I am a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Georgia (UGA), and expect to graduate in May 2017. My research program examines the ways that mental health and educational inequalities are generated and/or exacerbated by category memberships in the form of race and gender, and structural arrangements in the form of social networks. This general interest places my work at the intersections of sociology of health, social networks, gender, race and ethnicity, social psychology, and sociology of education. Methodologically, I primarily rely on quantitative methods including longitudinal surveys, network analysis, and computational simulations and laboratory experiments. Mush of my research program is theoretically driven, but has important implications for translation into policy.
For the past three years, I have worked primarily with longitudinal survey data of social networks with a special interest in the process of network diffusion. To address the emerging concerns in health research about the development and influence of social relationship on health, I have examined social relations that give rise to transmission of health behaviors. In particular, a chapter from my dissertation concerns on how depression is diffused via friendship networks. Inspired by these empirical findings, I am presently conducting a series of computer simulations to further articulate how micro structures of social networks may condition various kinds of health behaviors.
My broader concerns with social structure and social processes translate into an interest in contextualizing gender and ethnic disparities. A secondary research stream explores gender and race differences under specific contexts, such as criminal justice system and workplace, and situates gender and ethnic research in intersectional and developmental perspectives.
While at the University of Georgia, I have taught courses in Social Psychology and Gender and Interaction and have received outstanding student evaluations for my organization, approachability, and concern as an instructor. Additionally, I have served as a teaching assistant for an undergraduate statistics course, The Logic and Practice of Sociological Research and a doctoral level statistics course, Social Network Analysis.
- M.A. Sociology, University of Georgia. 2012
- LL.M. Sociology, Sun Yat-sen University. 2009
- 2016 Summer Doctoral Research Fellowship, The Graduate School, The University of Georgia
- 2016 Travel Award, The Graduate School, The University of Georgia
- Wang, Jin and Jun Zhao. 2008. “The Upbringing and Education of Migrant Workers’ Children in the Pearl River Delta.” Social Sciences in China (English Edition) 3: 121-135.
- Andrews, Tessa C., Evan P. Conaway, Jun Zhao, and Erin L. Dolan. 2016. “Colleagues as Change Agents for Undergraduate Teaching.” CBE-Life Science Education 15(2):1-17.