effort between both fellows, each will also have a particular focus. Additionally, the distinct experiences and needs of both NHPI and LGBTQIA+ student populations will be examined in detail.

Demeturie Toso-Lafaele Gogue, M.Ed., M.A. (He/Him/His)

PhD Student | Higher Education & Organizational Change
School of Education & Information Studies
University of California, Los Angeles
“Equitable and inclusive policies and services are vital in addressing these health disparities. As an Asian LGBTQ scholar and activist, I am passionate about translating my research findings into advocacy efforts or policy practice, so as to benefit a larger population.”

Chongzheng Wei, M.Ed.

PhD Student | Counseling, Clinical, & School Psychology University of California, Santa Barbara
“My biggest hope with this study is that it encourages critical dialogue and normalizes the fact that mental health is an urgent issue in the NHPI community that requires the support of large scale advocacy, programming, and legislation in order to be helped.”

Eleanor Ngerchelei Titiml

PhD Student | Graduate Assistant Research Methodology Loyola University Chicago

Leadership & Civic Engagement

This research will focus on building a AANHPI student leadership framework, emphasizing civic engagement as a core component and investigating the role that colleges and universities can play in developing effective leaders and incorporating diverse cultural practices as assets in leadership roles.


Annie Le

PhD Candidate| Social Sciences & Comparative Education
School of Education & Information Studies
University of California, Los Angeles
“It is imperative for researchers, policymakers, and leaders to utilize an intersectional lens when serving the community. I also hope that this research will help me discover tools, services, and recommendations that can be incorporated into the community so that we can bring more representation into our leadership by building up leaders from diverse communities.”

Crystal Yang

PhD Student |
Educational Leadership
Minnesota State University, Mankato
“The knowledge that my small contribution in research is a part of a larger discipline has always humbled me. It reminds me that everyone has the capacity to make a difference.”

Nattawan Junboonta

Doctoral Candidate |
Graduate School of Education
Educational Theory, Organization, and Policy
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

English Learners

English Learner (EL) students have diverse language, academic, and socioemotional needs, yet little is known about the experiences of AANHPI EL students and the targeted supports this population needs due to their heterogeneity. This research aims to explore what Linguistic Justice looks like for Asian and Pacific Islander students who are English Learners, with a special focus on students in California, given over 40 percent of the state’s public school students speak a language other than English at home.


Rose Ann E. Gutierrez

PhD Candidate | Social Sciences & Comparative Education
School of Education & Information Studies,
University of California, Los Angeles
“I am particularly drawn to exploring how to center historically marginalized groups in research and policy because of my own intersecting identities coming from an immigrant and refugee family.”

Claire Wan (she/her)

PhD Student |
Educational Leadership
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Anti-Asian Racism

Although anti-Asian racism has been well documented in forms of legal discrimination, verbal harassment, and physical assault, less is known about the ways anti-Asian racism pervades social institutions, like the nation’s system of higher education. All of the research fellows will investigate anti-Asian discrimination in higher education institutions, as it intersects with students’ mental health and wellbeing, leadership and civic engagement, and linguistic justice efforts, and propose recommendations to counter this discrimination on campuses.

Recordings and Research

Coming soon!

Please email Research.Policy@APIASF.org for questions or inquiries.