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Dan C

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)


Sociology, Education, Social Psychology


Hello! I'm currently a PhD sociology student at UCLA studying race, ethnicity, and migration. I first started getting into independent research in high school, where I did a social psychology project on how college admission officers perceive "stereotypical" and "counter-stereotypical" Asian American college applicants. While I was at Washington University in St. Louis, I wrote my honors thesis on how Asian American men construct dating preferences in response to the understanding that they often rank low among women's romantic preferences. Now at UCLA, I'm interested in two projects: 1) how alternatives to policing/surveillance are being executed on LA Metro and, 2) why many people, especially those who have the socioeconomic means to emigrate, choose to be immobile under harsh political circumstances that would have pushed them out. Outside of academia, I love dogs, nature, and concerts! I'm getting involved with a local business in LA where you get to run an hour long route with dogs-- kind of like Wag but on steroids. I roadtripped from NY to LA and got to hit the Rocky Mountains, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone (I liked Grand Teton the most). I also love going to concerts-- so far, I've seen Frank Ocean, Kendrick, Tyler the Creator, Smino, Noname, Flume, Solange, Rico Nasty, Earthgang, and some more (big hip hop/rnb head). Lastly, I think it's super important to be involved in the communities you are a part of. I worked as an after-school tutor for recent immigrants and refugees in St. Louis, and that was great to talk to young adult migrants from all over the world. I'm looking forward to working with you!!

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.

Impact of K-Pop/Asian Media on Perceptions of Masculinity

This project explores how the popularization of K-Pop in western countries (i.e. BTS peaking at #1 on US Billboard in 2020) shapes perceptions of masculinity in the US. This is an increasingly interesting phenomenon as we explore how dominant ideas of masculinity are being challenged, especially at the college level (fraternities increasingly being disbanded by universities)! Even if you're not interested in K-pop specifically, this could be expanded to other forms of popular media like how Squid Game/Shang-Chi shapes masculinity. We can apply this to Asian American men specifically or compare other racial groups.

Race, Gender, or Sexuality in Schools

This project would examine how race, gender, or sexuality impact perceptions of different school processes. We could look at how these identities intersect to create different outcomes for different groups, or we could selectively look at how one identity becomes salient.

How do immigrants interact with one another? How do they shape the US?

Projects related to this question would examine how immigrants are shaping the US and how they are being shaped by the US. As immigrants continue to flow into the US and hail from increasingly diverse places, how do our understandings of diversity and interaction between immigrants change?

Teaching experience

I served as a teacher for 4th grade writing through Breakthrough Collaborative in San Francisco. I have also worked as an after-school tutor for recent immigrant and refugee high school students in St. Louis. I also worked as a college application consultant for high school seniors applying to college. Lastly, I majored in educational studies in undergrad.


Work experience

Leadership Alliance at Columbia University (2019 - 2019)
Summer Research Fellow
International Institute of St. Louis (2019 - 2019)
Volunteer Coordinator
CollegeVine (2017 - 2019)
Applications Consultant
Breakthrough Collaborative (2018 - 2018)
4th Grade Writing Teacher


Washington University in St. Louis
BA Bachelor of Arts (2020)
Sociology and Educational Studies
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate

Completed Projects

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