LAMP Student Christina Yang – Scholar, Researcher and Future Lawyer
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
When she first applied to IU, Christina Yang planned to major in Cognitive Science. Upon further reflection, she realized a science degree would be too narrow for her interests in law, research, and writing. “Thus began my online search through the 200+ College of Arts and Sciences degrees. I stumbled upon the Management +Human Organization major, and the unique combination of a business degree and a liberal arts education instantly attracted me.” She enrolled in the College and quickly became one of the first direct admits to the major (which started accepting students in 2018).
As a freshman, Yang had a meeting with the LAMP staff as they welcomed new MHO students to IU. LAMP Director Professor Spang noted that Yang wanted to develop her writing skills and research acumen, and had a strong interest in Asian-American issues. Spang connected her with History Department colleague Dr. Ellen Wu, who studies race, migration, belonging, and Asian Americans.
Wu began mentoring Yang, and later hired Yang as a research intern for summer 2020. Yang was originally set to study affirmative action, but the COVID-19 pandemic brought with it an unfortunate increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans. Around the same time, the U.S. was grappling with the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Taking those events into account, Wu asked Yang to shift focus and begin new research exploring Chinese Americans’ perceptions of the Black Lives Matter movement. “Under her direction, she had me compile articles that documented how the World Journal, the largest Chinese language newspaper in the U.S., talked about BLM,” Yang recalls.
“Fast forward to Spring 2021, Dr. Wu asked me to return as her research assistant. This time, she really encouraged me to think about my own research within her research scope, so that we can hit two birds with one stone. I could do my own independent research projects, and then she hopefully can incorporate my work into her current book project (forthcoming).”
This year, Yang is the only undergraduate to have a research fellowship with IU’s Institute for Digital Arts & Humanities (IDAH) and is using the opportunity to explore Chinese Americans’ perspectives on the BLM movement and the Black community as a whole. She is also working through the CRRES Undergraduate Research Program to study Chinese-American women and the fight for reproductive justice.
Some of the LAMP coursework helped her hone her already advanced research skills. In Dr. Vivian Halloran's LAMP-M 301: Evidence, Analysis, and Ways of Knowing, Yang was introduced to Algorithms of Oppression, one of the course texts. “I often look back to this book for inspiration on what my research should look like. It helped me understand how digital research surrounding race could be done, and showed me how to recognize well-supported arguments and analyses.”
Yang’s interest in research, writing and business has naturally led her to an interest in the legal profession. On campus, Yang is a part of the IU Mock Trial, a highly competitive organization that ranks within the top 5% among the nation’s Mock Trial programs. She has served as Sophomore and Junior Team Captain, and also stands as the organization’s acting Treasurer. Yang has also worked as a summer legal intern for Terry & Gookins LLC (Carmel) since 2018. Her roles there have ranged from assisting paralegals with discovery to drafting basic legal documents. She even began training new interns after creating a “Legal Intern Guide” for the company.
Thanks to Christina Yang for talking to us! If you are a current LAMP student with an interesting experience to share, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feature compiled by LAMP Content Creation Intern Kate Bangert; edited by LAMP staff.