Yingyi Ma is a Professor of Sociology, a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Policy Research, and Director of Asian/Asian American Studies. Dr. Ma is a Public Intellectual Fellow (2019 – 2020) for the National Committee of Us-China Relations. She was the Inaugural O’Hanley Faculty Scholar (2014 – 2017) in Maxwell School. Dr. Ma obtained her Ph.D. in sociology at Johns Hopkins University in 2007.
Dr. Ma is a sociologist of education and migration. Her new book published by Columbia University Press, Ambitious and Anxious: How Chinese Undergraduates Succeed and Struggle in American Higher Education, offers a multifaceted analysis of the wave of Chinese college students across American higher education based on research in both Chinese high schools and U.S. institutions. The overarching argument is that their experiences embody the duality of ambition and anxiety that arises from transformative social changes in China. In the end, it offers some policy implications in terms of what American higher education needs to know about Chinese students ranging from recruitment to student experiences to career services.
Her co-edited book, Learning and Living Globalization: Understanding International Students from Asia in American Universities (Springer, 2017), won the best book award honorable mention from the Comparative and International Education Association’s Study Abroad and International Students section.
Another line of her work examines who study what and why, and the labor market consequences of educational choices. This line of research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Alfred Sloan Foundation, and the Association of Institutional Research. It results in peer-reviewed journal articles published in The Review of Higher Education, Social Science Quarterly, Frontiers of Education in China, Research in Sociology of Education, the Social Science Journal, and Sociological Perspectives, among others. These findings have been covered by CNN, NPR, USA Today, Inside Higher Ed, Education Week, and Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.