Anistranski, Batyrshina publish dissertation findings

Joe Ansitranski and Aygul Batyrshina have recently published findings from their dissertation studies. Joe’s is the first paper to be published from the lab’s work on sense of belonging in college; he identified several factors–from personality to gender and ethnicity to friendship features–that were associated with students sense of belonging. Examining ethnic identity development, Batyrshina noted significant associations between identity commitment, but not identity exploration, and the academic adjustment of college Students of Color. Both articles will appear in the Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory, and Practice.

GeckHong Yeo wins SRCD grant

Congratulations to Dr. GeckHong Yeo, who received a highly competitive small grant from the Society for Research in Child Development to conduct research on “Peer Digital Acceset (PDA): Translating Online Peer Support for Mental Well-being.” GeckHong is currently a Research Fellow in the N.1 Institute for Health at the National University of Singapore.

Graduating Research Interns pursue advanced degrees

Congratulations to Lauren Isenman, Fiona Lee, and Selesteel Sleight. After completing their undergrad degrees, they are moving on to graduate programs. Lauren, who assisted in our study of high school freshmen’s social media use, will pursue a public health degree at the University of Michigan. Fiona, who helped Pauline Ho with her research on discrimination against Asian Americans during the COVID pandemic, will join the University of Chicago’s computational social science program. Selesteel assisted in our study of sense of belonging among Students of Color and White college students; she will participate in Harvard’s M.S. program in education.

Luam Rincon awarded Summer Education Research Program slot.

Research Intern Luam Rincon will participate in U.W.-Madison’s Summer Education Research Program, working under the direction of Educational Psychology Professors Katie Eklund and Steve Kilgus. Luam has assisted Angie Calvin in her study of adolescents’ authenticity in social media posts. After completing her undergraduate degree, she hopes to enter a school psychology training program.

New positions for PRSG alums

Congratulations to Hsun-yu Chan and GeckHong Yeo on their new academic positions. Hsun-yu is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education at National Taiwan Normal University. GeckHong now serves as Research Fellow, N.1 Institute for Health, National University of Singapore.

Congratulations, Aygul Batyrshina, Ph.D.!

Congratulations to Aygul on completed her doctoral program. Aygul’s dissertation focused on associations between two facets of ethnic identity (exploration and commitment) and academic and social adjustment among Students of Color in two different college environments. Aygul is now the Assistant Dean and Assistant Director Academic Advising and Academic Support at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Congratulations to Pauline Ho, who recently received a grant from the American Psychological Association’s Psychological Science Research Grant competition to conduct a study of racial/ethnic identity development over time among African American college students attending a Predominantly White Institution.


Check out our newsletter reporting the first wave of findings from our study of high school freshmen’s social media use.


Findings from our study of middle school students’ use of social media are featured in a new article for parents, written by Catherine Brown, in Your Teen online magazine. Then article offers tips on when children should get a smartphone and how parents can monitor and guide a child’s social media activity. Click here to read the article.

Congratulations, Joe Anistranski

After receiving his Ph.D. in May 2018, Joe was appointed to a faculty position at the University of California at Davis. Joe will continue his research on college students’ sense of belonging, which was the subject of several studies he conducted while in the PRSG. Congratulations, Joe!

Congratulations, Jackie Nguyen

Congratulations to Dr. Jackie Nguyen, a former member of PRSG, on her recommendation for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Jackie has continued her work on identity processes among ethnic minority youths, begun while she was a grad student in our lab. This work helps inspire our current work on the development of a sense of belonging among college students.


Pauline Ho, a first-year student in the PRSG, was one of three individuals named as a 2017 Leaders And Legends Honoree by Who’s Who in Asian American Communities. Drawing on her own experience as an immigrant from Vietnam, Pauline is interested in the academic adjustment of ELL students as well as in identifying factors contributing to educational aspirations and school persistence among members of under-represented groups. She is a Wisconsin Center for Education Research Fellow and recipient of a School of Educational Graduate Research Scholarship. Within PRSG, Pauline is working on the Belonging at College Study.


Congratulations to PRSG alum Chia-chen Yang, who was given the Emerging Scholar Award from the Journal of Youth and Adolescence for her article, entitled “Online self-presentation on Facebook and self-development during the college transition.” Dr. Yang is now an Assistant Professor of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Research at the University of Memphis. A copy of her award-winning article can be found under the Publications section of the PRSG website.


Congratulations to Ashley Prudhom, who received a Sophomore Research Fellowship to conduct a study of how social media assist 9th graders with their transition to high school. This highly competitive grant from the University provides funds for undergraduates to work with faculty on research. Ashley joined the PRSG as an Undergraduate Research Scholar her freshman year and has been an integral member of the research team for our Early Adolescence and Social Media project. She is pursuing a degree in elementary and special education.