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Mian W

- Research Program Mentor

PhD Doctor of Philosophy


Public Policy, Social Science, Worldview/Interfaith, Higher Education, Student Loans, Intercultural Communication, Area Studies (East Asian), Language studies (Chinese)

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

How do college students borrow and manage their student loans?

Do you know the difference between student loans and student debt? Are you aware that college students are faced with a growing financial burden due to student loans as higher-education tuition increases? If you keep wondering “why” and “how” when reading news about student loans and try to piece together the answers from small conversations that your friends or family occasionally have about student loans, this might be a fascinating project to work on! Along the same line of this idea, have you ever wondered how come the student loan bubble has gotten so big? What is the role of the federal government in shaping the borrowing and repayment policies? How are borrowers coming from different backgrounds managing their student loan debt after graduation? What are some practical policy suggestions you might provide if you are a policymaker? How do you plan to implement them?

Dance, Meditation, and Self

Do you love dancing? Do you meditate? Have you ever thought that they can be the same thing in a magical way? How can a mix of sound, non-judgmental space, and beats bring out the joy and gratitude from a self that is moving freely? If you are interested in designing a dance meditation workshop for people to share their life experiences through mindful dance improvisation. Come and we can talk about all the ideas and try them out!

How do students develop their worldviews and interfaith attitudes during high school?

Do you grow up in a specific religious or cultural tradition? (Or do you grow up in a mixed cultural environment?) Have you ever questioned what your family believes in and what you would like to believe in? How do you navigate the worldview differences when you make friends from very different backgrounds? Are you curious how they are navigating their pathways in exploring their beliefs and drawing strengths from this journey? Let's find out answers together:-)

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