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Our Research Team

The BOBA Project team is a group of researchers and volunteers who are dedicated to supporting Chinese American families and the Asian American community at large.

Faculty

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Cindy Liu, PhD 

Brigham & Women's Hospital

Principal Investigator

Cindy H. Liu, PhD is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Developmental Risk and Cultural Resilience Program within the Departments of Pediatric Newborn Medicine and Psychiatry at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Her research focuses on mental health and stress across the lifespan, with a particular focus on mental health disparities among marginalized groups.

Her favorite boba drink is passionfruit green tea with jelly.

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Hyeouk “Chris” Hahm, PhD 

Boston University

Co-Investigator

Hyeouk “Chris” Hahm, PhD is an Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Social Work at Boston University. She is dedicated to reducing health disparities among Asian American populations with a particular emphasis on building empirical evidence of health risk behaviors (e.g., self-harm, suicide and HIV risk behaviors).

Her favorite boba drink is fruit tea with jelly.

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Tiffany Yip, PhD 

Fordham University

Principal Investigator

Tiffany Yip, PhD is a Professor of Psychology at Fordham University and director of the Youth Development in Diverse Contexts Lab at Fordham University. Her research focuses on ethnic identity, discrimination, and sleep among minority adolescents and young adults.

Her favorite boba drink is passionfruit green tea.

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Peggy Wang, PhD 

University of Notre Dame

Co-Investigator

Peggy Wang, PhD is a quantitative psychologist at the University of Notre Dame. She is interested in developing, evaluating, and applying cutting-edge statistical models and research methodology in order to better understand the psychological processes involved in Asian American mental health.

Her favorite boba drink is black milk tea with grass jelly.

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Linda Charmaraman, PhD

Wellesley College

Co-Investigator

Linda Charmaraman, PhD is a senior research scientist at Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) and founder and director of the Youth, Media, & Wellbeing Research Lab. Her research interests include technology and adolescent health, digital citizenship, and how social identities (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, political) affect wellbeing.

Her favorite boba drink is ube milk tea with lychee jelly.

Staff

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Pei Wang, EdM

Brigham and Women's Hospital

Graduate Research Assistant

Pei Wang earned her Ed.M. in Education and Human Development from Boston University. She is passionate about children’s and adolescents’ socioemotional functioning, parenting and family dynamics, and ethnic-racial socialization processes, with a specific interest in the Chinese cultural context. 

Her favorite boba drink is milk tea with pearls.

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Ritika Rastogi, PhD 

Brigham and Women's Hospital

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ritika Rastogi earned her PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is interested in applying Critical and multidisciplinary approaches to supporting marginalized (BIPoC and immigrant-origin) young people’s positive development and mental health.

Her favorite boba drink is jasmine green milk tea with tapioca pearls.

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Candice Ma, BA 

Brigham and Women's Hospital

Research Assistant

Candice Ma received her B.A. in Psychology and Plan II, as well as her minor in Chinese from the University of Texas at Austin. She is interested in developing a culturally sensitive understanding of early childhood experiences, wellbeing, and resilience.

Her favorite boba drink is oat milk Thai tea. 

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Scott Lee, MD 

Harvard South Shore Psychiatry

Resident Physician

Scott Lee is a resident physician at Harvard South Shore Psychiatry. He completed medical school at Baylor College of Medicine. His interests have ranged from studying the intersection between medical ethics and psychiatry to now exploring the cultural and psychosocial factors that affect mental health outcomes in minority populations. 

His favorite boba drink is coming soon.

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Kyle Lorenzo, MA 

Fordham University

Graduate Research Assistant

Kyle Lorenzo is currently a 3rd-year graduate student in the Applied Developmental Psychology program at Fordham University. Kyle’s research interests include interdisciplinary approaches to exploring health disparities and identity development among racial/ethnic minority youth.

His favorite boba drink is taro milk tea with tapioca pearls.

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Alyssa Gramajo, BS 

Wellesley College

Research Associate

Alyssa Gramajo received her B.S. from Simmons University in Biology with a minor in Public Health. She is a Research Associate at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College. She supports the work of the Youth, Media & Wellbeing Research Lab as the project coordinator for data collection.

Her favorite boba drink is brown sugar milk tea with tapioca pearls.

Students

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Ava Lu, BS 

Tufts University

Graduate Research Assistant

Ava Lu is currently pursuing her master's degree in Child Study and Human Development from Tufts University. She is interested in understanding childhood adversity and trauma in the context of family as well as developing culturally sensitive research and healthcare practices within psychology.

Her favorite boba drink is an osmanthus tea latte with tapioca pearls.

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Alice Zhang 

Wellesley College

Undergrad Research Assistant

Alice Zhang is a sophomore at Wellesley College majoring in Data Science with a concentration in Bioinformatics. She is interested in biostatistics and computational biology and is looking for ways to further explore those subjects.

Her favorite boba drink is classic milk tea with tapioca pearls.

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Kaitlyn Wang 

Wellesley College

Undergrad Research Assistant

Kaitlyn Wang is a senior at Wellesley College majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Women's & Gender Studies. She hopes to help increase access to healthcare, especially regarding mental health, and is considering medical school in the future.

Her favorite boba drink is passionfruit green tea.

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Melanie Chernin

Colby College

Research Trainee

Melanie Chernin is currently a third-year student at Colby College majoring in Anthropology and East Asian Studies. As a Chinese biracial American, she is interested in the cultural differences of familial relationships. She is passionate about making changes in US mental healthcare institutions to better meet the needs of Asian American families and is excited to be a part of such novel and underfunded research.

 

Her favorite boba drink is matcha milk tea with tapioca pearls.

Michael Zhang

Michael Zhang 

Harvard College

Undergrad Research Assistant

Michael Zhang is currently a fourth-year student at Harvard College studying Chemical and Physical Biology. He is passionate about the intersection of mental health and underserved populations and plans on applying to medical school after graduating college.

His favorite boba drink is classic milk tea with tapioca pearls.

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Elizabeth Kiel 

Wellesley College

Undergrad Research Assistant

Elizabeth Kiel is currently a fourth-year student at Wellesley College studying Data Science with a concentration in Cognitive and Behavioral Science. She is passionate about intersectionality in mental healthcare and is interested in studying clinical psychology after graduation.

Her favorite boba drink taro milk tea with tapioca pearls.

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Connie Gu 

Wellesley College

Undergrad Research Assistant

Connie Gu is a junior at Wellesley College double majoring in Media Arts and Sciences (MAS) and Psychology. She is interested in the impact of digital technology on adolescent development. 

 

Her favorite boba drink is earl grey tea with tapioca pearls.

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Jiawei (Ada) Wu 

Fordham University

Undergrad Research Assistant

Jiawei (Ada) Wu is a sophomore at Fordham University Rose Hill campus majoring in Psychology. She is interested in studying clinical psychology and is especially interested in mental health problems and related physical conditions among minority groups in society. Ada hopes to receive a Ph.D. in psychology and become a professor to educate future generations about the importance of mental well-being in the future.

Her favorite boba drink is oolong milk tea.

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Sancha Gonzalez 

Wellesley College

Undergrad Research Assistant

Sancha Gonzalez is currently a second-year student at Wellesley College studying Political Science with an interest in American Politics and American Studies. She is passionate about the intersection of policy and protest, and how their relationship impacts minority populations; she also plans to go to law school after graduating college.

Her favorite boba drink is taro milk tea with extra tapioca pearls.

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Vivian Wang 

Lexington High School

Research Trainee

Vivian is a junior at Lexington High School. She is passionate about studying mental health among Asian American youth and finding ways to engage the Asian American community with research.

Her favorite boba drink is jasmine milk tea with tapioca pearls.

Consultants

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Richard Lee, PhD

University of Minnesota

Consultant

Richard Lee, Ph.D. is a professor of psychology and Asian American studies at the University of Minnesota. He is interested in the ways in which race, ethnicity, and migration relate to the development, well-being, and mental health of Asian American individuals and families.

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Russell Jeung, PhD 

San Francisco State University; Stop AAPI Hate

Consultant

Russell Jeung, PhD is a Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University and is the author of several books on race and religion. He co-founded Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition that addresses anti-Asian racism and xenophobia.

His favorite boba drink is taro milk tea.

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Shirley Yen, PhD 

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Consultant

Shirley Yen, PhD is an Associate Professor in the BIDMC Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and the Psychology Training Director at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center. She is a clinical psychologist who is interested in identifying risk factors and developing interventions for suicidal behaviors in adolescents and adults.

 

Her favorite boba drink is lychee green tea with grass jelly.

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Linda Juang, PhD

University of Potsdam, Germany

Consultant

Linda Juang, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Inclusive Education at the University of Potsdam, Germany. Her work focuses on how experiences of immigration relate to minoritized adolescents’ development and adjustment in school, family, and community contexts. She is especially interested in understanding youth experiences of discrimination and ethnic-racial socialization.

Her favorite boba drink is lychee green tea with jelly.

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Heang Rubin, EdD 

CHIC Community Engagement Consulting LLC

Consultant

Heang Leung Rubin has twenty-five years of experience with the Asian American community as a researcher, teacher, and community advocate.  She is a national expert on stakeholder and community engagement and has worked to build authentic research relationships between academics and underserved communities. 

 

Her favorite boba drink is passionfruit green tea with lychee jelly. 

Alumni

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Finneas Wong, BA 

Arizona State University

Graduate Student Researcher

Finneas Wong is a first-year Counseling Psychology doctoral student at Arizona State University. He is interested in examining the intersection between racial-ethnic and gender identities, associated risk and protective factors, and related mental health and psychosocial outcomes.

His favorite boba drink is sugar cane juice with fresh milk with tapioca pearls.

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