Xia receives prestigious Fulbright award

CYAF's Yan Xia receives prestigious Fulbright Distinguished Chair Award

Xia receives prestigious Fulbright award

02 Jul 2018    By Katie Ballue

Yan Ruth Xia, Professor in the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies (CYAF), has received a 2018-2019 Fulbright Distinguished Chair Award. The award provides a grant that will allow Xia to do both research and teaching in China during the fall and spring semesters of 2018-2019.

According to the Fulbright Scholar Program, “Fulbright Distinguished Chair Awards are viewed as among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program.” In order to be considered for a Fulbright Distinguished Chair Award, a candidate must have an extensive publication and teaching record. Xia is the first professor at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln to receive this award.

In the past 20 years the university has had 49 faculty with U.S. Scholar grants across all colleges and disciplines. Since 2010, many university faculty have hosted visiting scholars from all over the world. The Fulbright program equips the university and its faculty to have a larger global reach, which in turn translates to globally competent students.

Xia will be hosted by East China Normal University in Shanghai, China. East China Normal has hosted Xia and other CYAF faculty and students during summer education abroad trips in recent years. Her Fulbright Award allows her to research, teach and work on a specific project titled, “Chinese Parents and their Adolescent Children During the Social Transition.”

“This is a rare opportunity, and I am honored that the grant will allow me to be in China for a year to advance my study of Chinese families through my research,” said Xia. “I am excited that I will be able to help advance family studies in China. This is something that is currently not well established as a profession or a field of study in China yet. This opportunity will help develop this as an established profession.”

Through the proposed project, Xia will introduce family studies to Chinese students and scholars. Her research, in collaboration with faculty at East China Normal University, will examine the associations between parenting style, socialization and adolescent emotional wellbeing, using a mixed methods approach. Data will be collected and analyzed from both Chinese parents and adolescents. She will also teach a research and evaluation seminar and give lectures on various issues in contemporary family studies. 

According to Julia Torquati, interim department chair of CYAF, “Dr. Xia’s Fulbright will be mutually beneficial for East China Normal University faculty and students, the discipline of family studies in China, and Yan herself. Family studies is a nascent discipline in China, and Dr. Xia is a talented and generous scholar who will advance the rigor and scope of family studies in China. In addition, her research has important practical applications for families in China.”

Even though Xia doesn’t leave until August, she has already participated in a rigorous three-day orientation in Washington D.C. and will attend another at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in August, prior to arriving at East China Normal University. Thus far, Xia has discovered that there are many ways for faculty to be involved as a Fulbright Scholar.

“I was surprised at how intense the peer review process was, and I was also surprised to discover the many awards Fulbright offers,” Xia said.

Faculty interested in applying for a Fulbright award should contact Elizabeth Lange, whose role as the university’s Fulbright scholar liaison is to help promote awareness of and participation in Fulbright programs among faculty.

Lange stated, “I am happy to support faculty members like Yan in providing advice on the process and strengthening and sharpening their applications.”

Lange is available to provide a diverse range of services to interested faculty and can also help them get in touch with strategic resources in pursuit of any Fulbright award.


Child, Youth and Family Studies
College of Education and Human Sciences