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College of Education

Faculty and Staff

Christina W. Yao, Ph.D.

Title: Assistant Professor and Higher Education Program Coordinator
HESA Program Coordinator
Department: Educational Leadership and Policies
College of Education
Phone: 803-777-4269
Office: Wardlaw 307
Christina W. Yao, Ph.D.


  • Ph.D., Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education, Michigan State University
  • M.Ed., Higher Education Administration, Loyola University Chicago
  • B.A., Journalism, Marquette University


Christina W. Yao, Ph.D., is a qualitative researcher who primarily studies undergraduate and graduate student engagement and learning in higher education. She operationalizes her research focus through three connected topical areas: international and comparative education, teaching and learning, and graduate education. Some current projects include a collaborative study on transnational pressures on teaching and learning in Vietnam, the college transition process for international students of Color, and graduate students’ international scholar-practitioner development. Yao is involved in the leadership of several professional organizations, including the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) and the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES). She also serves on the editorial board for several journals, including the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, Journal of College Student Development, and Journal of International Students.

Selected Publications

Yao, C.W., George Mwangi, C.A., & Malaney Brown, V.K. (2019). Exploring the intersections of transnationalism and Critical Race Theory. Race, Ethnicity, and Education, 22(1), 38-58.

Shelton, L.J., & Yao, C.W. (2019). Early career professionals’ perceptions of higher education/student affairs graduate programs: Preparation to work with international students. Journal of College Student Development, 60(2), 156-172.

Yao, C.W., & Collins, C. (2018). Student-centered learning at a Vietnamese transnational university: Perspectives from Vietnamese graduate students. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 43(7), 959-974.

Yao, C.W. (2018). “They don’t care about you”: Chinese international students’ experiences with neo-racism and othering on a U.S. campus. Journal of the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, 30(1), 87-101.

Vital, L.M., & Yao, C.W. (2018). Future directions for internationalization in higher education: Considerations for doctoral student research training. In D. Proctor and L. Rumbley (Eds.) The future agenda for internationalization in higher education: Next Generation Insights in Research, Policy, and Practice. New York, NY: Routledge.

Selected Presentations

Yao, C.W. (2019, April). English Mediated Instruction in Vietnam: Higher Education and Social Transformations. Invited presenter to the Provost’s Global Forum, “Why School? International Perspectives on Education and Social Transformation,” at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

Yao, C.W., & Viggiano, T. (2019, April). Interest Convergence and the Commodification of International Students and Scholars in the US. Symposium session presented at the Association for the Study of Higher Education Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada.

Vital, L.M., Sinclair, J., & Yao, C.W. (2019, April). Beyond study abroad: Developing global citizenship in graduate education through internationalization at home. Paper session presented at the Comparative and International Education Society Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Yao, C.W., Briscoe, K.L., & Rutt, J. (2018, November). In the Aftermath of a Racialized Incident: Exploring the Experiences of International Students of Color with Campus Racial Climate. Paper session presented at the Association for the Study of Higher Education Annual Conference, Tampa, FL.

Research Areas of Expertise

  • International higher education
  • Student transitions and engagement in higher education
  • Teaching and learning in higher education
  • Critical qualitative methods

Special Awards

  • Loyola University Chicago School of Education Distinguished Alumni Award, November 2018
  • OLC 2017 Effective Practice Award, Online Learning Consortium, November 2017

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.